Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Making Vegetable-Filled Ciabatta Bread

This ciabatta is great for making panini style sandwiches. Inside these loaves we have mixed in sauteed red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. We learned how to make both sweet and savory ciabatta at the Chef's Choice Artisan Bread Class at Johnson & Wales. These photos show DH and I making it at home.

The day before making the bread we assembled the above biga for a large batch of dough. It contains bread flour, spelt and rye flours, salt and a tiny bit of active dry yeast. After sitting on the counter overnight, it had grown to the size shown above.

We added to the biga more flour, water, salt and a tiny bit more active dry yeast. The bulk of the rising power of the bread is coming from the biga. Then we divided the dough into two parts. The tubs above contain the two different kinds of ciabatta we made. In the top tub, the dough contains dried fruit and chocolate chips. In the bottom section of the tub, the dough contains the sauteed mushrooms, red pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Below is a close-up of the savory ciabatta dough.

The doughs sat on the counter to continue to develop. Two different times, we stretched and folded the dough. Then we shaped the dough into the desired loaf styles. We placed the loaves onto floured parchment paper that we had placed on the top of upside-down sheet pans.

Then we placed heavily floured cloths over the top of the shaped loaves. We used brown rice flour for this purpose.
We let the loaves sit for their final proofing under the floured cloths until they were ready to bake. Then we removed the cloths and slid the loaves, parchment paper and all, into a hot oven to bake on a pizza stone.

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