Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ciabatta Bread

I LOVE Ciabatta bread, at Cutler's we use it in our B-Town Club, or you can have any other sandwich on it too! At home, I use it for all kinds of hot sandwiches that I make. I have a recipe coming up for you next week to try it on too! It's a really versatile type of bread that is really yummy. I know this recipe looks really involved. It takes several hours of raising time, it's not really quite as hard as it looks!

Ciabatta Bread
from Cook's Illustrated 


1 cup unbleached all purpose flour 
1/8 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1/2 cup water, at room temperature


2 cups unbleached all purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup water, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature (I just measured and allowed to rest for a few minutes)

Biga - right after I made it
Start your biga 8 to 24 hours before you want the Ciabatta bread. Combine flour, yeast and water in a medium bowl and stir using a wooden spoon until it's all combined into one mass, this takes about a minute.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours.

Biga - after it raised
When you're ready to make your dough, place the biga, flour, yeast, salt, water and milk into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on lowest speed until a shaggy dough forms, this should take about a minute, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix on medium-low speed until the dough collects on the paddle and pulls away from the side of the bowl, this takes around 6 minutes. At this point you want to change from the paddle attachment to the dough hook. Knead on medium speed about 10 minutes. The dough should look smooth and shiny and still be very sticky. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic. Let rise at room temperature for about an hour, the dough should double in this time.

Spray a rubber spatula with nonstick cooking spray. Fold partially risen dough over itself. You want to stick the spatula under one side of the dough and fold over the top of itself, turn the bowl 90 degrees, then do it again. You want to turn this a total of 8 times. Allow to sit for another half hour, covered with plastic wrap. Then repeat the folding process. Cover and allow to rise for another half hour. For me, the dough didn't raise as much during the first hour as it did during the last hour, I think that's because the folding process produces more gluten, allowing the dough to rise better.

Cut two 12 by six inches of parchment paper and dust with plenty of flour, set aside. Flour your counter top or work space you want to form the bread loaves on too, I used a silicone mat. Transfer the dough from the bowl as gently as possible, so as not to deflate very much. Flour the top of the dough, cut in half. The recipe calls to just cut it in half, but I wanted loaves that were roughly the same size as the ones we have at Cutler's, so I cut into quarters. Before working with the dough, you want to flour the cut side so it's not quite so sticky. Flour your hands well, then take a quarter, press it out thin and then fold it as you would a letter you would stick in an envelope. Place on the prepared parchment paper, flour again, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven and baking stone. You want your oven rack to be in the lower middle portion of the oven. Place a baking stone or a cookie sheet pan upside down into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

After the loaves have finished rising, slide the parchment they are resting on onto either an upside down cookie sheet or a pizza peel. Remove the stone or cookie sheet from the oven and use the cool one to transfer the dough and parchment to the hot one. Spray the top of the dough with water, and place in the oven. Bake, making sure to spray the top of the loaves two more times during the first five minutes of baking, for 22-27 minutes. They should be golden brown. Place loaves on a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature, before slicing. For the bigger loaves that will take around an hour. My smaller loaves seemed to be cool enough after about a half hour.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

B-Town Club

This is our newest amazing sandwich that we sell at our Bountiful store. I was first introduced to really great hot sandwiches a few years ago when a new restaurant opened in downtown Salt Lake City, the Nauvoo Cafe. I went home and taught myself to make great hot sandwiches in my oven, using the broiler. Being introduced to Pesto Mayo and using a lot more Munster cheese came more recently, but put them altogether and you get an amazing sandwich. And needing a name for said sandwich we looked to Si at A Bountiful Kitchen for inspiration, it's called the B-Town in honor of her and Bountiful itself.

B-Town Club
makes 1 sandwich

Ciabatta Bread
Deli Turkey
Munster Cheese
4 slices of bacon, cooked

To make a Pesto Mayo, combine 1 part Pesto with 2 parts Mayo, at home I've even used light mayo and had it turn out fine (I usually add just a bit of garlic salt if using light mayo).  If you can't tell, this bottle came from Costco, but you can also usually find Pesto in the grocery store, I've seen it by the pasta sauces.

Slice Ciabatta bread in half and put Pesto Mayo on both sides. I'm not going to give an amount here, just put as much or as little as you would like.

On top of the Pesto Mayo place 2 slices of Munster cheese on half and your deli turkey on the other half. At home a lot of time, I'll use my very favorite cheese, Tillamook Medium Cheddar. It's great on this too!

Place the sandwich in either a toaster oven, or your regular oven on broil. At home, I don't put my rack up near the broiler (things cook waaaay to fast there!), I leave the rack in the middle and I still have to watch it. The sandwich just needs to cook until the cheese is melted to the bread and the turkey is heated through. Remove.

Add the lettuce tomatoes and cooked bacon. At Cutler's we use a pre-cooked bacon. I use the same thing at home, but I buy it in a large package from Costco (love that place). Pre-cooked bacon is really simple to use, you can even heat it in the microwave. I think this sandwich would also be awesome with some red onion rings!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raspberry Truffle Cookies

Last week, I saw a recipe on Six Sisters blog for Thin Mint Cookies, I was going to just make that this week, but then I found a bottle of Raspberry extract and decided to make a chocolate raspberry cookie instead. It was awesome! They were a big hit in our bakery.  I changed a few other things too, but whether you make these with mint or raspberry, or if you have a completely different idea, they will be awesome!

Raspberry Truffle Cookies
adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Smart Balance for baking, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup cake flour

Raspberry Chocolate Coating:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons Raspberry extract
8 Tablespoons butter

Dough kind of crumbly.
In mixing bowl of Kitchenaid mixer, beat butter and Smart Balance until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Mix in vanilla, salt and cocoa. Mix in the flour, the dough should be crumbly. Put dough into refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes. After removing from fridge, place on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is combined and smooth before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while rolling out cookies. On the lightly floured surface, roll out dough to between 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch thickness (I rolled mine a bit thicker, than the original called for because doesn't everyone want just a bit more chocolate cookie inside?). Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies on a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper (much easier clean-up!). Bake for about 9-10 minutes, if you roll them a bit thicker, you may need a couple more minutes, you want the edges to be set and the cookies to not feel doughy in the middle if you touch in the middle. Cool cookies completely.

When the cookies are cool, place the chocolate chips, butter and the extract into a microwave safe bowl (the original recipe just calls for the chips at this point, but I had a really hard time making it so the ganache stuck to the cookies that way, it was too hard, and hardened as soon as I added the extract to it.) microwave in 30 second intervals, until smooth and combined. Working with individual cookies, place into chocolate and use a fork to flip and lift them out of the chocolate. Place the cookie back on the parchment lined baking sheet you cooked them on. Allow chocolate to harden before serving (if you can wait that long!). Placing them in the fridge helps the chocolate to harden faster (and gets them out of your sight, hopefully long enough to harden!). 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oatmeal Scotchies

I've been looking for an amazing recipe. This recipe is a yummy oatmeal cookie with Butterscotch chips. I found the recipe on the back of a bag of Nestle Butterscotch Morsels, and let me tell you, it is amazing!

Oatmeal Scotchies
from the back of the Nestle Butterscotch Morsels package

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 cups cake flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (two sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
11 oz package Nestle Butterscotch Morsels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Mix together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, mix butter, brown and granulated sugars, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer until fluffy. Add dry ingredients a little at a time. Stir in oatmeal until combined. Stir in Butterscotch morsels. 

I use a small ice cream style scoop to scoop them onto ungreased cookie sheets (but I do use parchment paper underneath cookies to make clean up easy!), bake for 7-8 minutes for a more chewy texture or 9-10 minutes to get a more crispy cookie.