Weekend Comfort Food -Easy To Bake Ciabatta Bread Recipe
Is there anything better than Ciabatta Bread? There is when it’s homemade Ciabatta Bread and the best part is that with this recipe, your Ciabatta Bread will garner rave reviews from everyone that tries it and nobody ever has to know just how quick and easy it is to make! So just what is Ciabatta and what sets it apart from other breads?
In Italian, ciabatta means “slipper,” leading some people to call the bread “slipper bread.” The name is a reference to the shape, which does sort of resemble a slipper. Ciabatta bread tends to be short, wide, and long, which makes it ideally suited to sandwiches. It is also offered with olive oils and other dips, since the crumb absorbs dips and liquids very well, and it may be toasted when served for this purpose. Dried ciabatta bread can also be turned into excellent croutons. Many bakers tend to add herbs, oil, or olives to their ciabatta bread before baking it, turning out a bread that slightly resembles focaccia, although it has a less dense crumb.
Panini, the classic grilled Italian sandwiches on hearty slices of bread, are often made with ciabatta. As you can already tell, one of the best parts of baking this classic Italian bread is that the ways to customize and truly make it your own are endless and it’s a perfect bread to create together with the whole family. Our recipe is so simple to make, I guarantee you’ll want to make a few loaves at a time because it’s so tasty and yummy it tends to disappear quickly. Or even better, make one loaf to keep and one loaf to give to a friend. Let’s get baking!
Yield: 2 ciabatta breads (size: 4×8 in)
2/3 c AP flour
1/3 c water, room temperature
¼ tsp instant yeast
2 1/3 c AP flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp instant yeast
¾ c water, room temperature
¼ c milk, room temperature
- In a mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours (maximum 24 hours).
- The sponge is ready when it is at least double in size and has bubbles on the surface.
- Add water and milk into the sponge. Use a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the mixture until well combined.
- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, salt. Use a dough hook at medium-low speed, slowly add sponge mixture to the flour and mix everything together. The dough will start to form and almost pull away from the sides after 4-5 minutes.
- Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead until the dough is completely smooth and there is no dry ingredients left. Note: the dough is supposed to be very sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Use a spatula (grease it generously with flour) to fold the dough over by lifting the edge of the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degree and fold again.
- Repeat the process until you completely fold the dough for 2 whole circles.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.
- Repeat steps 5, 6, 7 for 2 more times.
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Transfer the dough to a heavily greased surface. Then dust the top with more flour. Use a scraper and cut the dough in half. Work with 1 piece of dough at a time.
- Flour your hands well and stretch the first dough into 8×11 in a rectangle, don’t put too much force on the dough, work very gently.
- Then fold one-third of the dough on the right side toward the middle. Then repeat the step with the other third on the left side. And carefully pinch the seams together. The size of the dough after the folds is about 4×8 in.
- Repeat steps 11, 12 for the second dough.
- Cover both loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let them rest and develop small bubbles on the surface, about 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime place a big bowl of hot water inside the oven, at the bottom rack, let it create steam before baking the bread.
- When the loaves are ready, generously spray them with water. Don’t spray directly onto the loaves, instead spray 5~6 inches above them. (You have the option to dust the top with 50% rice flour & 50% flour to create a white surface effect. If so, do this step before spraying with water.
- Put the loaves into the oven immediately. Bake until the top crusts turn almost dark brown for 20-25 minutes.
- Let the bread cool down completely to room temperature before serving.
This weekend, treat yourself and surprise your family with the best comfort food ever- Ciabatta Bread. Once you’ve seen how simple and how much fun it is to bake it yourself, you’ll never go back to premade bread again! What’s your favorite way to eat Ciabatta Bread?