Either it was all my fault or Daniel Leder lied to me.  It was probably my fault.  You see I didn’t use his recipe, just his technique.  Well, as usual, I didn’t really follow the recipe either. But… he said in his book Local Breads that you could turn the ciabatta loaves into rolls that would be perfect for sandwiches.  Well maybe Daniel Leder has been through Weight Watchers because these rolls came out dinner roll size.  Not at all what I would have thought of as sandwich size at all.  Unless you are still after six months reducing your portion sizes like a good little girl and eating the exact proper serving of bread.  Yep, my delusions of grandeur were yet again reduced to… well… propriety.  Good for me I guess, since I am still trying to lose weight, grumble, grumble, grumble…


Perhaps I am complaining for nothing.  What these rolls lack in size they make up for in flavor.  I used whole-wheat flour for the sponge and although this is probably a tactical error when it comes to ciabatta (you see, you want big holes and whole-wheat flour is a dense and wily beast), it sure gave my rolls a wonderful nutty flavor.  I’m thinking that I’ll probably double the size of the rolls next time, take the hit for a double serving of bread, and have the sandwich rolls of my dreams.  For now, I have wonderful dinner rolls.  Now if only I had some soup.


Oh, and by the way, if you love bread, check out YeastSpotting on Susan’s Wild Yeast blog.  It’s funny.  Embarrassing story, but true:  when I first saw YeastSpotting I actually wondered how Susan was finding all of these great bakers writing about their bread each week.  My thought was Susan has a lot of time on her hands.  Well duh!  It would help if I would read the blogs I visit instead of just looking at the pretty pictures.  So Susan, per the instructions on your blog, I submit my ciabatta rolls for this week’s yeast spotting!



Ciabatta Rolls

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking



½ cup 1% milk, warm (about 105 degrees)

1 ¼ cups room temperature water

1 cup well fed sourdough starter

2 cups whole-wheat flour



2 cups white bread flour

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp olive oil

Extra flour for dusting the work surface.


The night before you plan to bake, Stir together milk, water, starter, and whole-wheat flour in a large bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the sponge sit out at room temperature overnight (at least 8 hours).


The next day, transfer the sponge to the bowl of your stand mixer.  Attach a bread hook to the mixer.  Add bread flour, salt and olive oil.  Run the mixer at the lowest speed until the ingredients are combined then raise the speed a notch and let the dough knead for 7 minutes.  Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to ferment 3 hours or until the dough doubles in volume.


Flour your work surface liberally (the dough will be wet and sticky).  Line two baking sheets with parchment.  Pour the dough out onto the floured surface and pat it into a 10”x12” rectangle.  Using a pizza cutter cut the dough into 2”x3” rectangles.  Use a bench scraper to carefully scrape up and move the rolls to a parchment lined baking sheet.  These rolls should be rustic but be careful as you move them.  They will stick to the work surface, push in on themselves and stick to you.  The nicest rolls I made were the ones that I was carefully able to pick and move in a rectangular shape.  Once the rolls have been moved to their new parchment lined home, cover the baking sheets carefully with a clean dishtowel and allow the rolls to rise 1 ½ – 2 hours until puffy.


Prepare your oven:  Make sure the racks are in the middle and lower thirds of the oven.  While the rolls are rising (maybe a half hour before baking time) preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.  When the oven is hot, add the sheets of rolls and a custard cup full of water (for steam) to the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the rolls from the oven and cool completely before enjoying.







If you close your eyes, this bread is perfect

Sometimes the best tools in the world are nothing if the person using them doesn’t use them right.  Case in point.  I now have a banneton and a lame’ thanks to my good friend R.  I have a baking stone and a peel.  I have good ingredients to work with… but…I can’t seem to make a pretty bread to save my life sometimes.


Things started out ok.  Maybe I didn’t pinch the seam on the bread very well when I formed my boule but doesn’t that bread dough look wonderful!mos_dough

I thought I slashed the dough deep enough but the bread came out looking like the Elephant Man with a quasi-religious tattoo on his head.


But…once I cut the bread open, I saw that the crisp crusted bread with the soft pillowy interior I was promised by the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book was spot on.  So my bread may be ugly but wow was it wonderful!


The original recipe wasn’t whole grainy enough for me so I swapped some of the white flour out for more whole wheat.  Enjoy!


Maple Oat Sourdough Bread

Adapted from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking


1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

¾ cup water


1 tbsp ripe sourdough starter

1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour

½ cup water


All of the soaker

All of the Levain

1 ½ cups stone ground whole-wheat flour

1 ½ cups unbleached white flour

¾ cup water

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 ½ tsp salt



The night before you plan to bake, combine oats and water for soaker.  In a separate bowl, combine sourdough starter, whole-wheat flour and water, mix well.  Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature 12 hours or overnight.

The next day, the levain should be puffy like a little bread dough (at least doubled in size).  Combine the levain, the soaker and the rest of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Attach a bread hook to the mixer.  Mix on low until combined and then raise the speed one notch to knead the dough for 6 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with a dishtowel and allow it to rise until doubled, at least one hour.  (I went grocery shopping and came back 3 hours later.  The dough was fine since it was cold out).

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Pat it into a rectangle.  Fold the dough into thirds like a letter.  Pat it out into a rectangle and fold it in thirds again.  Put the dough back in the oiled pan.  Allow it to rise another hour.

Heavily flour a banneton.  Carefully remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a boule (round) pulling the edges down and under until the dough is round with a lot of surface tension.  Transfer the dough to the banneton and allow the dough to rise covered for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours. 

A half hour before you want to bake, put a baking stone and a cake pan into the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Cover a peel with a generous dusting of cornmeal and then carefully transfer the dough to the peel.  Use a pastry brush to brush off any excess flour.  Slash the dough with a lame.  Use the peel to transfer the dough to the baking stone.  Add a cup of water to the hot cake pan for steam.  Bake 15 minutes and then lower the heat to 400 degrees.  Bake an additional 30 – 35 minutes.  Remove the bread to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.