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Tasty Ciabatta?

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  • MichaelB Jul 3, 2002 03:04 PM
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Can anyone direct me to a good ciabatta bread around here? Bread & Circus used to make, in their own bakery I believe, a very good one -- extremely airy, fairly flat, good flavor. But they've replaced it with one from a supplier, Pain D'Avignon I think, which is pretty mediocre -- too dense, basically a flat-shaped loaf of non-exciting bread.

(For those who haven't had it, ciabatta, aka slipper bread, is a very light, very flat loaf of italian bread with very large holes and a thin but not brittle crust. At least that's how I'd define it. It makes a perfect sandwich if you split it horizontally and load in your favorite fillings -- sturdy enough to hold 'em, tasty enough to complement the flavors, but not too crusty, and no sourdough flavor, which tends to compete with the filling.)

CLear Flour Bakery has some sort of Italian country bread with a nice chewy/airy interior, but the crust is (intentionally) very dark and crunchy, so much so that it's kind of rough on your soft palate (at least in a sandwich).

Any ideas? Do any of the B&C stores still stock the old kind of ciabatta?

Many thanks for any leads.

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  1. I rather like the italian flatbread they serve at Carberry's. Sounds like the bread you're describing and it makes a great sandwich. However, in my limited experience, the Central Square location rarely has any to purchase in the evenings. Must use all of it up making sandwiches at lunch. Hope this helps.

    Jon

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jreuter

      In Harvard Square, in the Garage Mall, there is a restaurant called Fromagio's that uses decent Ciabatta, at least by my standards, but I'm not an expert. It fits the characteristics you outlined though ...

      1. re: Jreuter

        Thanks for the suggestion -- somehow I forgot about Carberry's even though I work literally around the corner from them. The Italian flatbread is indeed excellent; I always get their sandwiches on it. And it is, as you say, hard to get a whole loaf. Maybe I'll try sometime in the morning. It's a little denser than what I have in mind for ciabatta, but it is damn good bread.

      2. If you are in Waltham, stop by Domenics at 987 Main Street. They make their panini on a small version of Ciabatta call Ciabatini. Certainly the best sandwich bread in the Boston area …IMHO. I work there on Friday and am around during the week. If you stop in say hello.

        Paul

        Link: http://www.getdoms.com

        4 Replies
        1. re: Paul

          Paul:

          Am wondering if you own Domenics? Plan to stop in a try a sandwich soon.

          Also think you might be just the guy to ask where the best pizza in Waltham is?

          1. re: Coyote

            Not an owner, just a long time customer and good friends of the Maione family. They have owned and operated Domenics since 1979. I work there on Friday and stop in for lunch during the week. They are only open Monday thru Friday 10:30 to 5:30. Closed today and tomorrow and will re-open on Monday. I wish I had a good pizza for you in Waltham. I think I am pretty familiar with what is available and nothing is that good. If you like a bakery style (sheet pizza), Dominics can be good, but it is kind of hit and miss. They have to pre-bake the crust but if you get it as it’s coming out of the oven it’s quite tasty. The other choices in town Chateau, Anna’s, Sal’s etc. all have their fans. For me pizza is all about the crust. I think Real Pizza in Cambridge is the best around here. Have you made it to Ritcey’s for seafood? Don’t forget the French Fries, Onion Rings and Cold Slaw if you go. Their chowder is also very good if you like a THIN base. Try and let me know when you plan to stop by Domenics. I will try and be there to give you the guided tour.

            Paul

            1. re: Paul

              Have been trying to get to Domenic's on a Friday, but small matter of trying to earn a living getting in the way. Thanks for the head's up re closing this Friday--was planning to get there then.

              DID like Ritcey's very much. In fact, am very happy with restaurant choices in Waltham in general.

              May make the trek to north end to try Regina's for pizza.

          2. re: Paul

            Many thanks for this recommendation -- next time I'm in Waltham on a weekday I'll check it out.

          3. You are right that Ciabatta bread from the Lake Como area is very special. I had one sample there and it was exactly as you described it. Since that trip I have followed Field's book THE ITALIAN BAKER with excellent results.Including TOES designed by my wife. What I have experienced in the U.S. hasn't reached that standard, but I think you are a little harsh on Pain D'Avignon. Their effort at Ciabatta is not very close to the old country but I think it is good bread. Somewhat better is Ollie and Me in Portsmouth, N.H. and that is a once a week occurance--try Thursday. Or better yet, call ahead. Ciao.