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My latest experiment: ciabatta bread. Another creation easily coaxed from the basic boule dough in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I've been resisting this incarnation because I so love the crackling, crunchy, crispy crust of the basic slashed boule and baguette. But Tom has had an affinity for the soft, chewy, slipper-shaped ciabatta ever since he got a taste of Whole Foods' offering, and I just had to attempt to outdo them.
The difference here is that you don't dust the dough with flour, but form with wet hands into an oval about 3/4 inch thick. You still use steam and sprinkle the top with flour just before baking, but don't slash the dough.
Look at the crumb in the photo to the left! I made two mini-loaves so Tom could have his own. You see why he loves me?
Next up, my report on homemade ice cream. Let me just forewarn you that I should have taken photos before tasting it.

Ode to Best Friends

My best friend and I met in college. Turns out her family almost moved to my little town at one point in grade school. We always laugh and wonder if we would have been friends if we had grown up together.
Somehow, we both ended up in DC and our friendship is stronger than ever. This is somewhat curious as we're very different people, and many friends with whom I used to be close I no longer see on a regular basis, in no small part because I spend a lot of my free time on the trails. My best friend does not run. Not one step.
We have always marveled at the fact that we can spend a day hanging out together doing absolutely nothing and have the most enjoyable time. I'm always rejuvenated - with new ideas, a new motivation to read after discussing our most recently read titles, and an overall sense of well-being.
So here's to best friends. I love you, Smellster!