Mar 15 2012

100% Whole Wheat Quick Ciabatta Recipe

Posted by Seth in Bread, Food

100% Whole Wheat Ciabatta Bread - Sundried Tomato, Garlic, Basil version

Ciabatta bread is one of my favorite breads to make sandwiches with, or just toast up and top for breakfast.  Finding a whole wheat one (aka ciabatta integrale), however, is near impossible, so, I make my own.  I have a goal to scratch make as much food as I possibly can, and only buy ingredients instead of the finished product, so I’ve been developing many bread recipes lately and this is the second one that I’ll be sharing.

Inspiration comes from here

The recipe that I based mine off of is not 100% Whole Wheat..  so I’ve adapted it to make it 100% by adding Vital Wheat Gluten and Diastatic Malt Powder.  The rest of the recipe and process is about the same. 

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, get one.  Measuring by weight will give you consistent results with making bread, versus measuring by volume.

This is a very wet dough .. don’t be alarmed 🙂

Looking to make a more interesting loaf?  Throw in some ingredients during the mixing stage!!  In these pictures, you’ll see my version of the bread which includes Sundried tomato, garlic, and basil.


  • 500g Whole Wheat flour
  • 475g Warm Water (~2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diastatic Malt Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 15g salt
  1. Place all ingredients into your stand mixer, and mix all ingredients with the paddle until combined. Let rest 10 minutes
  2. Leaving the paddle in, start working the dough on the lowest speed setting for about 10-30 minutes.  You are looking for the dough to separate from the sides of the bowl, and start to climb up the paddle – if it climbs too soon, switch to the dough hook.
  3. Pour into a well oiled container and let it triple – this should take about 2-3 hours
  4. Dump the dough (use a spatula if you have to) on to an extremely well floured surface, and cut it into half.  Stretch both halfs out to oblong rectangle shapes, and place on to well oiled pieces of parchment paper.  Cover them with well oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. If you are baking on baking sheets, put the dough and parchment paper on them now.  After you have tried this recipe once, you will see how the dough behaves and will be able to safely transfer on to a well floured peel and bake on a stone. 
  5. Have your oven to 500F by the end of the 45 minutes, and also have a few cups of boiling water ready at the 45 minute mark. Also, place a crappy cooking sheet or baking pan on the bottom shelf.
  6. Flipping the dough before baking is in the original recipe, but I’ve skipped it without noticing any difference.  The dough will be easily flattened, so be careful with it.  It does have quite an oven spring, but not enough to undo any damage you’ve done.   If you take the flipping route, I suggest placing a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough, and then flipping the whole shebang upside down to transfer – don’t pinch it with your fingers. Remember, this dough is very sticky.
  7. Place the dough in to the oven, either on pans or transfer on to a stone.  Before closing the door, pour a cup of your boiling water in to your crappy pan on the bottom shelf, or directly on the oven floor,  and quickly close the door.  Every 3 minutes for the first 9 minutes, open the door and quickly spritz the walls with a squirt bottle of water, or pour more water on your pan.  This steam is what creates a nice crust on the bread.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until you have a nice brown bread and internal temperature registers 205F.


Apr 11 2011

What do I do with all of…. these sun dried tomatoes?

Posted by Seth in Food, Good Deals

I buy and cook in bulk, so often, I am left with ridiculous quantities of ingredients.  This is the first of many posts in which I figure out what to do with some of this stuff.

First on my list, Sun Dried Tomatoes. Lee and I split a 5 pound bag of these for about 13 bucks at the restaurant supply.  (edit: you can find them cheaper at one of my favorite spots, the Asian Market – H-mart on 70)

Sun Dried Tomatoes in the processor

Because of some work on other recipes I also had too much Basil and Italian Parsley, which go great with the tomatoes.  I don’t know what to call this, but it’s good. Into the food processor goes

  • Sun Dried tomatoes (about a handful)
  • Garlic (heaping spoon of minced….  never enough garlic in my house, but don’t let it overpower the herbs)
  • Basil (fresh of course)
  • Italian Parsley (…. yep still using fresh stuff)
  • Parmesan (just a dusting)
  • Olive oil (depends on the consistency you want)

Bunch of fresh, tasty things all combined

Pulse it a bunch of times… now you have a nice, fresh tasting, chunky spread.  Use it on some toasted up crunchy bread, crackers, or hell, even on top of pasta.  I suppose you could leave the processor going and make some puree.  I took out some of my trusty low-calorie cocopop things and spread it on there for a fugazi bruschetta.

The result, a fresh tasting spread and low calorie snack


The credit for the next thing to do with these things goes to Lee.  Put the tomatoes in a pint mason jar, along with some italian seasoning and garlic, and top off with olive oil.  Put it in the cabinet and forget about it for a few weeks.  Come back, and you have some tasty tomatoes, as well as sundried tomato infused olive oil that is great for cooking.  Slice up the tomatoes and cover pasta, or even use these in some……. wait, nevermind, that’s for another blog post 🙂

Goodness in a Jar.

Apr 04 2011

Processing, Take 1: Pesto

Posted by Seth in Food

Thanks to a Kohl’s 30% off coupon, and a big sale, I picked myself up a nice Cuisinart Food Processor. I was going to pick up a stand mixer but I first consulted Lee and we figured it would be better to loan each other big ticket kitchen items like this, instead of buying each for ourselves.  Makes sense to me.

Cuisinart Food Processor

I had an extra ridiculous amount of Basil due to a restaurant supply addiction, and an itch to use the food processor, so it is Pesto time.  Pesto is a simple, fresh tasting spread or sauce, and has countless uses.  It’s SO easy to make and have ready fresh for a meal.

Pesto ingredients before processing


  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan (romano will do)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3rds cup pine nuts (apparently you can substitute walnuts, I will next time – pine nuts are EXPENSIVE!)
  • 6 cloves minced garlic


  • If your pine nuts and garlic are not chopped, toss them in the food processor and give it a few pulses to chop them
  • Add the basil and garlic, and turn the processor on.  Slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube until it is all in there, stopping when necessary to scrape the sides of the processor. You want to make a puree so keep going until you get there.
  • When it’s done, add the cheese and pulse a few times

Makes: 2 cups, eh, maybe a little more than that. Nothing is exact with my cooking, you should know that by now.

Press some buttons and pour in oil, voila, pesto


Air is the enemy of Pesto.  Leave it out and watch it turn funny colors in a few minutes.  If you are going to freeze it, some say to leave out the cheese, but I didn’t do that and it’s fine.  What I did do though, was pipe it into ice cube trays and covered closely with plastic wrap. When frozen, I transferred to my trusty vacuum sealed bags and they will be in the freezer until called upon.

Piped into ice cube tray and ready for the freezer (don't forget to cover with plastic wrap)


Now that you have all this Pesto, what are you going to use it for? I highly recommend using it minutes before you are ready to eat it, here are some thoughts that come to my mind

  • Pesto spread on some nice crusty Italian bread
  • Pesto on some DIY pizza
  • Pesto on pasta…  that’s an easy one
  • Marinade for Chicken
  • the list goes on…