Jan 022012

Slices of ciabatta bread

During this Holiday Season, since I had two weeks off, I did a lot of baking, especially breads. Nothing like the smell of the bread in the oven…it is true that due to the cold weather it takes a longer time for the dough to rise, but with patience I was able to bake one of my most “proud” ciabatta, thanks to “La Cuoca Ciccia”. The only change that I did was to use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour and cut the recipe in half since it is just for my husband and I, but if you are baking for your family, double the recipe because you will regret if you do not…and this recipe is so simple, just require flour, salt, yeast, and water. This is sure a very simple recipe for an awesome ciabatta.

The texture of this loaf was PERFECT, crispy crust with a chewy crumb loaded with uneven holes…flavor? Slightly tangy, a complex flavor that it is hard to describe, you just have to try it…the danger of the ciabatta being PERFECT is that I could not stop nibbling on it…slowly but surely the whole loaf was gone sooner than I expected…now I am ready to bake more.

Enough of bragging about the ciabatta and let’s go to the recipe.


Biga Starter

½ cup bread flour
Pinch of yeast
¼ cup water at room temperature


1 cup bread flour
¼ teaspoon yeast
2/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup water at room temperature
All the biga prepared



Mix all the ingredients for the biga in medium bowl. Cover with plastic and leave at room temperature up to 24 hours or overnight


Place all the ingredients of the dough in the bread machine and the biga. Turn on the bread machine to the kneading setting and let it mix/knead by occasionally scrapping the side of the mixing bucket.

The dough will be moist, but after kneading for a while the gluten will form and the dough will not stick so much at the walls of the bucket.
If the dough does not pull away from the wall of the mixing bucket add ½ tablespoon of bread flour.

Once the cycle ends, place the stretchy dough in a very well oiled bowl. Make sure that the bowl is big enough because the dough will triple in size.
Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel.

Let rise until triple.

Dust flour onto a surface and gently scrape the dough. Dust more flour on top, form a rectangle by pushing the sides of the dough.

Flip the dough on a cookie sheet with a parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Top the dough with some more flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until double of its initial size.

An hour or so before baking, put the baking stone into the oven on the lowest rack and preheat to 475 degrees. Place a pan or tray underneath it on the floor of the oven to preheat with the stone.

Slide the parchment paper to the stone and add ice cubes to the empty tray. Close the oven door and let if bake for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature to 450 degrees and bake for another 20 minute, rotating the stone once in between the baking time.

Once done with the baking time, turn off the oven and at the end of cooking turn off the oven and leave the loaf for 5 minutes with the door slightly open.

Let the loaf cool on the rack and serve warm.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for ciabatta.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that ciabatta in Italian means slipper?

 Happy New Year and thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes!



Mar 072011

Ciabatta Bread Using Bread Machine

I love making bread, specially when the weather is cold…it is true that takes longer for the dough to rise, but once this part is done, the smell of the bread baking and the warmth that the hot oven fills the house…is just wonderful.

This is a very simple and easy recipe for ciabatta, and for both the biga and the main dough I used the bread machine. If you do not own one, you can adapt it, by mixing and kneading manually.


½ cup water
¾ cup bread flour
¼ teaspoon yeast

Main dough
½ cup water
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon olive oil
1½ cup bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon yeast


Place the ingredients of the biga in the bread machine bucket and set to mix for approximately 5 minutes, until all the flour is incorporated.

Turn the bread machine off and let the biga sit for 12 to 15 hours.

Next day, add all the ingredients listed in the main dough and set the machine to mix and knead.

Once the bread machine stop, place the dough in a lightly oiled container and cover with a oiled plastic film. Let is rise in a warm place until the dough size double. The dough will be more wetter than your normal bread dough.

With a spoon gently scoop the dough in a flourly baking sheet. Shape gently the dough as desired and sprinkle with flour and let it rise in a warm place until the dough double in size.

Bake in a preheated 425F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The Ciabatta can be stored in a freezer by wrapping in aluminum wrap and when ready to serve place in a 350 F oven for approximately 5~10 minutes.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that ciabatta in Italian means slipper?

Thank you for visiting Simple Recipes!


Jan 172011

Easy cinnamon rolls

These cinnamon rolls are very easy to make. I used the dough in the Red Bean Bun recipe which uses the water roux method. The texture of these rolls are very soft and so yummie. The nicest thing is the smell of the roll when baking…smell SO good.


1 bread dough from here

1/3 cup chopped pecan
1/3 cup raisin
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Open the bread dough in a rectangle of approximately 12 x 8 inches. Spread the butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar. Gently cover the rectangle with the chopped pecan and raisin. Roll it like a Swiss roll and cut the roll in 16 pieces and set in pan.

Cover with a clear plastic film and leave in a warm place until the dough have double its size.

Bake in a pre heat oven at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Once the rolls baked, remove them from the pan and place in a wire rack. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients of the glaze together and brush the glaze mixture over the warm rolls.

Serve slightly warm.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Sep 202010

White Sandwich Bread

After many and many attempts, to bake the perfect Asian bread, I think I found the perfect recipe which I am very pleased with the final product. This is a very simple recipe based on Alex Goh, “Magic Bread”.

This white bread, which can be adapted for whole wheat bread or sweet bread is very easy to make. The texture of this bread is so soft, almost moist and you can leave on your counter top (properly stored) for days without loosing the texture.

To knead the dough you can use a bread machine or manually. I can assure you that you will love this bread. Since I first made this bread, I’ve been making to all my co-workers and friends, and trust me, they love it…I’ll through the weeks post the various version of it. I know…I know that white bread is not healthy, but I had to start to learn from the very basic, so in the meantime, enjoy this perfect white sandwich bread.


Semi cooked dough
½ cup bread flour
50 ml boiling water

Main dough
1½ cup bread flour
½ cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon dry milk
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon dry yeast
175 ml water

1 tablespoon butter


Mix the ½ cup of bread flour with the boiling water. Mix well to form a “semi cooked dough”. Refrigerate the dough for approximately 12 hours, although I made this bread with the semi cooked dough only refrigerated for 1~2 hours and it came good as well.

If you are using a bread machine to knead the dough, follow the instructions of the machine. In my Zojirushi, I placed the water at the bottom of the bucket, then the dry ingredients, except the butter.

Mix well, until the main dough is formed, add the “semi cooked dough” that was stored in the refrigerator, knead until well blended and then add the butter, knead to form an elastic dough.

In the bread machine, I let the dough cycle run twice, making sure that the dough is well kneaded.

Let the dough proof until it sizes double.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces, roll and mold it round. Let it rest for approximately 10 minutes.

Roll each ball into a long strip and roll into a Swiss roll, let it rest for approximately 5~10 minutes and repeat it by flatting the Swiss roll and again into a long strip and again into a Swiss roll . Place the 4 Swiss rolls into the sandwich loaf pan and cover with a damp towel. Let it rise until 90% of the height of the pan. Place the pan cover and in the meantime preheat the oven at 350F.

Bake for 20~25 minutes at 350F.

After the baking time, remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. Slice the loaf once it is fully cool.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that sandwich loaf is also called pullman loaf? In France is known as pain de mie.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Feb 012010

These coconut rolls are yummie, it is very common in Brazil, where they are sold in the “padarias” which translate to bread stores. “Padarias” are found in every block in major cities and you can smell the bread baking during morning time.

I used my Zojirushi bread machine to make the dough. The rolls are filled with a tasty and creamy coconut filling. It is a treat as snack and even for breakfast.


½ cup milk
1 egg
1 cup bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup milk
¾ cup coconut flakes

1 egg to brush the rolls


Follow the instructions of your bread machine for dough setting.

After removing the dough from the bread machine, knock the dough back and rest the dough in the refrigerator overnight by wrapping the dough in plastic wrap or a container, just remember that the dough will rise throughout.

In the meantime, mix the ingredients of the filling and cook in low heat until a slightly creamy sauce. Do not over cook.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, knock it down gently and roll it open to a rectangle of approximately 1/3 to ½ inch thick.

Spread the coconut filling on top of the dough.

Roll it and cut into 16 pieces.

Place the rolls in the pan and let it rise in a warm place for approximately 1~2 hours or until double the size.

Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven for 15 ~ 20 minutes at 350F.

The leftover can be stored in the refrigerator and warm it up at the microwave.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!

Dec 072009

First, if you have not noticed…I changed the look of my site 🙂 It was kind of stressful since I was not sure if it would work, apparently is working so I am happy!

Second, I want to share a tip for making bread, the ones that you find in Asian bakery…My mom read at the newspaper that many Asian bakeries leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to a day before shaping and baking it. I too read somewhere that when the dough rises slowly the bread turns out to taste better. So I decided to play with my dough and the result is great. I cannot explain the texture of the bread, but believe me…is different, somehow more chewy, not excessive…and light. If you have been to Asian bakery you will understand what I am trying to say.


I made this rolls with the help of my Zojirushi Minibread machine…honestly I like to bake the bread out of the machine better since I can control the time that I want the dough to rise, since the temperature is so different though out the year. Anyway, it is a great kitchen appliance.

These rolls are great, very light and you can enjoy with your favorite jam, butter or even just like that!


1 egg and complete with milk to ¾ cup
2 ¼ cups bread flour
2 ½ tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange peel, finely grated





Place the egg and milk mix, vanilla extract and orange peel at the bottom of the bucket and add the dry ingredients.

Select the dough setting, let is complete the cycle.

Remove the dough and place in a container with lid, let it sit in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours.

When is ready to work with the dough, knead it down and make a long roll.

Cut in 16 pieces and roll into ball shape. Place the balls in the baking pan covered with a film and let it sit for 1 to 2 hours depend of the temperature, make sure that the dough is the double of the initial size.

Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes at 350F or until the top turns to a light golden brown.


Enjoy it!

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Oct 192009

A while ago I was so frustrated because I did not own a baguette rack, guess what, got one! And it was so much fun molding the dough to the rack, watch it rise and at last taste it…so take a look at my French baguettes. I was so excited when the bread came out of the oven I kept telling my husband how “cute” they look with the little dents on the bottom, just like the ones that you can get at the bakery.


¾ cup of water
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon gluten
1 ½ teaspoon yeast




Place the water first at the bottom of the bucket and add the dry ingredients.

Select the French bread setting, and remove the dough after the second rise by placing in a floury surface.

Divide the dough in three pieces, open the dough into a rectangular shape and roll until the shape and size is secured.

Cover the dough with an oiled clear film and leave in a warm place for approximately 1 to 1 ½ hour or until the dough is double of the original size.

Just before placing the dough in the oven make small cuts and spray the dough with lots of water.

Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes at 450F.



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