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Ciabatta with Local Pesto

Working with Pesto recently made me wonder if  local herbs can be made into Pesto. Herbs such as Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary have to be imported into Singapore and are very expensive. Two sprigs of Rosemary, each about 3 inches long retail for about US$1.00 and that's way too expensive for me. The amount of fresh herbs which I used last week for the 3 loaves probably cost more than US$10.00 and to me, that's eating gold. It set me thinking about what Dan Lepard said about using local ingredients.

Here in the tropics, we have no shortage of aromatic herbs. Instead of basil, we have Sweet Basil which is called Daun Selasih by the local malays. It is also used extensively in Thai cooking as well and the famous Thai green curry cannot do without it. We also have Laksa leaves(Vietnamese Mint), Lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaf and Pandan leaf. My first choice was to use Sweet Basil but as it was not available that day, I settled for laksa leaves. I made the pesto with laksa leaves, pistachio, parmesan cheese and roasted garlic. These were pounded in my mortar and pestle with a little salt and olive oil.

Since my last formulation worked reasonably well, I used it again. My bread had improved since I started using a lower gluten flour. After I had overcome the damp crumb problem, I was still plagued with a crumb that just wasn't right. It took me quite a while before I realised that it was due to the protein level in my flour.

I made yet another mistake as I should have let the dough warm up a little more after the long fermentation in the fridge.

3 loaves of Ciabatta with Laksa pesto










This site was last updated 10/24/06