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Sep 19, 2008 11:41 AM

Disapointed in Ciabatta roll. What do you use for sandwich bread?

I bought some Ciabatta Sandwich roll's for lunch and I really didn't care for this at all. What is it used for? It was hard and doughey. What is a good bread/bun for lunch? Thx,

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  1. I like a dutch-crunch roll for most sandwiches. For a BLT or egg salad, I go with "country buttermilk" or "country white", toasted of course.

    1. Where did you get it? I like most of the ciabatta loaves I've gotten, and the ciabatta rolls from Trader Joe's (this is in Southern California - their bread suppliers are regional) are my favorite hamburger buns. Ciabatta is supposed to have a firm but tender crust and a crumb that is much the same, though softer; these characteristics stay with it even after it becomes stale, and revive with some light toasting. If your bread was not like this it just wasn't made right.

      Otherwise, I like either a nice firm not-too-sour sourdough or an interesting light rye, if we're talking store-bought, but there are few things more lovely than a REAL ham sandwich (not lunch-meat!) on REAL home-baked white bread with REAL butter.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        I bought it at the local grocery store where the gourmet breads are kept. It was very hard on the outside and the inside just was so bulky. I warmed it up for just 10 or 15 seconds and then filled the inside with roast beef.
        Maybe I'll try it again at Trader Joe's or a bakery.

        1. re: odatlynn

          I don't know what you mean by "bulky." But the inside should have a very open, holey structure. I think maybe others are right. You just didn't get the right stuff. I don't know what brand you got, but "gourmet bread" made by a national company is probably not ummmm ... gourmet.

          If you're interest, King Arthur has a nice recipe for ciabatta. Mine came out nice the first try.

          The site might be worth looking at just to see the structure I mentioned.

      2. Sounds like you got some really crummy ciabatta bread! Unfortunate, because it can be delicious when fresh and made well.

        My boyfriend likes Columbo brand sour sandwich rolls -- they come pre-split in packages of 6. I think this is a national brand. It's a pretty mild sourdough flavor, and the crust isn't super-substantial or chewy, so your sandwich filling won't mush out the sides as you're trying to eat it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: operagirl

          Where do you usually get your Ciabatta from? Is there anyone not impressed by those from Costco and Whole Food?

          1. re: ilsorpasso

            I live in Santa Cruz, California. I usually buy Kelly's French Bakery ciabatta (available either at the bakery/cafe itself, or in grocery stores around town), or Golden Sheaf, based in Berkeley and available all over my region.

            Since I don't know where you're at, I can't recommend anything specific, except to go to your best local bakery and get the goods fresh. Always a good bet.

        2. I'd second trying a bakery instead of anything from a supermarket. Even then you'll likely find differences. Two of our best indie bakeries here in Pgh do ciabattina. Both are good, but one has a loose crumb, a softer, chewy crust and is very flat, about 8" long, 4" wide and 1.5" high, the other a more crusty outside just short of flaking, and is 7"x3.5"x2.5", but still works well on a panini grill.

          fwiw, the ciabatta I've had in Central & North Italy have been much crustier.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Panini Guy

            My own introduction to this style of bread is not called "ciabatta" at all - it's made by Bread & Co. in Nashville, and it's called Pane Bello. Comes in either a free-baked "bomb" with tapered ends or as a regular panned loaf; I prefer the former. When I first moved to Nashville from the SF Bay area, I used to bribe friends flying back from there to bring me loaves of sourdough; now that I'm back in California, I tell all my Nashville friends that they have a place to stay when they visit, at the price of at least ONE loaf of pane bello!

          2. Well first of all, the bread you use for sandwiches is partly dependent on the sandwich in question. You wouldn't use ciabatta or a kaiser for a PB&J, nor would you put some nice corned beef on Wonder. At least, as a rule of thumb.

            As for your ciabatta, I'd find a different source as so many have said. I get triangle shaped ciabatta buns from Costco and they're fantastic.