Saturday, December 15, 2012

Days Til Christmas: 10! Time to Bake Bread

Hard to believe Christmas is now only 10 days away!
I didn't post yesterday because I slept longer than expected after work and had to make a trip to Costco to buy a gift and some party supplies for the 7th Annual Bad Christmas Sweater Party tonight.
And by supplies I mean a gargantuan wheel of brie, 3 logs of goat cheese, and a near life time supply of both salsa and tortilla chips.
*None of these items will survive to see the end of the night. My friends love chips & dip and cheese. Especially cheese.
I decided this year to skip on baking cookies etc. So many of my wonderful friends bring delicious goodies. I'm opting to supply the less sweet treats.
Such as cheese.
I also want to cook up some pulled pork but that will depend on whether I can find the necessary cut of meat on my quick stop into Metro on my way home from work.
I did make two loaves of ciabatta bread though.
The recipe is the one I always use, courtesy of Trini Gourmet (found here)
I started yesterday with the sponge.

Mix 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast with 2 tablespoons warm water and let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Then add 1/3 cup warm water and 1 cup bread flour. Mix and fold until combined.
Then cover this sponge and let it sit tight for 24 hours.
Follow the rest of the recipe on the website (or search ciabatta on this blog) for the rest of the how-to.
For holiday variation I kneaded half of the dough with dried cranberries.

While I can't quite chew yet (I'm getting pretty sick of soup and oatmeal), I managed to eat a small piece of the bread and it was delicious. Straight outta the oven is how all bread should be devoured.
I was also busy getting creative with extra cardboard from a wine box.
One year to raise money I made a 'stripping Santa' whereby we'd remove an article of clothing every time we hit a dollar amount.
This year I've done something similar but less scandalous to mark our donation progress:

Santa's in his sleigh full of gifts on a giant reindeer. His sleigh will move to the appropriate dollar amount as we get there! There are also reigns that you can't see in this picture.
I went to town.
More to come on the Bad Sweater Party!

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