Weekly WI and Ciabatta

I consider my WI to be a success, even though I am up .2 this week.  We had a great birthday dinner out, and I only worked out 3 times last week.

I regularly tape America’s Test kitchen shows because I am a visual person – I am much better at recreating something if I’ve seen it, rather than read the instructions of a recipe.  You’ll see why when I copy the recipe below from their website – it looks intense, but this is really very simple.

Ingredients
Biga
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup water (4 ounces), at room temperature
Dough
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 3/4 cup water (6 ounces), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk (2 ounces), at room temperature (see note)
Instructions
  • 1. FOR THE BIGA: Combine flour, yeast, and water in medium bowl and stir with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms, about 1 minute. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees) overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours).
  • 2. FOR THE DOUGH: Place biga and dough ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed until roughly combined and shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute; scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Continue mixing on medium-low speed until dough becomes uniform mass that collects on paddle and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 6 minutes. Change to dough hook and knead bread on medium speed until smooth and shiny (dough will be very sticky), about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • 3. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with nonstick cooking spray; fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough six more times (total of eight turns). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding, replace plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes longer. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • 4. Cut two 12- by 6-inch pieces of parchment paper and liberally dust with flour. Transfer dough to liberally floured counter, being careful not to deflate completely. Following photos 6 through 9 above, liberally flour top of dough and divide in half. Turn 1 piece of dough so cut side is facing up and dust with flour. With well-floured hands, press dough into rough 12- by 6-inch shape. Fold shorter sides of dough toward center, overlapping them like business letter to form 7- by 4-inch loaf. Repeat with second dough piece. Gently transfer each loaf seam-side down to parchment sheets, dust with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let loaves sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (surfaces of loaves will develop small bubbles).
  • 5. Slide parchment with loaves onto inverted, rimmed baking sheet or pizza peel. Using floured fingertips, evenly poke entire surface of each loaf to form 10- by 6-inch rectangle; spray loaves lightly with water. Carefully slide parchment with loaves onto baking stone using jerking motion. Bake, spraying loaves with water twice more during first 5 minutes of baking time, until crust is deep golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into centers of loaves registers 210 degrees, 22 to 27 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, discard parchment, and cool loaves to room temperature, about 1 hour, before slicing and serving.

See what I mean?  The hands on time is really not all that much, it’s just the repeating rises that takes time – and you have to start the biga the night before.  It took about 2 minutes to put together and mix and then just sat covered on my counter overnight.

In the morning it looked like this:

See all the bubbles that developed overnight.  It also has a sour doughy smell to it, which gives the bread an extra tang that I love.

It’s a supa sticky dough too:

Divide the dough in half and make each half a rectangle:

Then you fold it like an envelope:

Then I reshaped the dough on parchment paper for the last 30 minute rest.

Then baked them – the diretions said to spritz the dough 3 times in the first five minutes so it doesn’t develop too much of a crust, but I don’t have a spritzer so I just put some water on top before putting it in the oven.  I actually loved the crust.

Love all the holes!

This one is a keeper!  But then again, like cheese, pretty sure there isn’t a bread I don’t like.

I have to give a thank you shout out to Anne Marie because I won her latest giveaway – check out the loot!  I am loving the new cookie sheet – nothing sticks to it!


Thanks for all your nice comments on my vlog post yesterday – I promise the next one I do you’ll actually see my face!

Have a great Saturday!

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22 thoughts on “Weekly WI and Ciabatta

  1. I’d consider it a success, too! That’s just a typical fluctuation. No major gains is excellent 😀

    That ciabatta looks PERFECT, Biz!! YUM! I love ciabatta. 🙂 I have to make this!

  2. Glad the wi in went well! As of yesterday, i have 5-6 lbs to go! I also have a 10k race next weekend-yikes!!! Mmm bread! Homemade bread rocks- always feel awesome to see the end product

  3. oh ciabatta is one of my FAVES!!! I made it for project food blog last year and we decided then and there that its a keeper 🙂
    WTG with the WI, i call that a win too!
    p.s. I’m down another 2!!! 🙂

  4. Yum! I was walking through the grocery store yesterday when they were unloading their fresh baked french bread. My husband had to physically hold me back from inhaling a loaf right there and then! Yeah, I love bread too. 🙂

    Yay for a maintenance week!

  5. I just watched your Vlog.

    1 I think mussels would make me vomit. I’m a texture person.

    2. You have a cute little Chicago accent!

    3. Happy Birthday Mama Biz!

  6. Sometimes I wish your recipes were a little more simple. I don’t have a stock pile of spices [ nor am I going to buy them ] I don’t have a pizza stone on hand and I definitely never keep parchment paper in the house. [no these aren’t all in this recipe, but….] I could have made the recipe today but for the parchment paper. I have tried substituting on your other recipes for things, but so far no success.

    There are so many things that you make that I would love to make, but I lose interest because I have to buy 1, 2, 3, 4 ingredients/baking utensils. I guess it is my fault for not having a better stocked pantry. 🙂

    • I am sorry Skippy – but it reminds me of a friend who I tried to help with meal planning – they were all fairly simple dishes (think meatloaf), but what I didn’t realize is that she had NO pantry items – so her grocery bill was like $225 because she had to buy cinnamon, sugar, flour, spices, etc!

      Well, come back tomorrow for a simple, yet delicious cheese drop biscuit – only normal ingredients needed and a bowl and wooden spoon!

  7. That bread looks DIVINE O_O You should be so proud.

  8. Definitely a success! The bread looks delish- but not easy! LOL

    I enjoyed your video–but I do not like mussels. 🙂

  9. That’s a maintenance in my mind…0.2 is NOTHING. 🙂

    You are a phenomenal bread-maker. I’ve had some serious bread busts lately. I need to take a break from yeast, I believe! Ciabatta is my favorite, though!

  10. Good on the WI, you are doing awesome! Bread looks fabulous, can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  11. I think I’ll hire you to come bake all the breads for my house. Your also look so good, and I just don’t have the effort in my brain to do it.

  12. Simple? Wow. I’m impressed. I love ciabatta. My Italian teacher told me that a ciabatta is a clown shoe–you know those big funny shoes clowns wear. That’s a ciabatta. BTW you got a shout out in my most recent post, but it’s been 2 days and it hasn’t shown up as a new post yet.

  13. That bread looks incredible. Baking my own bread is something I really want to do before the year is done.

    I love your positive attitude about your weigh in. I think you did a great job this week. Keep it up!

  14. I can’t believe that you make your own bread and still weigh the amount you do. I’d eat TONS of your bread and not control myself.

    🙂 Marion

  15. Like your vlog also, congrats on your win of the loot!

  16. Thanks Ron – hey, I owe you an email! 😀

  17. That bread looks fabulous! (and I haven’t seen molasses cookies before, but I LOVE molasses!)

  18. Thanks so much for the shout out 🙂 Glad you are enjoying the stuff!! The pan was my favorite part of the loot too.

  19. Great WI. I’d love a WI like that after the great week you had – celebrations & all!

    I’d never be able to make that bread – I’d easily eat the entire loaf by myself…all day…every day. (& I wonder why I’m in the shape I’m in!) 😛

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