Ciabatta Bread

October 6th, 2010

I’ve always had problems making bread at home. They nearly never end up with the same fluffy lovely texture the bought ones do. So I couldn’t be more excited to share with you all, the great ciabatta bread method Nick found. I know I have told so many people about it – and they have been very patient waiting for the recipe – so here it is (finally).

I had heard a while back about the no-knead bread. It sounds delicious and I still intend to make it one or two days when I have the time. This is a quick no-knead ciabatta bread and I don’t know why it’s called that, as there is quite a lot of kneading done by the KitchenAid. I wouldn’t want to do it by hand – as the mixture is just way too sticky.

Another plus it that you don’t need any special flour for it. Plain flour works beautifully.

I hope more people try it – as there’s almost nothing better than dunking some fresh gorgeous ciabatta bread into olive oil, caramelised balsamic vinegar and dukkah.

Ciabatta Bread

Recipe by Nick based on Jason’s Quick Coccodrillo Ciabatta Bread and Food Wishes Video

**Note: Takes 3-8 hours or overnight with proving. (Nick has made it in 3 hours at the shortest time, although it works in 6 hours and even overnight!)

Makes: one loaf, and can easily be doubled to make two loaves

250g plain flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
250ml warm water

plain flour and polenta for dusting plastic wrap and baking paper lined tray

Place all dry ingredients into a bowl for a KitchenAid or mix master, with a dough hook attached. Whisk or mix the dry ingredients, then add the warm water and mix with the dough hook for 10 minutes. You may want to stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the dry ingredients have come away from the sides. You should really notice the texture and consitency of the dough change after 10 minutes of mixing, going from gluggy to stretchy and bandy.

Pour the mixture into a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a lid, tea towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 3-6 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle some water onto a clean counter surface and lay out a piece of plastic wrap onto the wet surface. This stops the plastic wrap from moving around. Sift some plain flour onto the plastic wrap to give an even coating (slightly smaller than the size of a baking tray). Cover your baking tray with a piece of baking paper, then sift a similar sized patch of flour onto the baking paper. Then sprinkle some polenta onto the flour on top of the baking paper. The flour on the plastic wrap will stop the dough sticking to the plastic, and the flour and polenta on the baking paper will end up on the underside of the bread, giving it a good texture and flavour.

The mixture should have tripled in size after proving, and will be sticky and full of air bubbles. Pour the mixture onto the flour covered plastic wrap and shape the dough into a loaf roughly 30cm x 15cm. It’s best to pop any really large air-bubbles in the dough. Carefully lift the plastic wrap with the dough on top and flip the loaf on the flour and polenta covered baking paper, then remove the plastic wrap. Re-shape the dough into a loaf shape again on the tray if required.

Leave the dough to sit in a warm spot for 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Cook at 250C for approximately 20 minutes, until the outside has formed a nice crust and makes a hollow sound when tapped.

Allow to cool to a temperature you’re able to handle, then slice up and serve with a meal – or for a lovely starter serve with a good olive oil and caramelised balsamic vinegar, and perhaps dukkah too.

If you make two loaves, you can easily store one in a tea towel overnight. Place on a baking tray and reheat in the oven at 180C for 5-10 minutes, before serving. It’s almost as good as freshly baked.

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18 Comments

  1. Isabella says:

    Reading all about the ciabatta bread is making my mouth water and it looks absolutely delicious!! It sounds like you and Nick make a very good team! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  2. Trissa says:

    It looks perfect Anita – just like in the Italian restaurants.

  3. WOW! It looks like one you would get in a pro bakery. Well done Anita its fab 🙂 will have to give it a go

  4. It is definitely a very sticky looking dough! And I agree that it’s not a true ‘no knead’ which requires no needing – not even from a machine.

  5. Yum! I agree with Trissa, this looks perfect!

  6. Von says:

    I love making ciabtta =) It’s so easy! The recipe I usually use doesn’t technically involve kneading, because the dough it pretty much slapped around for 5 minutes- it’s heaps of fun! haha….
    This looks really good!!

  7. Katie says:

    Crazycakes! That looks amazing!! Well done, im definitely trying your recipe 😀

  8. Barbara says:

    That’s one gorgeous loaf of ciabatta, Anita! I still haven’t tried the no-knead approach!

  9. I have been doing some bread baking lately and now I stumble into your Ciabatta with excellent texture, how on earth would I skip this… and no kneading, bring it on 🙂

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

  10. Oh Anita this post has got me genuinely excited!! Ciabatta is my favourite bread ever, and I can’t wait to make my own now. Thanks!!!

  11. Love the look of the lazy bread! Great idea to same time.

  12. Great job Anita! Look at that texture-I could just cut off a slice and slather it with butter and be one very happy camper! 🙂

  13. Barbara says:

    I really don’t usually make a lot of breads, but I’m certainly going to try this one. I love the way it turned out…the crumb looks marvelous. Ciabatta is a favorite and won’t I impress if I make my own?

  14. The texture looks great! I like the idea of an overnight rise too.

  15. hungrygal says:

    the best fresh baked ciabatta style bread I have tried was at a winery restaurant in the yarra valley – at De Bortoli – it was served with a dish of yummy fresh curd cheese mixed with herbs and topped with olive oil – divine

  16. I made the ciabatta a few days ago and it was truly fabulous. I think I ate half the loaf in a day. So beautiful straight from the oven, slathered in butter. Thanks!

  17. antonietta says:

    Bravissima!!!

  18. Emma Puszkar says:

    This is the reason I bought a Kitchenaid! I have made this numerous times and it’s brilliant! Thanks Anita 🙂

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