Continential Breads 2

For our breads this week, we made focaccias and ciabatta. Both use exactly the same recipe, same method, except that for focaccia, we add olive oil. That is considered "fats". Ciabatta is actually an Italian sandwich bread. According to Mr Low, it's actually a very cheap bread in Italy, but somehow, when it comes to Singapore, it became expensive! Now I know why it's a cheap bread in Italy, because there are very very few ingredients used, and it's very easy to make too!

I prefer focaccias as the addition of olive oil and rosemary herbs really made it very fragrant. The bread itself is not sweet, it taste really good! We sort of "mass produced" the focaccias!

Mixing the doughs until all leave the side of the bowl. Remember to do the membrane test!

We made so much focaccia dough that it has to be splitted into three containers for it to proof. Remember to grease the bottom with olive oil before putting in the dough to proof.

After proofing, we took out the dough and put it on a "floured" bed. Mr Low said, "floured bed, not your bed!" Hahaha... Who will put bread dough on the bed?? Not me!! Then we even out the dough, cut and put it on the baking tray for a second time proof.

Another two working table of focaccia doughs! After the 2nd proof, we created "dimples" on the dough, adding olive oil and rosemary herbs. Then we baked it in the oven. Look at how high it rose!!

Trays and trays of baked focaccias, awaiting distribution (to us!) The actual internal of the focaccia should contained big holes. That was what Mr Low told us. He said "Singapore" style is very compact, which is not right!

Finally, I brought home two big bags of focaccia and ciabatta. They looked so much alike, don't they? I think they are "cousins"... :p

When we were preparing our dough, Mr Low brought out "stollen bread" for us to eat. He wanted to let us try the bread so that we can sign up for this class if we are interested. I've never thought much of this "stollen" thingy, knowing that it's really sweet. But after trying this, I really like it. He said we have to cut it very very thinly and eat it chilled, which was exactly the way he served us! But I think about it, it's very similar to "hot cross buns"! Maybe I'll just do some internet surfing for "stollen", I should be able to find some very good recipes! Anyone tried baking "stollen" before?


The following day, I made a Ciabatta sandwich with cheese & ham as my lunch before my Cookie Art workshop. I bought kopi to go with it. It's so satisfying. I didn't want to pay a premium for gourmet coffee though I know it goes better! I'm happy just to have (cheap & good) kopi with it! ;)
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Gina Choong said...
August 24, 2009 at 8:19 AM

Jane, Stollens are often eaten around Christmas in Singapore. I have made that before. some years back. to me its just a fruit bread. When I use to work, I use to buy good Stollen from hotels in Singapore. Seems like no bakeries back then could do a decent good one. But I think its nicer if you can make it on your own.

Passionate About Baking said...
August 24, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Hi Gina,
Thanks for the information.Yup, I search the web and found out a little of the history. So it's quite the right time to learn now, JIT for x'mas! I want to try it myself too! :)

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