Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ciabatta with Poolish

Ciabatta with Poolish

Last night I was asked to prepare something for tonight's "Apero" which is very often for the summer where we serve apperitif drinks with light finger food. Since it was Saturday night which was way too late to buy anything last minute after 8pm in France and it's the month of "Les Vacances" So if you don't have anything in your fridge, the only way to eat is at the restaurant/bar or bistro...or call a pizza.

I took a quick look at my pantry..mmm.. black olives, chips, tuna cans..and in the fridge? some colourful carrots, tomatoes, zucchini and capsicums. Fantastic!! I am set!! what is best with all these?? a good bread to go with, of course!!

I have a bread book call "Le Pain" from the library. There are a lot of recipes with a CIabatta with Poolish is my choice.

To make the poolish:

150 gm      Flour
150 gm      Warm water
15gm         Yeast

  1. Mix together Warm water, Yeast and Flour in a tub. Cover and rest for overnight if the kitchen temperature is about 20C. Mine took only 3 hours to be ripe as the temperature in the kitchen was at 38C!!! I even halfed the amount of yeast. So it is very important to check the dough but not the clock. This is what i have learnt from many bakers. The dough would tell you if it is ready, not the clock cause temperature and amount of yeast plays a big part in bread making. 
  2. When the think paste looking dough turn into very bubbly, this means the poolish is ripe and ready to be use.
For the bread:

350gm       AP flour
350gm       T110 bread flour
12gm         Salt
600gm       Iced Water

  1. Mix all ingredients and the poolish together to form soft dough. Rest for 20 minutes.
  2. On a lightly oiled work surface, hand knead dough for 20 minutes.
  3. Then place dough back into oiled tub for the first bulk fermentation with 2 stretch and folds at every 30min interval and another stretch and fold after 45min from the second.
  4. Place the covered tub in the refrigerator for 18hours.
  5. The next day, take out the tub, pour the dough out on lightly flour work surface, cut into 2.
  6. Preheat oven to the maximum say 240C together with your dutch oven.
  7. Shape into a boule and use your dough scraper gently lift it on to a floured patchment paper.
  8. Cover and let rest until it is almost double in size. Mine didn't take too long about 80mins. Do a "Finger taste" and sift little flour on top of loaves.
  9. Bake in the HOT Dutch-oven with cover on for the first 5mins. Pull out and slash then re-cover and back in the oven at 200C for 15mins.
  10. Take off cover and continue to bake for another 20-25mins or until to your likeness.
  11. Cool on rack.
Ciabatta with Poolish

We served this with homemade black olive tapanade, some grilled zuchini and capsicums with herbs in olive oil and some tomatoes feta basil salad. No meat!! Eating healty with maximum yum factor plus great companies.

Ciabatta top with grilled vegies

Life is good with just some simple treats!!

Sharing this with friends at Yeast SpottingBYOB and My Meatless Monday host by My Sweet and Savory

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Ratatouille, Sunflower seed Sourdough Bread

It's summer and I love the colour I can get from the market. Tomatoes, zucchini, aubergine, capsicum in all red, yellow and green robe. Seeing all these colourful though went straight to Ratatouille. Easy. healthy and flavourful vegetable stew. Ratatouille is just a classic french vegetable stew. That's it!! Oh NO! it's a movie too!! Have you seen it? It's about a young garbage boy name Linguini befriended with a rat who make the best Ratatouille. Love this movie.. it brings out the romantic side of Paris and how French are when comes to their "Savoir faire"..

Anyway, I made my Ratatouille the other day and as usual there is a lot of liquid from the vegetables. So, I scope out a cup of the Ratatouille goodness and mix it to my bread :) Call me a crazy baker if you want.. Just love to experiment, always trying out new things.. sometimes good but other time..Yeekkk!! Lucky for this, it's a Yeahhhh.. how could it go wrong with all the colours and vitamins??  Not only it gives great colour but taste really good too.

Ratatouille Ingredients:

1kg                Very Ripe Tomatoes (roughly chopped up)
2 medium       Zucchini (Cut into small cubes)
1 medium       Eggplant (cut into small cubes)
4 medium       Capsicum (cut into pieces)
1 medium       Onion (cut into cubes)
3 cloves         Garlic (minced)
3 springs        Thyme
2 springs        Rosemary
3                   Bay leaves
Salt and pepper to season

1. In a pot heat a bit of olive oil to brown onions and garlic. then mix in the rest of the ingredients and cook slowly until everything turn soft, about an hour or so. Season with salt and pepper. That's it!
2. Usually, Ratatouille gives out a lot of liquid, to make it more concentrate.. I scope out most of the liquid to make soup and this time I use it for bread. Just cook the ratatouille until soft and almost dry. You can either enjoy it as a vegetable dish to go with any roast or as Pasta/pizza sauce.

By the end of summer, I would usually made a lot and freeze the extra for the winter months to come.

Here's what and how for the bread:

500gm           Bread flour
350gm           Ratatouille broth
100gm           Sourdough starter (100% hydration)
50gm +10gm Sunflower seeds (pre-soak, this is important so that you will not have burn seeds, like mine.)
5gm               Salt (I use less salt as the Ratatouille is already with salt)

  1. Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients except the 10gm of Sunflower seeds to make a soft, smooth dough.
  2. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 2 hours or more depend on your kitchen temperature, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk.
  3. Do 2 stretch and fold at 30mins and 60mins.
  4. Sprinkle some Sunflower seeds in your Benetton and let rise for about an hour or 2, until noticeably puffy.
  5. Do the finger test by pressing lightly into dough: dough that springs back immediately and leaves no indentation indicates under proofing. If the dough springs back somewhat but still leaves a discern indentation then it's proofed properly - with just enough rise left to give you some nice oven spring. But if the indentation just stares back at you you've probably let it ferment too long.
  6. Bake in a preheated 200°C oven for 10 minutes, with steam.  Then another 20 - 30mins or until bread turn golden red and sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
  7. Cool on a rack.

This bread goes very well with some scramble eggs, you can use it for brochetta too. I love it toasted and spread with some creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Sending this to Yeast Spotting  and BYOB