Recipe no. 3: ciabatta.

One of my most favorite foods in the whole world is bread.  I’ve always had the impression that baking bread is one of the most daunting things to bake, and for someone like me who doesn’t like measuring, impossible to do right.

That’s what I thought, anyways, until my brother in law’s girlfriend, Jessie, proved me very wrong.  I’m not sure what was more tempting, the smell of Jessie’s homemade bread, or the fact that she was convinced I could bake a loaf just as good.  It was all over by the time I buttered a slice and she handed me the Holy Grail of all recipe books: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  It is the best $13.65 you will ever spend on Amazon.com in your life.

Some of our favorite bread recipes are Spinach and Feta,whole wheat sandwich, and European Peasant.  My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year is Ciabatta. The hardest part of this recipe is trying not to eat the whole loaf yourself… I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve failed miserably several times.

Here is a recipe for my brother, Stephen’s, bread dip:

Start with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Add to the oil: a few cloves of crushed garlic, some grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, a pinch of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, and a few calamata olives.  Dip and devour!

olive oil dip
olive oil dip