Ciabatta & Rosemary Olive Oil

I had a sad experience in Ciabatta making. I made the recipe from the bread makers apprentice, followed every pain staking step, for day I let the bread rise in the refrigerator, and in the end I had thick crumb wolf's white bread in airy ciabatta sheep clothing. The loaves looked perfect, but once you cut into them...well...after two days of waiting for this bread to be amazing, it's worth a good cry. Tasted great, just wasn't ciabatta. 

The bread you see above came after some painstaking internet searches. I read posts by other people who had the same issues with BMA ciabatta and read that this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine would work out FAR better, and praise you internet foodies, you were right. For half the trouble I got some beautiful ciabatta. I'd make a few changes sure, but beautiful bread! So beautiful it needs shared!

But what's good bread without good oil to dip it in? This is also my recipe for flavoring olive oil. I can it and store ahead for months of enjoyment. I hope you like it too!

as found on Epicurious with one tiny change

For biga
1 cup plus 1 tablespoonroom-temperature water (75°F to 80°F)
1 1/4-ounce package dry yeast
3 1/3 cups bread flour

For dough
Biga (starter dough; see above)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons room-temperature water (75°F to 80°F)
Pinch of dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons semolina flour*
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Additional semolina flour

Make biga:
Place water in processor. Sprinkle yeast over. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 8 minutes. Add 1 cup flour; process until blended. Scrape down sides of work bowl. Add 1 cup flour; repeat processing and scraping. Add remaining 1 1/3 cups flour. Process until small moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball (dough will be firm); place in large bowl. Cover; chill overnight (biga will soften, resembling thick oatmeal in texture).

Make dough:
Pull biga into walnut-size pieces; place in a clean large bowl. Add water, yeast and 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons semolina. Using 1 hand, squeeze ingredients together 2 minutes. Work dough 4 minutes by scooping sections from sides of bowl and pressing into center, blending into very soft, shaggy mass. Using spatula, scrape dough from sides of bowl into center. Let dough rest in bowl, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Sprinkle salt over dough. Using 1 hand, knead dough by rotating bowl 1/4 turn at a time, scooping dough from sides and folding down into center until dough starts to come away from sides of bowl, about 5 minutes. Scrape dough from hand and sides of bowl. Cover bowl with towel; let dough rest 20 minutes.

Rotating bowl 1/4 turn at a time, fold dough over onto itself 6 times; turn dough over in bowl. Cover with towel and let dough rest in bowl 20 minutes.

Bake bread:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle work surface with additional semolina. Turn dough out onto semolina. Using pastry scraper or large knife, cut dough in half; keep halves separated. Spray with olive oil and dust with bread flour. Let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Sprinkle 2 large baking sheets with additional semolina. Transfer each dough half, semolina side up, to 1 sheet. Stretch each dough half to 16x4-inch rectangle. Press fingertips into dough in several places to dimple surface (characteristic of this bread). Spray with olive oil and dust with bread flour. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool. (Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Double-wrap in aluminum foil to freeze.)

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil

2 cups olive oil
2 large lemons
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put two half pint mason jars, lids and rings in the oven to sterilize for twenty minutes.

Pour olive oil into a small pan. Grate the zest from the lemons and add it to the oil. Add the rosemary and bay leaf. Heat the oil over medium low heat until it reached 200 degrees. Cook at that temperature for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

Divide sprigs of rosemary between the jars. Using a funnel, pour the oil into the bottles. Cover tightly and invert (lid side down), to cool. Store at room temperature.