Yesterday, Erin asked if I would write a guest blog for her. So, of course I said I’ll do it tomorrow, which didn’t really mean tomorrow. But now that she said I would do it, then I have to do it.
There has been a lot of people asking me how I make ciabatta. I’m not sure how authentic, or healthy, this recipe is, but it still very good.
Here is the basic recipe:
2 1/2 cups (11 ounces) All-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (1 ounce) Corn meal
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Yeast
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
8 ounces Water
Additional olive Oil
Sprinkle of Kosher Salt
First place the yeast in a small amount (about an ounce) of warm water (about 110•F) and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then mix the flour, corn meal, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and yeast together. I prefer to use a mixer, which takes about 8 minutes, but you can always do it by hand. The dough should be a little tacky, but won’t stick to your finger. You might need to add some extra flour if it’s too wet, or some extra water if it’s too dry. Over time you’ll be able to see what the dough needs to look like.
Then let the dough rise. I like to start this step the night before and let it go for a day. This schedule is helpful for me because I don’t usually have 5 hours to dedicate to bake, but also it allows a lot more fermentation to take place. And the more fermentation, the more flavor that will develop. If you want to skip this step, then just let it rise until it doubles. Then “punch” it down. This means to roll the dough around on a floured table and lightly push on it. You want to evenly disperse the air bubbles that is inside the dough. Then the second rise will begin to take place. This step is when you shape the dough. I like to shape it so that it begins as a ball and then I flatten it. It then goes onto a pan for about 1 to 2 hours. You want the bread to rise until it’s a little smaller than what you want the finished product to be. While, the bread it rising, preheat the oven to 425•F.
After the bread is finished rising you are going to use to finger to push dimples into the bread (about 10). Then pour a small amount of olive oil into each dimple and sprinkle with kosher salt (the larger grain salt tastes best here).
Place the bread into the preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the top becomes a golden brown. It’s even better if you can spray the bread with some water every 5 minutes in the oven, but this isn’t a necessity.
I hope that this is helpful to anyone who is attempting to make bread or has asked me how to make it before.
(Editors Note: Isn’t he cute? Thanks for the recipe, babe! This is seriously the best bread ever. The author nor I am responsible for addiction or weight gain due to over consumption of ciabatta.) :)