These two wonderful, delicious loaves of heaven on earth brought to you by Recipe Zaar.
The purpose? Besides making an effort to make my own bread and becoming more of a food snob each and every day, these sandwiches.
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons water (105-115 F)
1/3 cup room-temp water
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (105-115 F)
2/3 cup room-temp water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Make sponge: Stir together, warm water and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes, until creamy. Transfer yeast mixture to another bowl and add room-temp water and flour. Stir for 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand at cool room temp at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
Make bread: Stir together yeast and milk in small bowl and let stand 5 minutes, until creamy. In bowl of standing electric mixer, with dough hook, blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil and flour at low speed until flour is moistened. Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Add salt and beat for 4 more minutes. Scrape dough into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, until doubled- about 1 1/2 hours.
Note: Dough will be VERY sticky and full of bubbles.
Cut two pieces of parchment paper, approx 12 inches by 6 inches. Place on baking sheet and flour well. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to paper and form irregular ovals approx 9 inches long. Dip fingers in flour and dimple loaves. Dust tops with flour. Cover with dampened kitchen towel and let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until almost doubled.
At least 45 minutes before baking bread, pre-heat pizza stone on lowest oven rack position at 425°F. Transfer 1 loaf, along with parchment paper, onto stone and bake for 20 minutes or until pale golden. Remove to cooling racks and repeat with second loaf.
For Steve's favorite sandwich: Saute onions (Vidalias if you've got them) in butter. Slice ciabatta in half lengthwise, top with roast beef and onions. Pile cheddar cheese on the other half. Broil until bubbly and delicious, taking care to remove it from the oven before it bursts into flame. Add mustard if you're feeling frisky.