Ciabatta al Funghi

I have had problems pronouncing ciabatta. No matter how many times people have told me the right pronounciation, I always said it wrong the first time it comes out of my mouth. I always wanted to pronounce the “i”–saying chee-a-bah-tah instead of cha-bah-tah.

One of the bonus benefits of baking along with a group like The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is tweeting about our bread. I’ve previously mentioned learning how to spell international words and I can now proudly announce that I can correctly pronounce ciabatta. By tweeting so much about it, I’ve said it in my head so many times. Practice makes perfect.

Last September I made the poolish version of ciabatta out of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. You can see it HERE. I hesitated linking to my post about it. A lot has changed in a year. One is that my ciabatta now has holes! Not big massive holes, but there are holes. The other, as you know, is I will not be celebrating my anniversary this year. And if I want to get metaphorical like I did with my previous attempt at ciabatta, there were things obviously wrong with both my ciabatta and my marriage.

Back to the bread…this time around I decided to make the biga version and the Wild Mushroom (Ciabatta al Funghi) variation. This variation uses a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms. For the dried mushrooms, I used Trader Joe’s Mixed Wild Mushroom Medley which has: porcini, shiitake, black, and oyster mushrooms. I used cremini mushrooms for the fresh. The formula says to use a pound, but when I went shopping I mistakenly only bought a half a pound.

The dried mushrooms are rehydrated and added during the dough mixing-phase and the fresh mushrooms are sautéd with garlic in olive oil and added during the two stretch-and-fold turns.

Instead of shaping standard-sized ciabatta, I made twelve mini-ciabatta. The bread is incredibly creamy. It melts in my mouth. Every other bite, I’m hit with the taste of garlic. The bread tastes great plain, but it also makes a wonderful sandwich.

OMG! Cheese. Oh, and some quinoa and mushrooms too.

I love cheese. All kinds. I love cheese with bread and wine. I love cheese with fruit. I love cheese-smothered anything.

I have a new favorite cheese: La Tur.

imgp3427It’s an Italian triple-cream cheese made from cow, sheep, and goat milk. It’s heaven. Pure heaven. I bought it because I was looking for Crescenza and couldn’t find it. A Whole Foods employee recommended La Tur. I’m so glad WF did not have Crescenza.


I was looking for Crescenza for Quinoa and Crescenza with Sauteed Mushrooms {<—recipe here}, the next recipe out of Super Natural Foods on my list. Definitely try this recipe. The quinoa is cooked with wine, garlic, and onions. I used extra-virgin olive oil  instead of clarified butter. And of  course I used La Tur instead of Crescenza, which takes it to a whole other level. The mushrooms are quick and easy to make, sauteed in olive oil with a bit of red pepper flakes and salt.


I paired the quinoa with a green salad and Old-Fashioned Dinner Rolls {<—recipe here} from a The Art & Soul of Baking recipe.  I made the cloverleaf variation, which is just one roll divided into 3 and stuffed and baked  in a muffin tin. The roll was absolutely delicious, but when La Tur is in the picture it takes a back seat. 😛