As 2009 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on all the successes and challenges I’ve had in the kitchen this year. One of the greatest successes – this Focaccia. One the biggest challenges – this Ciabatta. But a challenge can sometimes teach you the greatest lesson of all.
Not ever being satisfied with just so-so, I decided to give the ciabatta another try. Even though I thought my dough had been wet enough the first time, the bread lacked the large holes that earn ciabatta its self-respect. So this time I made sure to keep the dough as wet as possible making sure it just came together but was still very sticky. The result? A dough that bubbled and rose, and baked into a glorious hole-y ciabatta (pictured below) that didn’t have to hide.
The lesson? Wetter is better.
I applied this same lesson to my focaccia with equally grand results, and it garnered the most raves of any bread I have made so far. It could most likely be applied to all yeast recipes to insure you a greater chance for success.
These two particular recipes can be found in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. If you don’t have it, you can preview the book here.
3 thoughts on “Wetter Is Better Focaccia And Ciabatta”
Wow-what a success to have in the kitchen! Your breads look absolutely AMAZING! Have a very Happy New Year!
What stellar results you got! The ciabatta was a resounding fail for me, and I have toyed with making it again. Now, with your tips, I’m eager to revisit it. Thanks!
I have the same book and experienced the same result – great foccacia but the other two recipes I tried are going to take some practice to perfect. Now I’m hungry for bread!