GUISE GUISE! Look what came out of my oven!

It’s bread month over at Michael Ruhlman’s site, and I am excited! After years of being a pretty good cook and a not-so-good baker, I decided that this would be My Year of the Loaf. And cookies – I’m working on cookies also. So, really, if the recipe looks like I’d want to eat some of it, and the stuff to make it isn’t terribly exotic,* I’m totally going to try it out.

The recipe for ciabatta, from Two Sisters, came up yesterday, along with photos that made my mouth water. And I had everything that goes in it right here in the pantry.** So last night I set up a biga, and this morning was a fuss-with-baked-goods morning.

There’s a lot of fussing with this bread but it’s worth it. There’s the staring at the biga from last night and wondering if it looks any different from fifteen hours ago.*** There’s the did-I-measure-this-right (I went by weight, which was significantly different from recipe’s cup measure – so I’ll assume that the original recipe called for the flour to be sifted first but what if it wasn’t and I messed it all up?!)  There’s the every twenty minutes with the rubber spatula. There’s the part where the loaves seem to rise outward instead of upward and try to revert back to one loaf (they are in loff!) and I panic momentarily. There’s the did I make too many holes when I docked it? I didn’t even know what docking was until I asked (and was generously answered – YaY for nice people!) and so was iffy. There’s the pan of water in the oven (exciting and new and strange). Friends, this bread was made with a some emo.

BUT! It came out perfect! Two beautiful loaves, one of which was cut into while still steaming,**** and has been reduced to a heel. The other loaf will have to suffice for school lunch sandwiches and breakfast toast – I’m convinced this will make brilliant toast.

Just. Look. At. This. Bread!


*It’s 45 minutes to a Whole Foods from here; if the grocery or Trader Joe’s doesn’t have it, I’m not making a pilgrimage to Providence to spend incredible amounts of cash. Which is what happens when I go to Whole Foods. Every time.
**Even wheat berries that I bought on a whim a few months ago, thinking they might be good in yogurt. News Flash: I still don’t like yogurt. So they’ve been languishing. Really, who keeps that stuff around?? Apparently I do.
***Not so much – I was worried, tbh.
****I know, I know, it’s a no-no to cut into it while it’s still hot. But the Moskowitz household is a fan of baked goods right from the oven, and the butter all drippy. I always intend to let it cool, but that lasts about five minutes until the three of us crowd around the fresh loaves, oohing and ahhing and peer pressure each other into fetching the bread knife and the butter bunny. As predictable as the receipt from Whole Foods.