In amongst recent creations in my kitchen this week, and in between lots more semolina sourdough, I have made my first (and second) ciabatta loaves, my first (and second!) pretzel rolls, and lots of confit garlic.
The second batches of ciabatta and pretzels were better than the firsts, but then the firsts were pretty good too, so I was happy. And the chief taster and bread eater in the house loved and at them all, so I must have got something right”
For the ciabatta, I followed this recipe and took very useful notes from Sally’s post.
I possibly rushed the first batch, because for the second batch I gave the biga more time to come up to room temperature (from the fridge), plus I made it all by hand.
Very bubbly biga
I followed Gingers recipe for the pretzel rolls. It includes dunking the uncooked dough into a bath of bicarbonate of soda, which was a first for me! That’s what creates the darker coloured chewy exterior.
The first time I made the buns (above), I placed the portioned and cut dough onto baking paper on a tray to refrigerate overnight (as per the recipe) but the buns stuck to the paper and remained very soft so I had to pull off what I could which meant that they lost their shape. The second time (below), I floured the dough well and floured the tray well and it worked perfectly.
I think this is the perfect time to note, that flours behave differently around the world and country, some require more water than others. It’s something we have to feel our way with..
I’ve heard the term confit on so many cookery shows but never know what it means. Having seen confit garlic coming up recently, I decided to look it up. To confit historically was to preserve an ingredient by cooking it for a long period over/in a low heat in oil, grease of sugar water. This way food stuffs could be preserved for long periods.
Wikipedia says: “The term is usually used in modern cuisine to mean long slow cooking in oil or fat at low temperatures, many having no element of preservation, such as dishes like confit potatoes.” It’s typically a method used to cook meat, but can be used for vegetables too. Therefore when I saw Sally produce confit garlic and chilli, I decided to give it a go.
I do love my garlic peeler, the roll of rubber in the photo; a close friend bought it for me a few years ago and it was the perfect gift!
I made my confit in the oven (the photo above shows the oil still bubbling – warning: it’s VERY HOT) .
I submerged lots of peeled garlic cloves in enough olive oil to cover them and cooked at 140C for 45-60 minutes until they became soft and sticky, but not completely broken down. I then drained them immediately (if you leave them to cool in the oil, they sink into the oil and become completely sodden, which I didn’t like so much), let them cool then stored them in a jar, well the ones that I didn’t eat there and then…!
Once cooled I also stored the oil and used it on everything!
The garlic is soft and tasty and can be used in dishes, or merely spread on a piece of toast, as I did here…
These were all fun to make and learn new processes, and I’ll make them all again!
So, now it’s time for this week’s Fiesta Friday, and Angie very kindly featured my semolina sourdough in last week’s picks 😊