Sunday, December 7, 2014

DinkyDau Billy's Ciabatta

Actually based on a French recipe from up around Quang Tri.

The street baker there in Cam Lá»™ didn't have a bread machine; what he did have was a kneading mixer taken from a nearby abandoned French air base. The motor had long given up the ghost, but the baker, being one to adapt, improvise, and overcome, rigged a treadmill powered by three or four of those yellowish-brown street curs. That turned the mechanism in the kneader. Not being a wastrel, as the street curs became less effective, the baker would cause them to end up in the soup pot, and a replacement would be drafted off the street.

Place ingredients into the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and Start. Dough will be quite sticky and wet once cycle is completed; resist the temptation to add more flour.

Place dough on a generously floured layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet, cover with a large bowl and let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Spritz loaves with water. Place loaves in the oven, positioned on the middle rack. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

1 1/2 cups water
 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
 3 tblspoons honey
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 3 1/4 cups bread flour
 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

If you want it dark, like this one, brush it with egg white. The original recipe uses duck egg white. If not, just spritz it with water.

Either way, you can sprinkle it with coarse salt. You can also, about ten minutes before finishing, sprinkle some minced garlic on top, as well as some grated Parmesan.