Italian Ciabatta Bread
This simple Ciabatta Bread recipe will give you a rustic that is perfect for dipping into soups or sauces. Italian loaf
The high hydration in this bread results in a wonderfully chewy centre and visually interesting irregular holes. This is probably the easiest ciabatta bread recipe you’ll come across! It is 80 per cent hydration bread, which means it’s very wet and sticky and you’ll need a stand mixer to make the dough. Otherwise, it will be near impossible to mix the dough. Slice your ciabatta bread at an angle and drizzle it with olive oil. It can also be used it for dipping in soup or soaking up sauce. Or you can slice it lengthwise and make an Italian Style sandwich. Whichever way you decide to enjoy this bread, I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the texture and flavor. Homemade ciabatta bread | Makes 2 loaves
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 30 mins
4 ½ cups bread flour 2 cups water
¼ tsp yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp olive oil
Stand mixer Large bowl Wooden spoon Silicone dough scraper Baking paper Baking tray
Directions Step 1
Combine flour, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir it with a wooden spoon until it’s well mixed and free of lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours but up to 24 hours. The longer you let the sponge sit, the more flavor and structure the final bread will have.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sponge with more flour, water, and salt. Mix it with the paddle attachment until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover and let it rise for 45 minutes. Lightly grease a silicone scraper and use it to fold the dough over onto itself before covering the bowl and let the dough rise for another 45 minutes. Repeat this process once more and let the dough rise for a final 45 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and liberally flour the top of the dough. Use two well-floured bench scrapers and carefully manipulate the dough from the sides to form a square. Don’t add any pressure to the top of the dough or it will deflate. Cut the square in half and use the bench scrapers to gently shape each half into a loaf. Gently slide the bench scrapers under the dough and transfer each loaf to a well-floured cloth. Fold the cloth up on the sides of the dough to separate and support each loaf. Let the loaves rise for 20 minutes.
Invert a baking sheet on to the lowest rack in the oven and heat the oven to 230°C. Place baking paper onto a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet. Slide your fingers under each end of the loaf and quickly transfer it to the parchment paper. Spray the loaf lightly with water. Carefully slide the parchment with the loaf onto the heated baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 22 to 27 minutes.