ciabatta bread

ciabatta bread

The hubs is very much into bread making and since we started dating, I kinda got hooked too. Making your own bread sans bread machine is actually very simple and doesn’t require much kneading. I used to be very scared of the word “kneading” because I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. Now I’m more aware but still prefer recipes that don’t require the kneading aspect (heck, I’ll probably just use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer now). I also prefer bread made by hand because it yields a more artisan result.

Anyway, this is a recent recipe that the hubs found and we now both love. It’s probably our favourite bread recipe (for now). It does require some time, but the results are well worth the effort and time. And no kneading required. 🙂

Ciabatta

(taken and adapted from here)

Makes two 1-3/4 pound ciabattas

Ingredients:

For the starter:

  • 400g unbleached white all purpose flour
  • 240g water
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast

For the dough:

  • 1 teaspoon or 4g instant yeast
  • 430g unbleached white all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon or 11g kosher salt
  • 450ml warm water

Method:

To make the starter dough:

  1. Combine the flour, yeast and water in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it into a firm ball.
  3. Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

To make the dough:

  1. Cut the starter dough into 6-8 pieces and put them in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour 450ml warm water over it and let sit a few minutes to soften. Use your hands to break it up a bit more.
  3. Add the rest of the dough ingredients beat the mixture together using a wooden spoon or spatula. It will resemble a stiff pancake batter and appear quite rough. You do not need to completely incorporate the starter dough.
  4. Let the dough sit, covered lightly, in a warm spot for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl and into the center using a rubber spatula. Do this three more times. After the last turn you will be able to see that the dough has become smoother and more uniform.
  6. Cover and let it finish rising for another hour and a half. So total rising time would be 20 minutes x 4 + 90 minutes. Total rising time for this period should be about 2 ½ to 3 hours, depending on your room temperature.
  7. Scrape the dough out onto a well floured surface and fold together lightly. Divide into two equal loaves and either pull apart into a flat focaccia style or fold the two ends into the center, like folding a letter, to form rectangular mound.
  8. Place loaves on parchment paper lined sheet pan side by side for final rise, ½ hour to 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat your oven to 450°F. If you have a baking stone/steel, place it in your oven, if not you can also just use a sheet pan. Also place a pan of water on the bottom rack.
  10. When ready to bake, lightly flour the tips of your fingers and dock each loaf, deflating some of the bubbles.
  11. Cut the parchment paper between the loaves to separate, and slide each loaf right onto to the stone/steel or just place the sheet pan with the loaves into the oven.
  12. Bake until dark golden brown and internal temp reaches 200°F degrees, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
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