It’s a girl!

That’s right, a girl…well more like a woman. A food loving, hockey loving, bacon loving woman! And I’m not talking about me.
A while back now Kristen of Dine and Dish came up with an idea for veteran food bloggers to “adopt” a fellow food blogger who has been food blogging for less than a year. Who did I luck out getting? Rene of Pages, Pucks and Pantry. That’s right, a hockey fan. And come to find out we have a lot more common than we knew. From our love of bacon to The Girls’ Next Door. She owns more cookbooks than me(so jealous). Both our mother’s are cancer survivors. And we like our Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese to be crispy on top.
Rene is off to a great start with her blog. She updates it often. In various forms. She has what she calls Small Bites which tell little tidbits about things from what chefs are visiting the San Francisco area(she lives in San Jose) to toilet shaped ice cream bowls(can you imagine) to what coffee drinks Starbucks are currently offering. She has recipes, I plan on making the Twinkie Tiramisu…white trashish…yes I am quite sure…but it’s probably pretty tasty! She highlights the wide variety of cookbooks she owns(and she owns a lot). And like any good fan the topic of hockey sneaks in.
I think it is great that her blog has a focus. So often many blogs do not. I think a well focused blog helps make for a successful blog. And that is one of my tips to new food bloggers:
1. Figure out what you are trying to say. I have people ask me all the time if all I do is eat bread and sweets…um no. That is just the main direction of my blog because that is what I seem to know the most about and therefore can help more people that way. We eat plenty of real food people. :) Having a focus to your blog is a good thing.
2. Don’t go around to other people’s sites and ask them to read your blog. Don’t email them and ask them to be on their blog roll. It’s a tad desperate and not the way to go about it. Desperate women don’t get men and desperate food bloggers don’t get readers. Stick with doing what you love and the people will come. BUT it will take awhile. I blogged for well over a year before I had more than two people leaving comments. If you want other people to read you blog leave a comment on theirs. You have to leave your URL when you post a comment on most blogs so it is already there. More likely than not if you leave a comment to that blogger they will, just out of curiosity go and see yours.
3. If you want to improve the traffic on your blog enter blogging events. There are lots of them out there for you to chose from(say the Time to Make the Doughnuts Event that Tartelette and I are doing!)
4. Photos. Those are good. I will be honest and tell you that if you don’t have photos and you are not a blood relative(and even if you are) the chances of me reading your blog is slim to none. We are visual creatures. I started with a $100(on sale) camera(Nikon Coolpix 4600). It was a point and shoot and I did just fine with it…even won a few DMBLGIT awards with it. So don’t use the excuse that you don’t have a good camera. And if you don’t take that great of pictures…keep at it, you will. It, just like everything else, takes time.
5. Actually blog. There are so many bloggers who get all excited, run out and start a blog, and then nothing. I know because I was one of them. I really did not get serious into blogging until a year into it. Then it became addictive.

For even more great tips see Kristen’s blog.

I decided to make something to honour my newly adopted blogger. But what? I had originally tried to do something using her favorite team, the San Jose Sharks, but I don’t buy shark and their colors are teal and black. There is no teal food and if there is there shouldn’t be. So I went with bacon. Rene has blogged a few times about the almighty bacon. So I thought a bacon packed sandwich seemed like a good idea. Since a bacon sandwich is not really a recipe I went with making bread to use to make the sandwich with. I chose the classic Ciabatta bread. It works great if you are making panni’s and that’s what I was doing.
If you have never made Ciabatta bread, be warned, the dough is a sticky one and DO NOT add more flour to fix this…just go with the stickiness. If you want to recreate my lunch today it was 6 pieces of baked bacon(I love this…all the fat of frying but none of the mess), Dijon mustard, two slice of sharp cheddar cheese and two slice of Ciabatta bread. Slap some butter on the outside of it and throw on the Panni Press…and there you go.
So head on over and see Pages, Pucks and Pantry. The food blogging community is so supportive…show a little support to Rene.

Ciabatta Bread

Ingredients:

For sponge
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105°¢â¬115° F.)
1/3 cup room-temperature water
1 cup bread flour

For bread
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm milk (105°¢â¬115° F.)
2/3 cup room-temperature water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Make sponge:
In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
Make bread:
In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour at low speed until flour is just moistened and beat dough at medium speed 3 minutes. Add salt and beat 4 minutes more. Scrape dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)
Have ready a rimless baking sheet and 2 well-floured 12- by 6-inch sheets parchment paper.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone or 4 to 6 unglazed “quarry” tiles (see note, above) arranged close together on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425° F.

Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet.

Line up far edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone or tiles in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. With a large spatula transfer loaves to a rack to cool.

Spurce: Gourmet Magazine, March 1998

Comments

  1. Oh Peabody! Your bread looks beautiful. My husband would want to marry me all over again if I made him bread like that. Perhaps I will try it.

  2. Great post, Peabody! Rene is a lucky blogger to have you for a mentor.

  3. congratulations, peabody!! your ciabatta looks absolutely fantastic! i’ve only tried making it once, and that was many years ago before i really knew anything about baking…perhaps i’ll give it another go with this recipe!

  4. Sign me up for the sandwich girl! Your mustard looked a little like peanut butter at first. What would that be like peanut butter and bacon on ciabatta.
    Gad wish I could get holes like that in my ciabatta! Just have to bake more loaves I guess.

  5. Wow, this looks like a great recipe. I absolutely love ciabatta bread but haven’t yet taken the time to research and find a recipe for myself. I guess now I won’t need to! I’m definitely making this. Thanks!

  6. That looks delicious. I have a BLT I like to make using spreadable brie and I love serving it on Ciabatta. My grocery store doesn’t always have it. I can’t wait to try to make my own. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Great purpose, in a lovely-looking bread! Lucky girl.

  8. Love all the tips Peabody. You can send that bacon sandwich over here anytime now!! In the past when I went to restaurants for breakfast I would order the special minus the eggs and make my own bacon sandwich. Would it have been too wierd to just order the sandwich?

  9. Great tips Peabody! I wish I had known about this wonderful event. I would have adopted a blogger but I will “adopt” one vicariously through you and the other adopted parents by visiting their blogs!

    OH and wonderful bread, nice and big holes!

  10. I love the idea of Adopt a Blogger!

    And your ciabatta looks perfect – I’m saving the recipe :)

  11. I have to admit firstly that my response to your ciabatta was something along the lines of ‘KSNVKJDNYUM’ – it’s my favourite type of bread, but it’s never occured to me to make it ^__^

    I wish I’d known about the adpot-a-blogger event… I’d be someone needing a mentor!

  12. How wonderful that you’ve been matched with another hockey-baker-blogger! And thanks for sharing your great tips for new bloggers; I agree with all of them.

  13. oh my goodness how funny that you were paired with a fellow hockey fan for the Adopt-A-Blogger event!! That girl is quite lucky to have been paired with you!!

    haha, I too thought that the mustard was peanut butter, at first – I thought that you were channeling Elvis by making a peanut-butter-banana-bacon sandwich or something ;0)

  14. Excuse me while I wipe a tear from my eye… I can’t help it, the bacon sandwich is just such a beautiful thing!

  15. I was so excited when I saw your pics because I mistook the mustard for peanut butter and I thought “hey another person likes bacon and PB together!” My favorite bacon sandwich is PB, bacon, bananas, grilled onions, and honey on good bread, grilled like a panini. You should try it! :)

    *The sound of your sandwich is equally fabulous as well!!

  16. Six pieces of bacon? Peabody, I think I love you. ;)

  17. Great post. Being kinda of new to all this I’m figuring it all out and finding where my strengths are or not. Hopefully next year I can participate in this event.

  18. Slurp, slurp, munch, munch…Oh sorry you were listening…! This is one good looking bread , one grest sandwich and one cool adoptive blogger!

  19. mmmmm, bacon! your ciabatta loaf is beautiful.

    those are all great tips you’ve given! as a young blogger, i appreciate all your pearls of wisdom :)

  20. Gorgeous photos! Oh, if I wasn’t so yeast-dough challenged:( Non-blogger here, but actually learned some helpful tips as a reader—thanks!

  21. That is certainly one lovely loaf!
    …and some great tips for bloggers. Congrats on your new addition, may you guide her well.

  22. I am indeed, one lucky blogger to have been adopted by Peabody. Her blog is great inspiration to get me to bake and her tips for new bloggers are perfect. And as for that bacon sandwich, ahh…she already knows me so well!

  23. Good tips and I’m sooo glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that was PB! :-D I’ll have to try baked bacon.

  24. I love your rules of blogging!

  25. That is a good idea for Adopt-a-Blogger. I’m not sure where I fall in that. Sort of in between.

    That is a perfectly griddled sandwich.

    I get intimidated by some bread recipes, but I think I call pull this one off. I must! I love the ciabatta.

  26. Mmmm, bacon – er, I mean bread (with bacon!)… Peabody, anyone would be lucky to have you for a mentor. Good tips too. I especially like the “desperate women don’t get men and desperate food bloggers don’t get readers”.

  27. Congratulations on your new baby blogger. It sounds like it’s a good match. Your bread looks fabulous and the sandwich looks even better!

  28. What a nice post – as a blogger who is still a baby, it’s good to not only read tips but to hear about such a warm and lovely newbie blogging support system. Oh, and the bread looks typically fabulous too.

  29. Your sandwich made me drool! beautiful bread. Thanks for all the great tips on blogging:) You can adopt me any time especially if I get a sandwich!

  30. Nice…Love the crumb on that ciabatta. And how weak that I didn’t know about the Adopt a Blogger thing. Guess that tells a lot about the fact that I spend much time in the non food blogging world. Sigh. Great advice Peabody. It leaves me wondering what in hell the focus of my food blog is. I thought my byline explained it, but I’m constantly wondering.

  31. lovely ciabatta! should try that one day.

  32. Peabody, lovely to be back here and to read such lovely post. What a lovely idea to adopt a blogger. I like the tips you give. For new starters it will be really handy. I am looking forward to visiting more often now that my manic schedule is a thing of the past – well, I do cross my fingers and toes as I type.

  33. Hey, just wanted to let you know I stumbled across your wonderful blog for the first time today, and have just gone back an entire YEAR in your archives, reading and drooling at your recipes. You stuff is awesome, I’m hooked!

  34. A beautiful looking ciabatta! That toasted sandwich looks ever so tempting! Yummy

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  35. I’ve been wanting to try making ciabatta FOREVER. I just never do it–guess I’m too scared. I’ll do it eventually, and thinking about it’s affinity for bacon sandwiches is good motivation. Very good blogging tips too.
    Julie

  36. In the words of Homer Simpson: Mmmmm, bacon! If I had bacon and a homemade Ciabatta bread in the house, I’d be having that sandwich for lunch :) And I’m with you on the baked bacon thing, no mess!

  37. Oh that sandwich at the end, holy moly, hold me down. Mouth watering to say the least. Fantastic job on the bread and fantastic advice on blogging.

  38. Oh Peabody… I wish you could adopt me. I don’t know nuthin’ about hockey, though.
    Cheers,
    Cinderella

  39. Have I proposed lately?

    WILL YOU MARRY ME, GRACIE? And if you bring the bread I’ll bring the bacon!! :D

    xoxoxoxo

  40. oh yes… rene and i love us some bacon. it’s a san jose thing. ;)

  41. This ciabatta … oh my, my, my. And that last picture? I thought I was full after dinner…nope! Want some.

    Very cool that Kristen has you! Great tips. Wish I had been aware of those when I started. :)

  42. It’s 5:30am and I am sipping my smoothie, getting ready for swimming, and thinking your sandwich would be a nice addition to fuel me up this morning. Such a lovely bread.

  43. First of all, this bread looks amazing!!

    I also agree with you on your blogging tips – especially about not begging other bloggers to check out your blog. That one is my biggest pet peeve. I’d like to think I’m a nice blogger, but if I see the same comment on 30 blogs, asking to go visit their blog, I won’t go.

  44. What a great intro to the world! I’m headed over right now to learn about hockey, but thought I’d say thanks for the tips. I might be “veteran” according to the time from first blogging to now, but have just recently decided to be wholeheartedly addicted. It’s fun to be a newbie! :)

  45. Wow. This is a thing of beauty!
    Great job!

  46. Oh what a great adopt a blogger post! Thanks, Peabody. You are a great “mom” :) Glad you two are hitting it off… I feel like a proud matchmaker.

  47. Wonderful post, and pictures of that gorgeous bread!

  48. I love this bread! Thank you so much for the inspiration to get back into breadmaking. I’ve made it twice now and it’s great (and oh, so easy).

  49. Mmmm… now I want PB and bacon sandwiches drizzled with maple syrup… too bad I missed my bread class in school today! Keep up the great blogging, and congrats on your new addition (haha).

  50. I love Ciabatta bread I can just eat it without anything else for dinner. I have NEVER made it before but I will try it today using your recipe will let you know how it turns out for me HERE GOES!

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