London | Borough Market | Ciabatta and Grilled Sandwiches

This ciabatta recipe is based on Peter Reinhart's recipe from the "Artisan Breads Every Day."

I Am Back, Am I

I mean, my body is in Texas now, but my vivid dreams and memories are still in Scotland… I go through my pictures and notes trying to categorize them, sort by subject. It’s impossible — everything is intertwined. I am going to pick one thread at a time. No order, no specific structure, random choices.

Culinary adventures are always an important part of my travels. I had a plan how to make my taste buds happy. Since I’ve been less and less interested in fancy restaurants and culinary celebrities, I wanted to concentrate on artisanal/craft foods and drinks found effortlessly. I’d still make my choices, but only out of what was on my way. My special interests during this trip were Scottish craft beer, single malts, smoked fish, haggis, and blood pudding.

At the Bottom of The Shard

For the first four days of our trip we stayed at Shangri-La in London. Besides beautiful window views and walking distances to many attractions, its location is perfect for breakfasts at Borough Market. Some articles and ads for guided tours might trick your imagination to picture this market huge and difficult to navigate.

Borough Market, London
Borough Market, London

Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, London
Bread Ahead, Borough Market, LondonIn reality, it is relatively small and well organized. In the morning, with no crowds, you’d need about an hour for the first visit — walk around, sample some food, choose what you want to eat, and have breakfast. Everything is fresh, and you get all the attention you want as the first customer. The same market becomes very different in the evening; the comparison is not in favor of the latter. No matter what time of the day, Borough Market is one of the best places in London to represent artisanal foods and drinks from different regions of the U.K.

What Matters?

I walked inside the pavilion and stopped in front of the… bread — completely out of my agenda, but so beautiful and appetizing! Bread Ahead enthusiasts bake it fresh every morning. They also share their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for artisan baking in the Bakery School right there on the market. Basically, because of this bread I rediscovered grilled sandwiches. Gastronomica was one of the protagonists of Borough market’s revival over a decade ago. They offer mouthwatering food to the local community as well as the gastro-tourists in search for original and specialty foodstuffs. They offer stunning panini and piadina (hot grilled sandwiched) with the best ingredients. My favorite was a combination of ciabatta, ham, fresh mozzarella, and arugula. While high quality stuffing was important, for me the bread alone made the difference. Easy to bite and chew, with perfect crispy and light crust, ciabatta was not the same as oily loafs I could find in most Austin bakeries.

Yes, You Can!

Ciabatta is one of the easiest breads to make at home. There was a time when I tried different ciabatta recipes and techniques and baked it quite regularly. Yet, it never occurred to me to use this bread for hot sandwiches. It’s funny that this amazing Italian bread came back to me from London…

Grilled Sandwiches
Grilled Sandwiches

Ciabatta for Grilled Sandwiches

This ciabatta recipe is based on Peter Reinhart's recipe from the "Artisan Breads Every Day."
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 22 mins
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bread, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe
Servings: 8 portions

Ingredients

for dough (8 portions)

  • 567 g wheat flour unbleached bread, King Arthur
  • 11 g kosher salt
  • 7 g Saf Instant Yeast
  • 454 g water cold (55°F)
  • 14 g olive oil

Pickled Beetroot and Fresh Goat Cheese Sandwich (1 portion)

  • 1 ciabatta roll sliced in half
  • 2 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 3 slices pickled beetroot sliced
  • 1 handful arugula fresh

Ham and Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich (1 portion)

  • 1 ciabatta roll sliced in half
  • 6 slices Mozzarella fresh, 1/4" thick
  • 2 slices ham applewood smoked, Central Market brand
  • 1 handful arugula fresh

Ham and Smoked Cheddar Sandwich (1 portion)

  • 1 ciabatta roll sliced in half
  • 2 oz smoked Cheddar mine was Scottish Highland, grated
  • 2 slices ham applewood smoked, Central Market brand
  • 5 chives flowers fresh
  • 5 leaves lemon basil fresh

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine first four ingredients. Mix them well and let the dough rest and hydrate for 5 minutes.
  • Add oil and mix again. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes at room temperature (~72°F).
  • Stretch and fold the dough, let it rest covered for another 20 minutes. Repeat 2 more times every 20 minutes. See STRETCH AND FOLD TECHNIQUE demonstrated by Peter Reinhart.
  • After three stretch-n-folds, you have an option 1) to bake it the same day or 2) to develop a better taste by slower fermentation in low temperatures — place the dough in a container, cover tightly, and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • Start with the dough rested at room temperature for about 1 hour if it was previously refrigerated. Preheat oven to 500F, stone inside, on middle shelf.
  • Generously dust your working area with flour. You can either wet or flour your hands and a scraper to work with the dough. I prefer flour. Gently remove the dough from the container. Be careful not to deflate developed bubbles. Using scraper, portion and shape ciabatta rolls. Turn them seam side down on floured area, cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest for about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
  • Bake ciabatta rolls on the hot stone for 10-15 minutes on the middle rack, and steaming pan with 1/2 cup hot water on the bottom rack.
  • Cool rolls to room temperature on wire rack before slicing.

to make hot sandwiches

  • If you own a panini sandwich grill, you know what to do. If, like me, you do not eat hot sandwiches every day and do not want to crowd your kitchen with extra device, use pizza stones or cast iron pans instead. Heat them inside the oven or directly on gas burner. Assemble your sandwiches and press them between hot stones.
    Hot Sandwiches
  • Ingredients for Grilled Sandwiches
  • Ciabatta for Grilled Sandwiches
  • Grilled Sandwiches

Notes

Прекрасное видео Алены Спириной и Марии Кудряшовой, программа "Честный хлеб" — Чиабатта и Фокачча.
Ciabatta for Grilled Sandwiches