Saturday, February 25, 2017

... and Another Phase of Renovation Has Been Completed!

This year, we have focused our attention on the ground floor, namely the (my) office, dining room and the entrance hallway (which included the staircase and the hallway on the second floor). The staircase was the most time consuming as it required restoration of the original wood and carvings, as well as original baseboards. Here is the end result:

Entrance and the Staircase

Dining Room:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy Ciabatta Recipe

Oh, the smell of fresh bread! It is simply irresistible! Today, I will share with you a very quick and easy Ciabatta recipe I have tried (and perfected) over the weekend...
  • Warm Water (100-110F) - 2 cups
  • Sugar - 3 tbsp (or slightly less, if the bread is too sweet)
  • Salt - 2 tsp (or more, if you prefer the bread more savory)
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Flour - 4 cups
  • Dry Yeast - 1 3/8 tsp
1. Place all the ingredients (in order) listed above in a mixer (or bread machine) and let it knead for approximately 5 minutes. If using an automated bread machine, simply select "dough" option and skip to step 3.
2. Let the dough stand for approximately one (1) hour in a warm place, covered with a wet towel. Resist the urge to lift the towel, as it will dry (and chill) the air.
3. Divide the dough into two halves and shape it as desired. Slightly dust with flour and let it stand for additional 15-20 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
4. Preheat the oven to 425F, and bake the bread on a middle rack for 25-30 minutes. During the first 5-10 minutes, moist the top of the bread (with a water bottle or simply sprinkle with your hand) to let it rise to its full potential and to have the delicious golden crust.
Enjoy the freshly baked bread responsibly!