Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ciabatta Bread

I LOVE Ciabatta bread.  It's my favorite.  It's probably just easier to buy it in the store but I promise you will NOT be sorry.  This is a great recipe with great results.  (Use for sandwich below)


For the Sponge 
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour 
1 cup water 
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast 

For the Dough 
Sponge (from above) 
1 teaspoon instant yeast 
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour  
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk 
1/4 to 1/2 cup water 
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Sponge: 
Mix the sponge ingredients, in a small bowl, until well combined. Let the sponge rest overnight, covered, or for up to 15 hours.
Place all of the dough ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer, and beat it at medium speed, using the flat beater, for 5 to 8 minutes. The dough will never completely clear the sides of the bowl, though it'll begin to acquire some shape. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours; it will get very puffy.

Transfer the dough to a well-oiled work surface. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet, and your hands. Using a bench knife or your fingers, divide the dough in half. Handling the dough gently, stretch it into a log about 10-inches long, and place it on the baking sheet. Flatten the log with your fingers till it's about 10-inches long and 4 to 5-inches wide. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough. Lightly cover the dough with heavily oiled plastic wrap, and allow it to rise for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy. Oil your fingers, and gently poke deep holes all over the dough. Re-oil the plastic wrap, re-cover the dough, and allow it to rise for an additional hour. 

Dust the dough very lightly with flour. Bake it in a preheated 425°F (220°C) oven, throwing four or five ice cubes on the floor of the oven as you put the bread in. Allow the ciabatta to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it's golden brown. Turn off the oven, remove the ciabatta from the baking sheet, and return the loaf to the oven, propping the oven door open a couple of inches with a folded-over potholder. Allow the ciabatta to cool completely in the oven; this will give it a very crisp crust. 

Bon Bon

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