I love to make bread and I think you already know that :). Although I bake bread several times a week and every time I try something new, I must admit that I still have much to learn in this specific area. I recently tested a Ciabatta Bread Recipe and came out perfect. Although ciabatta is quite difficult to prepare because the dough is very fluid, it requires a good technique and experience, but it worth to give it a try.
It is my favourite bread and no matter how laborious the process is, will do it again and again, because I can’t get enough…
Ciabatta is one of the most popular Italian bread, which due to its flat shape is ideal for sandwiches.
Ciabatta bread is a rustic white bread slightly moist with aerated core and thin and crispy crust.
If you love this kind of bread, I advise you to prepare the ingredients and get ready to try this recipe at home.
For this recipe we need a pre-ferment that should be prepared 12-14 hours ahead, so I advise you to do this in the evening, so that in the morning you start kneading. It would be ideal to have a special robot that can knead the dough, but if you don’t, kneading by hand it’s ok too. I used to knead by hand until recently when I purchased a stand mixer, and I confess that worth all the money. The working process is much easier, plus the dough is much better and kneading is faster.
Now since we started talking about something else, I have to tell you that I make my own leaven, and I started to make bread with it. In a future post I will explain to you how to do it and I’ll show you how to bake, but until then, I will explain how to make this Ciabatta Bread Recipe.
My recipe is for 2 loaves, that fit in the oven once, but if you think it’s not enough for you, you can double the amount. This recipe is pretty precise so you will need a kitchen scale.
To make the pre-ferment, combine the yeast and water with the bread flour in a bowl. When blended, cover with plastic film and let to ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.
When ready to make the final dough, combine the bread flour with 8.45 oz (240 grams) of the water in the bowl. Mix until blended, then let it rest for about 20 minutes.
Using an electric stand mixer, if you have one, add the pre-ferment, salt and the yeast and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed and mix for about 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes slightly sticky. If you don’t have an electric mixer double the time needed for kneading the dough by hand.
Drizzle in the remaining water and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and almost shiny.
Cover the bowl with plastic film and set aside to ferment for 45 minutes. Uncover and fold the dough. Again, cover with plastic film and set aside to ferment for 45 minutes. Uncover and fold the dough one more time, then cover and set aside to ferment for 45 minutes. A lot of work, right?
Place the baking stone into the oven about 45 minutes before you are ready to bake ciabatta, and preheat to 470 degrees F(245 degrees C) and place a tray inside.
Uncover the dough and transfer it to the floured surface.
Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and using a scraper divide the dough into 2 equal rectangular pieces, thus forming ciabatta. Sprinkle enough flour, to avoid sticking and try to avoid getting any flour inside the dough. Prepare a baking paper on which to transfer the loaves ready-made, with distance between them so, they won’t stick when baking.
You may let to rise the ready-made loaves for another 25 minutes and use a pizza palette to place them on the hot stone in the preheated oven.
When ready to bake, add 1 cup of ice to the tray to create steam in the oven, and immediately transfer the bread to the hot baking stone.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the ciabatta bread is golden brown.
So that’s about this lovely Ciabatta Bread Recipe, a lot of work for a beautiful and tasty Italian bread. Enjoy!