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Tag Archives: hot smoking

Ciabatta James Morton Style

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Ciabatta is that lovely bread distinguished by all those holes! It’s light and flavoursome, keeps well and is also amazing toasted or made into bruschetta. In need of  a reliable recipe, I consulted James Morton in his great book Brilliant Bread for how to make this bread.

I was making ciabatta for the first time this week. I had friends over for dinner to celebrate the arrival of a shearers’ table which has been sojourning in the Southern Highlands for too long. I had hot-smoked a side of salmon and wanted some nice bread to serve it with. I ended up serving it with dill pickles, creme fraiche, focaccia and the ciabatta loaves. Here’s a photo of the hot-smoked salmon. For the recipe on how to hot smoke, check the recipe from my post on hot-smoking.

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Ciabatta can be tricky to make as the dough is very wet and hard to handle, so be prepared for this. James suggests using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, which makes the kneading easier.

I discovered that James has a simpler recipe online. It looks good, and I am keen try his “pared down” version.  See James’ simple ciabatta here.

But here is the recipe from James’ book Brilliant Bread that I have made successfully.

Ingredients

300g strong white flour
100g plain flour
7g instant yeast
10g salt
200g sourdough starter
350g tepid water
Semolina, for dusting

Method

Into the bowl of your electric mixer (I used my KitchenAid), rub the flours, yeast and salt, keeping the yeast and salt on separate sides of the bowl.  Add the starter and water and form into a extremely wet dough.

I followed James’ instructions for the electric mixer, here, although you could knead by hand for 10-15 minutes. Beat the dough with the paddle attachment of the mixer until it comes away from the sides and easily passes the windowpane test.

Cover your bowl with cling film (I use a shower cap) and leave to prove. This can be 2 hour room temperature prove or leave for 10-12 hours in the fridge. The dough should have at least doubled in size.

Turn the dough out on to a heavily floured surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough in half so both the top and bottom are both floured. Move it around a little to make sure the bottom is totally coated, and add more flour to the top. Flatten very gently into a  rough rectangle, then cut into 4 strips, being very careful not to deflate the dough and lose those bubbles which will be your holes!

Gently transfer each strip onto a heavily floured tea towel. As you move them, stretch them out until they are long and “slipper-like”. The loaves don’t need to be exact they are after all rustic loaves. Leave to prove on the tea towel for about 1 hour, or until wobbly and noticeably increased in size.

About 40 minutes before you bake, preheat your baking surface in the oven set at  240 degrees C or 220 degrees C fan forced.

Turn the ciabattas (be very gentle) on to a board dusted with semolina, so what was the bottom is now the top – this helps to redistribute the bubbles for a better crumb. Slide the loaves on to the hot baking surface and throw 1/4 cup of water on to the sides of the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. (I think I could have baked my loaves a little longer – they were not brown enough).

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Easter Friday Lunch

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On Good Friday 2014 we enjoyed the warm Sydney autumn weather with a fish lunch out in the garden. It was a chance to revisit some recipes  – with varying degrees of success!

Hot smoking salmon is really easy and I have now almost perfected the technique. Coconut rice is great with fish, and I added in Bill Granger’s  Asparagus, Pea and Feta Salad, minus the broad beans, of which I’m not overly fond.

Dessert was another attempt at cooking soufflés, this time a mixed berry soufflé. They looked cooked – but unfortunately erupted in a meringue Vesuvius when a spoon was plunged into the centre!

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So it’s back to the drawing board as far as soufflés go…

Hot Smoked Salmon with Coconut Rice:  https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/03/26/hot-smoked-chili-salmon/

Asparagus, Pea and Feta Salad

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Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, roughly chopped
250 g asparagus, halved lengthways and widthways
A handful of fresh or frozen peas
75 ml vegetable stock
100 g feta cheese, crumbled
A few mint leaves, torn
½ lemon, zested

Method

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and asparagus, season with sea salt and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Add the broad beans and peas, pour in the stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are just tender and the stock has reduced. Serve topped with the feta, mint and lemon zest.

Berry Soufflé:  https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/04/05/passionfruit-souffle/

I substituted a cooked berry, almost jam like mixture for the passionfruit.IMG_0670

Berry Mixture

Put 150 g mixed berries and 3  tbsp caster sugar in a saucepan and cook  gently until liquid is reduced and the fruit is of a jam-like consistency.

The prescribed 8 minute cooking time gave me soufflés that were cooked on top and runny in the middle. So longer cooking at a slightly lower temperature??

 

 

 

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