Ciabatta bread #5

I have a long history of failing to make this bread: #3, #2 and #1. I got a tip to try out this recipe from Food Wishes, with a helpful video. Well it looks really simple from the video, and it is! And it worked! This recipe is basically the same as #4 with a few minor tweaks.

3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (around 17.9 oz. by weight)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour  (around 2.4 oz. by weight)
1/2 tsp. instant ("bread machine") yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt

That is a basic no-knead recipe, though I did mix it in the Kitchen Aid mixer because it's easier than doing it by hand. The dough is very sticky!

The video says let it rise for 18 hours in a cool place, covered with foil. It's summer, and while I have air conditioning, I like it hot, so it's usually 80°F here. It's about 70°F in my basement, so that will have to do. Fortunately it worked great! I used plastic wrap, as well. And let it sit for closer to 20 hours the second time I made this recipe.

Spray a sheet pan with oil and dust with semolina flour. I used cornmeal the first time and both work. You want to be fairly generous because the first time I made it the bread stuck to the pan a little.

The dough is extremely sticky! I used the technique of dampening your cutting board and covering it with plastic wrap, which worked great. In addition to eliminating the need to scrape dough off the board, the plastic is used later on to make it easy to transfer the loaf to the pan.

Give the plastic wrap a light spray of oil and dust with flour. Be generous, but don't leave a whole lot of excess flour, because you'll be flipping the loaf onto the pan, and excess flour just makes a mess.

Formed into a nice loaf shape and floured on top.

Thanks to the plastic wrap, you can just pick up the whole loaf and flip it over onto the sheet pan. This works well for such a large, sticky loaf.

Spray a little oil on a big piece of plastic wrap and loosely cover the loaf.

Left rise for 2 hours. The video also mentions that the loaf will grow more horizontally than vertically, and he's not kidding!

Into a preheated 425°F oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180° after 18 minutes.

Mine looked done at 35 minutes. Holy moley, that's a huge loaf of bread. This loaf was much taller than #4!

Ready to freeze.

I had some with corn chowder.

This bread is delicious and I'm so glad I finally learned how to make it!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rick Kasguma published on August 4, 2013 8:14 AM.

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