One thing that really annoys me is buying something and then finding out that you've been duped by mis-advertising; Examples of this include (the perennial restaurant favorite) "Baked" potatoes that have been microwaved, Sweet Chilli Sauce that contains no chillies and Five Spice Powder that contains more than just fives spices.

I now add Ciabatta to this list. I am fed up with buying bread that's been labeled "ciabatta" only to find once I cut into it that it's just another dense white bread. The straw that broke the camels back was a visit to an "authentic" italian bakery where I bought a large ciabatta. With much anticipation I rushed home with it, tore off a large chunk and stopped. Where was the soft porous, almost waxy crumb? I checked it with the focaccia that my wife bought and it was identical. The only difference between the two seemed to be the focaccia came with toppings.

In a way I can understand why- Focaccia dough is a lot easier to make as opposed to a ciabatta dough which needs a biga starter and has to be "swept" by hand (a thousand times according to the recipe I have) which isn't easy because it's a wet dough. Because of the effort involved I rarely make it. Maybe it's something I should do this weekend. And then go show the results to the "authentic" italian bakery, screaming "HERE THIS IS HOW PROPER CIABATTA IS SUPPOSED TO BE" while beating them over the head with the stale remains of their uneaten effort.

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posted by hem on 18 May 06 - 4773 views


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