Ciabatta Bread



This bread is very moist and loose, but only use as much additional flour as you need to be able to handle it without it sticking. Be sure to start your starter dough 8-12 hours ahead of when you want to make your bread.
Yeast Starter Dough: (Start 8-12 hours ahead – the night before works perfectly)
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup room temperature water
1 cup bread (or all-purpose) flour
Ciabatta Dough:
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup room temperature water
Yeast Start Dough (from above)
2 cups bread (or all-purpose) flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1.For the Yeast Starter Dough: Combine all ingredients in a 1-quart (4-cup) bowl and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours (overnight works perfectly).
2.For the Ciabatta Dough: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, stir the yeast in to the water. Add all of the Yeast Starter Dough and mix briefly. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine. Beat on medium-low for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and let dough rest for 10 minutes. Beat again on medium-low for 3 minutes. Stop again and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
3.Remove dough to a lightly oiled bowl large enough to hold double the amount of dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest until it starts to puff up, about 30-45 minutes.
4.Using a silicone bowl scraper or spatula, scrape the dough on to a well-floured work surface. Have a cup of flour handy to use. Sprinkle the top of the dough with some flour. Using your silicone bowl scraper, scoop up one edge of the dough and fold it over the top of the dough to reach the middle. Scoop up the opposite edge and scoop it up to cover the fold you just made. Add some more flour to your board and the top of the dough (just enough to control stickiness). Let dough rest for 15 minutes and then repeat this same folding. Let rest another 15 minutes. Flour board and top of dough and roughly shape in to an 18x18cm square. Using a sharp knife, cut your dough into two 10x18cm rectangles. Flour the top of the dough then cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.
5.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475° F/230C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease well). When dough is risen, using a bench scraper or silicon spatula and your hand, gently lift the loaves to the prepared baking sheet, being careful not to deflate.
6.Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

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