Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ciabatta Bread

I have had so many bakery baked Ciabatta breads in Germany, even in many variations, such as whole wheat, olives, walnuts, rosemary, just name a few. It never occurred to me it could be baked at home until recently. The whole process turned out to be simple and successful. The bread turned out to be delicious. Another bonus was the house smelled sooooo wonderful while the breads were in the oven.

Cibatta Bread Recipe


For Sponge:
1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp brown sugar
2/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Wholewheat flour for dusting

1. To make Sponge. In a small mixing blow, dissolve the yeast in 2 tbsp warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until creamy. Then add the flour and water, mix for about 5 minutes, cover it with a Saran wrap and let it sit at cool room temp for 24 hours. It will look similar to this picture after 24 hrs.

2. To make bread. In a big mixing bowl (I use the Kitchen Aid Artisan mixing bowl), mix the yeast, water and brown sugar for 5 minutes, or till creamy.
3. Add in the sponge and the rest of ingredients, but except the salt. Use the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid, mix at low speed till the flour is just moistened.

4. Add the salt and mix at higher speed till a very smooth and elastic dough is formed. Will look like this:
5. Scrape the dough into a big greased mixing bowl, cover with Saran Wrap.

6. Let dough rise at room temp for about 2 hrs. The dough will be doubled in bulk.

7. Turn dough onto a well floured surface with whole wheat flour or big chopping board, cut the dough in half. Transfer each half to a greased and floured baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Shape the sough gently into a irregular oval shape, about 9" long. Dimple the dough with floured fingers and dust the dough with whole wheat flour.

8. Cover the dough with a damped kitchen towel. Let them rise at room temp for about 1.5~2 hrs, or till the dough doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 425F 10~15 minutes (depending on the oven) before this rising step is done.

9. Put the dough on the lower 1/3 rack in the oven, bake for about 15-20 minutes or till pale golden. Cool loaves on a wire rack.

10. Enjoy!

No comments: