Ciabatta Bread Recipe

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Before I start this first recipe I want to introduce you to a few tools to make your life easier when it comes to making breads. The first is a stand mixer with dough hooks. It saves the steps of kneading your dough by hand. I don’t have a stand mixer at home and I want one badly. Especially for my 7 grain recipe coming up that has to mix for 10 minutes. it goes without saying nearly all of these recipes are using a stand mixer.

Get a Bench Scraper, they make it easier to cut into and pick up your dough and scrape it off your surface. This one here is at the Prepared Pantry and is less than $10

Bowl Scraper, flexible, the best tool for getting your product out of the bowl  – less than 2 bucks at Pastry Chef

And the usual measuring tools, spoons and cups, unless you have bakers scale and in that case you don’t need spoons and cups! You may want to stock up on some bread flour and yeast as well, not the rapid rise, just the active dry kind. We don’t use fresh yeast (which is actually solid and kind of expensive). Once you have the tools you should be good to go!

Ciabatta Bread

Sponge Method
(Simply put you dissolve the yeast and add ingredients in 2 stages)


Sponge:

2 1/8 C. Water (this needs to be 100 degrees, or HOT)

2 TBSP Yeast

2 C. Bread Flour

3/4 C. Virgin Olive Oil

Dough:

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 C. Bread Flour

Mixing

1. Warm the water to about 100° F (37°C). Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
2. Add the yeast mixture to the flour for the sponge. Add the oil.
3. Mix to form a soft dough. Beat well for about 5 minutes until the sponge starts to become smooth.
4. Cover and leave at room temp until doubled in size (approx. 1 hr.)
5. Stir Down and add the ingredients for the dough, which will be very soft and sticky.

Fermentation

Cover and allow to ferment at room temp until doubled in size (approx 1 hr.)

Makeup and Baking

1. Lightly oil sheet pans (cookie sheet). Handling the dough as little as possible, eyeball it and divide it in half (bench scraper!) Deposit the dough on a greased and floured sheet pan.

2. Use that bench scraper to form an oval or rectangle with the dough, again handling it as little as possible, its very sticky!

3. Throw a couple handfuls of flour on top of the dough. Let sit at room temp until the dough doubles in volume and the flour on top starts to crack slightly.

4. Bake at 425°F (220°C) for about 30 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack.

of course I don’t have a perfect oval but this was some good bread. The flour is for texture and will come off the bread before you bite it, as a lot will come off when you slice the bread. This is a good universal bread for dinner, dipping in soups etc. This recipe will make to 1.5 lb. loaves.

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