Parfait! Bacon Jam Ciabatta Rolls

09CiabattaBaconRollsbfLOLast week’s Parfait! was bacon jam, a kindofa cunning little condiment that folk seem to really enjoy.

My thought was, instead of spreading the jam on a cracker – or just eating out of the jar with a spoon as some folk I could name do – why not bake it into a loaf of bread, jelly-roll style? I tried it out two ways, bake the whole roll and slice later; and slice the roll into serving sizes before baking. Both worked fine, tho’ I believe I prefer the caramelized edges of the slices better…

•1/8 tsp active dry yeast
•1/2 cup warm water
•1 cup flour

01bBigabfLOCiabatta Dough:
•1/2 tsp active dry yeast
•2 tbsp warm milk (105°‐115°)
•2/3 cup room-temperature water
•1 tbsp olive oil
•2 cups flour
•1-1/2 tsp salt
•Olive oil (for the bowl)
•Pizza stone (I use a cast iron pan)

•Bacon jam
•Dijon mustard

First, make the Biga by sprinkling the yeast over the warm water in a bowl and letting rest for five to ten minutes.

02aDoughKneadbfLOAdd the flour and stir only five times – it’ll be crumbly – then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 to 24 hours.

To make the dough; stir the 1/2 teaspoon of yeast into warm milk and set aside to rest for five minutes.

Add the warm milk mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer along with the biga, water, olive oil and remaining 2 cups of flour.

02bDoughRisenbfLOUsing the dough hook, mix at low speed just until the flour is moistened.

Add the salt, then knead the dough on medium speed (‘6’ or ‘7’ on my Cuisinart) for ten minutes, until the dough has cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl, pulled into a ball, and is smooth and elastic.

Remove the dough (I just let it hang on the dough hook), coat the mixing bowl with a nice drizzle of olive oil, and then return the dough to the bowl, giving it a turn or two to coat all sides with the oil.

03aDoughRolledOutbfLOCover with plastic wrap and let rise for 12 to 24 hours – see, this is why I always start my ciabatta just before going to bed; there’s a lot of rising time, but if you do it over the course of two nights, you are good to go with freshly baked bread first thing on that final morning.

Punch down the dough and turn onto a floured board.

05DoughBaconJambfLODivide the dough in half, shape one into a more-or-less oval nine inch long loaf, and set aside on a piece of parchment paper.

Roll the other half out into a rectangle, flipping to get both sides lightly dusted with flour.

Leaving one long edge of the dough clear, spread with Dijon mustard, and then the bacon jam, patting it gently to compact it.

Roll the dough fairly tightly, nudging into shape as needed.

06BaconJamRolledbfLONow, we come to options…

You can transfer the roll as is to a roll of parchment paper alongside the plain loaf, cover both with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let them rest for two hours…

or, you can slice your roll into individual pieces, then transfer those to parchment paper, cover with a damp towel and let rest for two hours.

07CiabattaRollBakedbfLONote: parchment paper is key! The bread and whole roll seem to bake better on the parchment, and it will help to transfer both to your hot stone. As for the individual slices, I tried baking them on a rack to allow excess juices to escape and was rewarded with a bunch of sticky rolls that don’t necessarily look too, too good, but taste just fine.

About an hour after you’ve covered your loaf/roll/slices with that clean, damp kitchen towel, heat your oven to 450º and 08CiabattaBaconRollSlicebfLOpop a pizza stone in on the center rack – I use a cast iron ‘stone’.

Loaf/roll/slices now well and truly rested, and pizza stone nicely hot, place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and transfer the loaf/roll/slices onto the stone.

Bake for ten minutes, then remove the pan of water and bake for another six or so (slices) to twelve minutes (loaf or roll).

Bacon jam loaf or rolls, what’s not to love?

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