This homemade ciabatta bread recipe may take a while to make, but the flavor is worth it! Ciabatta is an Italian bread that can be used in many different ways. It’s delicious just spread with butter or dipped in olive oil, or use it for pizza or sandwiches.
Ciabatta bread is soft and slightly crispy. So delicious! Don’t be intimidated by baking bread. This ciabatta bread recipe is easy to make.
Preparation time: 6 hours and more
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total duration: 6 1/2 hours (approximately)
Servings: Makes 3 loaves
- 2 cups bread flourThames
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast (instant and regular both work)
- 1 cup water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)
Here’s how to do it:
- First we make the starter. In a medium bowl, combine water and yeast. If you are using regular yeast, wait about 10 minutes until the yeast has a creamy texture. If you are using instant yeast, simply mix the yeast and water directly into the flour in the next step.
- Combine the flour and the water and yeast mixture in a bowl to form a sticky, loose dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 3 or 4 hours. You can also do this the night before and let it sit overnight.
- Once the starter has rested, it will be bubbly. Pour in another 2 cups of lukewarm water little by little. Scrape the edge of the bowl with a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into a stand mixer bowl with an oiled dough hook. Mix over low heat for 1-2 minutes and continue to mix while slowly adding the flour. Add the salt with the last cup of flour. Stir over medium heat for 10 minutes. Then blend on high for 10 more minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 40 to 50 minutes.
- Dip a spatula in lukewarm water. Fold the dough from the outside to the center. Do this seven to 10 times. Using your hands, lift the dough out of the bowl and up until it starts to fold up and put it back into the bowl. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Cover again and let rise another 40 to 50 minutes. Repeat the spatula folds and lift the folds again.
- Generously dust the work surface with flour and let the dough slide on it, turning the bowl upside down. Dust the top of the dough with flour and gently shape the dough into a rectangle. Cut the dough into three elongated loaves. I use a scraper to do this. Generously dust three kitchen towels with flour. Transfer a loaf to the center of each napkin and cover by folding the ends of the napkin over each.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F while the bread rests in a towel. Line a frying pan with parchment and dust the paper with flour. Carefully flip each loaf from the towels onto parchment paper. Spray the oven with warm water just before placing it in the oven to create steam.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes without opening the oven. Leave the bread in the oven and reduce the heat to 400 degrees F, then bake for another 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
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