Thursday, April 29, 2010

CIABATTA - Bread Baker's Apprentice #9


I have been pondering for a week how to post this... For the first time in my bread baking career; I failed...

On the surface, the loafs don't look terrible...

but once you cut into them, 

The beautiful holes of a great dipping ciabatta bread simply never happened.

Here is what mine looked like (above) and here is what it should have looked like (below)...

My bread didn't go to waste.  I used it for sandwich bread and it was fair.  But a great loaf of ciabatta bread can be used for dipping in oil and balsamic (I bought some for my loaf).  I didn't have the heart to crack open a nice bottle of balsamic for this poor attempt.  It also makes a great panini sandwich, and I was all set to improvise a panini press.  Again, just couldn't do it.

So, after 8 terrific recipes from the book, 8 incredible successes, I did something wrong.  I plan to spend a day researching what others have done with this recipe, seeing where I went wrong and try again.

Anyone out there try the recipe in the book?

Anyone else have problems, suggestions or had a screaming success??? Let me know.  Any hints can only help.

I still am loving the book... just a single step backwards after 8 giant leaps, but I can do this...

Stay tuned



  1. you have become the bread man! the air bubbles the crispy crust - wow I am shocked and awed!

  2. I wish I could advise. I just made my very first set of hamburger buns. I was quite pleased with myself. Typically, I can't bake to save my life.

    Just try the ciabatta again. I hear the second time is the charm.

  3. I'm so sorry Dave! I think everyone has a bread mishap every once in a while...especially when you bake so much. You should try asking Natashya of Living in the Kitchen With Puppies. She is the bread master!

  4. Sorry that didn't work Dave - but I bet it will make great grilled cheese sammies!

    I normally put a cup of boiling water in a broiler pan underneath my bread rack, and bake the bread in my cast iron skillet with the top on for the first half, then remove the top until the top is brown and crusty.

    Hope you try again!

  5. Here's my post on the ciabatta. I enjoyed the flavor, but like you didn't have the "holes" I'd hoped for.

  6. Sorry to hear it. I know how much a kitchen fail can stomp on your heart. I still can't even make stupid pizza dough rise, so you are still light years ahead of me in your expertise

  7. Dave... Dave... Dave. When do you find time to lay on the beach?

  8. I still think the bread looks good. Unfortunately, I can't help you, but perhaps the next try will work. It was perhaps something in the water.

  9. dave - I somehow thought the "good" loaf was your loaf - duh

  10. Everyone has a failure sometime, but I hate it when you are really looking forward to a great success.Save the balsamic for next time.
    I agree with Joanne; Natashya, from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies,is a bread baking pro. Maybe she could help.

  11. Man I am so sorry we are so behind on commenting! I think this bread looks delicious. Even if it didn't quite turn out how you wanted. I wouldn't say it was a complete failure!

  12. I make my dough in the bread machine. Then I take it out, let it rest for 15 minutes, shape it. It says to "dimple" the bread and let it rise for about 45 minutes. Dimple it again. It is baked at 425. Every 5 to 10 minutes I spray the top with water--that is amazing. It sizzles and makes the top crusty and brown. My bread does have bigger holes than yours. Make sure your yeast is "fresh" and appropriate. Good luck. I am working on this and today my bread is awesome.