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

odatlynn Sep 19, 2008 11:41 AM

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,

  1. r
    RGC1982 Sep 22, 2008 03:29 PM

    It took a while for us to get it, but the great, extremely crunchy Italian rolls found at bakeries, or the dense ciabattas really don't make the best sandwiches. I look for something similar in texture to a kaiser or bollillo roll for sandwiches, and we usually toast them slightly before adding fillings.

    1. c
      Cathy Sep 20, 2008 09:13 PM

      The ciabatta sold at Trader Joes in San Diego are parbaked-so I can always have a fresh/warm one when I am making a sandwich. If you have a way of getting any parbaked rolls, that would be the way to go.

      1. Davwud Sep 20, 2008 06:51 PM

        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.


        1. p
          Panini Guy Sep 20, 2008 10:32 AM

          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
            Will Owen Sep 20, 2008 06:16 PM

            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. operagirl Sep 19, 2008 03:44 PM

            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
              ilsorpasso Sep 19, 2008 08:43 PM

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

              1. re: ilsorpasso
                operagirl Sep 19, 2008 08:50 PM

                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. Will Owen Sep 19, 2008 03:02 PM

              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
                odatlynn Sep 19, 2008 05:27 PM

                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
                  yayadave Sep 19, 2008 08:33 PM

                  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. a
                adamshoe Sep 19, 2008 02:30 PM

                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.

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