Friday, September 3, 2010

Ciabatta & Focaccia

I was too tired last night to post, but here's a recap from Artisan Breads.

We started learning this week about preferments, which are used to assist in bread making. A preferment is combination of flour, liquid and yeast that is mixed and allowed to ferment before being utilized in a dough recipe. Preferments help add flavor to dough, help improve shelf life of dough, and help improve the strength of dough. There are four different types of preferments (old dough, biga, poolish, and sponge). On Thursday, half of my class worked with biga while my half of the class worked with poolish.

We had a lot going on during class. We used one dough to make Ciabbata and Focaccia. My partner and I also got to make 15 lbs of baguette dough for practice - this is something Chef does throughout the semester with different groups of students to ensure we get a lot of practice with baguettes. We also made zucchini bread with chocolate chips and bourbon. And, Chef showed us how to use screen printing with dead dough - we'll do a dead dough project later in the semester so more on that in the future. We used the screen printer to made medallians with our school's logo. It was another great day.

This is a photo of my Ciabatta in the oven:

And here's a photo of the finished Ciabattas - check out the great color and texture on the top:

The Focaccia we made was absolutely delicious. I think this is generally my favorite type of bread because of its great flavor and its versatility:

Here's a picture of the zucchini bread. You can also see the medallians we made; Chef showed us this great presentation:

And finally, here's a photo of the baguettes, which also came out great.

On a personal note, my stippling was much improved on this effort - still needs some work, but I am definitely getting better. I have been practicing at home so it was nice to actually see improvement and have it recognized by Chef. Small moral victory!


  1. I really want to see what the medallions look like up know i want to learn how to make them! CRAFTS!!

  2. Joe gave us your blog to see what you're making. As Joe & I eat cheerios at lunch, he fills us in on all the goodies you're making. I think it's awesome that you're doing this. We are enjoying seeing all the great stuff you're making! Tina G.

  3. Em - I look forward to showing you the medallians some day. I knew you would love them.

    Tina - glad to know I can help pass the time during the good old lunch break!