I can't think of anything more satisfying that fresh bread with a bit of homemade jam. The problem is, I'm not a baker by nature -- I'd prefer to cook, anyday. But fresh "artisan" bread (not that fake white fluff that stays preserved for weeks in the bread isle) costs an arm and a leg at the store. I decided I am going to teach myself how to bake.
I am starting with a no-knead recipe from one of my favorite magazines -- Grit. If you are at all interested in homesteading and country living, may I highly recommend this magazine. Most of their articles are on-line, including the recipe that I am attempting to make. Click here for a link to the article with the recipe for this no-knead ciabatta.
So, the first step is done 48 hours before you plan to serve the bread. I'll be eating this for Sunday dinner, and take it to work for lunch on Monday. I should grill up some veggies for a nice sandwich, or maybe just peanut butter and strawberry freezer jam... yum.
Anyway, step one was easy. Just mix a bit of flour, water and yeast together then cover and let it stand at room temperature for 24 hours. I like to use a retro mixing bowl (that Mom gave me) on my lovely retro counter tops (this house was definitely built in the 70's). I think the old bowl will make the bread taste better -- call me crazy if you'd like.
Tomorrow is step two which involves adding more ingredients and letting it sit a bit longer. It helps that I have a long weekend to attempt this on.
I am also making a loaf of bread in my bread maker right now. Charlie wanted some to go with the goulash he just made. Bread maker bread is good -- but still expensive if you use a mix. And you can't make specialty items like ciabatta bread in a bread maker.
Hopefully I'm able to pull off this recipe. I will be posting more to show the results...