Friday, October 15, 2010

World Bread Day: Italian Pub Burgers on Mini Ciabatta Rolls

The two-step bread making process has been intimidating me for a long time, but I finally decided to give it a whirl. I owe it all to World Bread Day. It was the final push I needed to get in the kitchen and just do it. No more procrastination. It was time to face my fears.

My inspiration for World Bread Day was Giada's Italian Pub Burgers, which are served on beautiful Ciabatta Rolls. Enamored with those little Ciabatta Rolls in Giada's book, I decided to make my own for World Bread Day. Having just received Nick Malgieri's new book, Bake!, I decided to use his recipe for Ciabatta dough and adapt it to make 16 Mini Ciabatta Rolls.

It all began with a simple yeast-based sponge dough. A simple combination of bread flour, water, and yeast. It took all of 5 minutes to prepare and couldn't have been simpler.

The next day, I mixed all of the sponge dough with more bread flour, yeast, salt and water to make the Ciabatta dough. From this point on, this dough was a huge labor of love.

I mixed the dough with my Kitchenaid for 3 minutes and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Then I did it again. Mix the dough for 3 minutes, let it rest for 10. I oiled a large bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. When the dough was removed from the oiled bowl, I formed a rectangle and folded the dough in to make three layers. I turned the dough 90 degrees and folded it, yet again, into 3 layers. After the first folding, the dough had to rest another 15 minutes. When I read the words "repeat this process" I wanted to scream. After resting for 15 minutes, I removed the folded dough and folded it into three layers two more times. Big surprise - yep! Another 15 minutes of resting. After lots of folding and resting, I turned the dough over so that the fold was underneath and formed it into a 10-inch square. I bet you can guess what happened next. Yep, the dough had to rest for another 30 minutes. Ugh! After the dough rested for 30 minutes, I cut the 10-inch square of dough into 16 mini rolls. I placed the rolls onto a baking sheet lined with cornmeal and covered them with a kitchen towel for yet another 30 minute rest.

In the end, we loved the rolls. They were amazingly light and delicate with a wonderful taste and texture. I did notice that my rolls were rather pale. I was terrified of overcooking them, but maybe I should have left them in the oven to develop more color? Not sure.
The Mini Italian Pub Burgers were unbelievably delicious. My favorite Giada recipe to date. The burger itself is a combination of beef, lots of Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, and tomato paste. It's topped with Taleggio cheese(I used Fontina) and a basil leaf. Not only is it pretty to look at, but it is cheesy wonderful deliciousness, especially when served on a homemade Ciabatta roll.
Italian Pub Burgers
Adapted from Giada at Home
Serves 8
Vegetable or canola oil, for the grill
2-1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 tsps. salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 small ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
1/4 cup olive oil
8 slices (4-1/2 ounces) Taleggio cheese (I used fontina)
8 large basil leaves

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Lightly oil the grill pan or grilling rack with vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Using clean hands, gently mix the ingredients and form into 8 patties, each about 1 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter.

Grill the burgers for 3 minutes on each side, until coked to medium.

Brush the cut side of each roll with the olive oil and toast on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly golden.

To serve, put 1 mini burger on the bottom half of each of the rolls. Divide the Taleggio cheese on top of the burgers. Place a basil leaf over the cheese and put the other half of each roll on top.

Note: I reduced the burger portion of this recipe in half to make 14 mini burgers.

Happy World Bread Day!


  1. Oh Kim I'm SOOO proud of you! These rolls look like they turned out absolutely beautifully! And those put burgers. OMG good. Really.

  2. Hey lady - nice buns!

    Making bread is such a rewarding experience - I'm glad you finally tackled it and had such excellent results!

  3. Well your dough was certainly more rested than I have been in ten years but in the end - it looks like it was worth it. The burger on the homebaked buns looks fabulous.

  4. Look at that luscious gooey cheese!! What great looking burgers. Kim, you have far more patience than me, I was laughing while reading about your bread adventure. I wish I had the patience for that. I don't think I could get away with using my bread machine to do all that either, lol. These look wonderful!! Yum!

  5. Ha!! You make me laugh...I can just imagine you and that dough...spending time together in the kitchen... But I'd definitely say it was worth it...they're gorgeous! And sound super delicious with those burgers. YUM! :D

  6. Kim I'm sooooo impressed. Your rolls looks great! What a process though LOL, this certainly sounds like an all-day recipe. The burgers are fantastic looking and I'm adding this to my "must-make" list!

  7. Oh wow! The burgers look fantastic, but I will probably pass on the buns. The only thing resting that much is going to be me.

  8. Oh my, it looks like it was well worth it! Those burgers look divine!

  9. Ciao Kim, the buns are amazing ! Maybe not the easiest recipe to start !!! Love your post !

  10. Ooooh! This recipe sounds SO good.

  11. Your rolls look amazing (burgers too). But, wow is that some high maintenance dough!

  12. These truly are a labor of love! I'm sure those ciabatta rolls were delicious, especially after all that folding and waiting!! Much deserved! I'm not sure if I've ever had hamburgers with ciabatta rolls, but that is a great idea! Will try next time.

  13. They look wonderful! You did an awesome job. :-) remind me to make those burgers one day soon...

  14. These are great pub burgers although I doubt many pubs I have been to would go to the effort that you have here, Kim. Fantastic.


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