Like other rustic bread, ciabatta is made with a starter. However, it is unique in its characteristics. The dough is very wet, it sticks to your hand and your work surface. The crust is crispy then there’s the crumb, all spongy and chewy with big irregular holes. The shape is flat and elongated because of its high moisture content. The bread is perfect on its own and for making sandwiches.
- Oven - Preheat to 425°F
- Stand Mixer with Paddle and Dough Hook
- Digital Kitchen Scale
- Large Bowl
- Medium Bowl
- Baking Stone
- Spray Bottle
- Pizza Peel
- Preparation Time: 9H - 9H 30M
- Cooking Time: 25M
- Total Time: 9H 30M - 10H
- Difficulty: Easy
INGREDIENTS: (All measurements are by weight except TBS and tsp.)
- 6⅖ oz all purpose flour
- 8 oz water
- ⅛ tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
- 10 oz all purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
- 1½ tsps salt
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 5 oz water
- 2½ oz whole milk
- 1 tsp sugar
STARTER: Stir all ingredients in a medium glass bowl until fully combined, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand overnight or up to 15 hours.
DOUGH: Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into the stand mixer bowl, whisk. Stir oil, water and milk into the sponge, mix until fully combined. Add sponge mixture into the flour mixture and beat using the paddle at low speed until well blended for about 2 minutes. Turn to medium low speed and continue mixing for about 5 minutes.
Change to dough hook, knead at low speed for 2 minutes. Then turn to medium low speed, knead for another 2 to 5 minutes or until dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 1 to 1½ hours or until doubled its size. Every 30 minutes fold dough towards itself 8 times changing the angle for every fold.
Transfer the dough onto a generously floured surface. Cut into 2 equal parts. Handling gently, roll dough into a cylinder. Press and stretch each portion into a 12 by 6 inch rectangle. Fold the top third part and the bottom third part over each other. Pinch seam with your fingers to close. Repeat the process for the other portion.
Generously flour 2 parchment paper and transfer loaves onto it seam side down. Cover loosely with damp towel. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until loaves become puffy, with small bubbles. Dimple the loaves with knuckles or fingertips.
While the dough is rising, preheat oven and baking stone to 425°F, about 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. Place baking stone on the center rack. Transfer the loaves with the parchment paper onto the pizza peel. Slide the loaves with the parchment paper onto the baking stone. Mist loaves with water using the spray bottle.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown in color. Spray again with water twice within 5 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven and discard parchment paper. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.