Just wait until you taste the warm loaves of crusty homemade ciabatta bread with the delicious chew and the "holey" texture. It's the perfect bread for dunking in your soup, sopping your sauce, serving alongside your salad or dipping in olive oil. And the next day, it makes the most perfect panini! The recipes makes 2 loaves. (They freeze very well.)
clean spray bottle - for spraying loaves with water
You want to start the sponge the night before you want to bake the bread (or very early in the morning.) It needs to rest/ferment on the countertop for 6-12 hours.
Stir together 1 cup flour, 1 cup water and 1/8 teaspoon yeast in a medium sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set on counter for 6-12 hours.
I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with flat beater and dough hook to mix and knead the dough. You could also mix and knead by hand.
In mixer bowl, combine the sponge (the mixture that fermented for 6-12 hours.) flour, salt, yeast, milk and water. Stir with flat beater until it forms a shaggy mixture.
Switch to dough hook and knead 3-5 minutes on speed 2 or until it's somewhat smooth. The dough will be sticky and some of it will sit on the bottom of the bowl as it kneads. (It won't be a cohesive dough ball like pizza dough.) Resist the urge to add extra flour unless it's totally soupy.
Rise in Bowl: 3 Steps
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour. (The dough is a slow riser, don't be alarmed if it doesn't double like other doughs - it's all about forming bubbles for that yummy texture.)
Use a greased spatula or bowl scraper to scrape the dough from edge of bowl and fold over, do this about 6 times all around the bowl until it's all folded over. Cover bowl with plastic and let rise 30 minutes.
Repeat folding the dough, cover bowl and let rise another 30 minutes.
Form Loaves & Rise Again:
Prepare a well-floured surface to work with dough. If baking on pizza stone, lay out 2 rectangular pieces of parchment paper about 12 x 9-inches. If baking on a baking sheet, grease baking sheet.
Scrape dough from bowl out onto floured surface taking care to not deflate dough. Use a bench scraper or large knife sprinkled with flour to cut the dough into 2-pieces.
Gently pat the dough into a rectangular/oblong shape. Fold each side in like a letter. Use bench scraper to transfer, seam-side down to parchment or baking sheet. Each oblong loaf should be approx. 4.5 x 9 -inches. Sprinkle tops lightly with flour.
Cover each loaf loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise 1-hour. Meanwhile preheat oven to 500 degrees. If using a pizza stone, place on bottom rack in oven while preheating. If using baking sheet, arrange oven rack to lower third of oven.
NOTE: if using pizza stone, trim the parchment so it only sticks out an inch or so around the loaves, you will slide loaves still on the parchment into oven using a pizza peel. Once the bottoms of the loaves are set, you can remove the parchment with tongs if you like. (Keep an eye on parchment while in oven to make sure it doesn't touch heating elements or sides of oven.)
Spray risen loaves with water from clean spray bottle. Place in oven and reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Spray 2-3 more times early in the baking process. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until deep golden brown. The loaves will sound hollow when tapped. You'll want to stay close to the oven during the baking process so you can spray and keep an eye on the loaves.
Remove baked loaves to cooling rack. Cool at least 45 minutes before slicing.
You can Active Dry Yeast, Rapid Rise or Instant Yeast.
Bread freezes well when completely cool. Wrap in plastic wrap, then wrap with foil or place in freezer bag.
Tried this recipe?Share it! Tag @epicuricloud - Please Leave A Comment & Rating Below! TY!
Ciabatta Bread https://www.epicuricloud.com/?p=9293 April 29, 2020