Ciabatta failure #3

I love the crunchy-on-the-outside and air-filled Italian bread known as ciabatta. It is also my nemesis and one of the things I have never been able to bake successfully, as evidenced by failure #1 and failure #2.

I finally succeeded in making this, with Ciabatta #4!

I'm reading Michael Ruhlman's Ratio, which is an excellent book, by the way, and he makes it sound like the easiest thing to make. How can this be? So I set out to make his ciabatta.

20 oz. bread flour
12 oz. water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant yeast

Combine the ingredients with the paddle attachment then knead in with the dough hook for 8 minutes or so. Or, in my case, since my Kitchen Aid broke during this exercise, spend a lot of time and energy kneading by hand.

Let double in size, a couple hours.

Knead on a floured surface. Let rest 15 minutes.

Pull on the ends to form a rectangle about a 1 foot long and 1 inch thick.

Dust a peel with semolina flour and transfer the dough to the peel. Let rise for 1 hour.

15 to 30 minutes into rising, put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450°F.

Gently coat the bread with olive oil and kosher salt after it's done rising.


Cook for 10 minutes at 450°F then lower the heat to 375°F and continue cooking for 30 more minutes. The internal temperature of the bread should be 205°F.

Let rest for a minimum of 45 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

And the result is... plain white bread.

Now this is really tasty white bread, but it's not ciabatta. I ate the other half slice it was so tasty. I suspect in this case the problem may have been insufficient kneading since I ended up doing it by hand. I wasn't able to pass the window-pane test before my arms were ready to give out.