COOKING FOR COMFORT

©2017 BY COOKING FOR COMFORT.

Ciabatta Bread

March 15, 2018

GUYS. if you have a stand mixer, you should seriously stop buying bread and start making it yourself. you don't necessarily need a stand mixer, but if I'm being real honest... you probably want it for most doughs. that or some serious muscles. it's SO much better! and its easy. I promise. I know some of the recipes [this one especially] may look daunting because of the amount of steps, but it really isn't hard. I just tried to spell everything out so that it is super easy to follow. plus for this one, you are doing it over the course of 2 days. 

 

it's also a money saver. does anyone ever actually make it through a single loaf of bread on their own? maybe if you have a family... I don't though. and then it's wasted. if you are a frequent baker/flour user, I highly recommend purchasing your flour and yeast from Costco. I get my flour in 25 lb. bags for only $8.50!! I also got 2 lbs. of active dry yeast - I can't remember the price but I'm pretty sure it was about $5 and it's probably going to last me a few years. compared to $1.50 for for about 2.5 tablespoons. 

 

make this ciabatta bread to make your hearty sandwiches out of, cut it into thick slices for open-faced breakfasts toasts, or swipe on some creamy butter and have it as a side dish to your meal. 

ciabatta bread

yield: 2 medium loaves              prep time: 15 hours/2 days              bake time: 20 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS

sponge

1/8 tsp. active dry yeast

2 Tbsp. warm water [110°]

1/3 cup water, room temperature

1 cup bread flour [I prefer King Arthur]

 

bread 

½ tsp. active dry yeast

2 Tbsp. warm milk [110°]

2/3 cup water, room temperature

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups bread flour [King Arthur]

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

 

DIRECTIONS

Sponge

In the bottom of a stand mixer, sprinkle 1/8 tsp. of yeast over the top of 2 Tbsp. warm water.

Allow the yeast to foam up for 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup of bread flour and 1/3 cup of room-temp water.

Using the dough hook on ‘stir’ speed [the lowest speed] stir for 4 minutes.

-- The dough should completely pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a smooth ball.

Transfer the sponge to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at a cool room-temp for 12 hours or up to 1 day.

-- I just let mine sit on my kitchen counter.

Bread Dough [12 hours or 1 day later]

In the bottom of the stand mixer, sprinkle ½ tsp. of yeast over the top of 2 Tbsp. warm milk.

Allow the yeast to foam up for 5 minutes.

Add the sponge, 2/3 cup of room-temp water, 2 cups of bread flour and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.

Combine all of the ingredients using the dough hook on low-speed.

Once combined, beat the dough on medium-speed for 3 minutes.

Add 1 ½ tsp. of salt and beat on medium-speed for another 4 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly-greased bowl, turn once and cover with plastic wrap.

Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 ½ hours. It should double in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. Cut into 2 even pieces.

Prepare 2 rectangular pieces of parchment paper with flour.

-- I like to use the pre-cut 'Parchment Paper Pop Ups' from Kroger 

Form 2 oval-shaped loaves, place them onto the 2 parchment pieces and using floured-fingers, create dimples over the loaves. Sprinkle more flour over the tops.

Cover the loaves with damp paper towels and allow to rise for another 1 ½ - 2 hours.

While the loaves are rising for the last time, preheat the oven to 425° and allow a pizza stone or overturned baking sheet to heat up on the bottom rack for at least 45 minutes.

Transfer the loaves [parchment paper included] to the stone/sheet and bake for 20 minutes each.

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