There seems to have been an accidental Italian theme on the food front this weekend with risotto yesterday and a ribolitta this evening.  Oh, and a cheeky Danieli gelato after a spot of strawberry picking (a scoop of pistachio and another of mandarin sorbet, both sublime).  The ice cream was probably rather unnecessary after eating rather a lot of delicious cake at two toddler birthday parties but I really couldn’t resist!

It has been a while since I made a ciabatta but I needed one to go in the ribolitta.  Despite it being a very satisfying bread to make it does tend to take over the whole kitchen as you need a virtually pourable dough and I always end up with pools of doughy water and clouds of flour everywhere.  I have to say it was a bit of a made up effort and far from perfect but I still managed to acheive the open texture I was looking for.

In fact it must have been rather better than I thought as neither of the two loaves survived beyond Saturday lunchtime when we ate them with some Neufchatel we bought from the farm/agricultural college we visited in Normandy (we met the cows who provided the milk for it)!  Then I had to make an emergency bread machine Italian style loaf while we were out on Sunday.  Not quite the same but it just about did the job.

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