On the second to last day before the last semester of my undergraduate career… I made bread. Lots of bread. Seven loaves of bread.
Okay, okay. One of the loaves was from the day before, when my boyfriend and I decided to make Irish Soda Bread. Then we discovered Irish soda bread uses baking soda, not yeast — hence the name. What to do with the yeast we carefully procured from our local Kroger?
The answer to that question is obviously “ciabatta bread.” We made a sourdough starter, biga, and let it rise for twelve hours overnight. Then we mixed in more flour, let it rise some more (I did laundry in the interval), formed numerous small loaves (two with cheese inside), let it rise yet longer, and baked them.
Good crust, check. Fully baked, checked. Reasonably uniform for a free-form loaf, check. Fluffy inside, check.
Fluffy inside!! On the rare occasions I make bread (see past blog posts), it’s usually rather dense. The soda bread would be exhibit A. Despite tasting like a buttermilk biscuit (since the only liquid came from buttermilk), it had the same super dense texture I’ve come to expect.
Exhibit B would be the German beer bread with caraway seeds I made over winter break. Dense. Also, I had to hold this huge meat thermometer to check the yeast’s water temperature. It was too hot so I placed it on the windowsill so the winter wind could do its work. This process looked ridiculous.
End flashback. This ciabatta bread — the one with the starter — is actually somewhat light and fluffy compared to the usual homemade bread texture. Success!
Also, I had a Soup Battle with my boyfriend today, wherein we both made soups from celery, onion, and carrots. The kitchen was a bit crowded, but both soups — which turned out surprisingly different — was delicious… especially with the bread we pulled straight from the oven.