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Homemade Ciabatta

Are You "Bready" For This? Difficulty: ★★★★ Required Patience: ★★★★

Step aside store-made bread, we're making room for this guaranteed homemade favorite. If you're a fan of authentic artisan bread then you just fell into the right place! After eating this ciabatta friends keep asking me for the recipe so the time has come. My family affectionately nicknamed this bread "25-hour bread." It's a recipe that will reward you with not one but two of the most amazing loaves of spongy-on-the-inside while crisp-on-the-outside bread. This recipe wasn't entirely easy to make at first but now I knock the loaves out with ease and baking from scratch will reward you in ways a purchased loaf cannot (sorry, purchased loaves). This recipe came to my kitchen from our friends Jeanie and David and we've adapted it to streamline the preparation without sacrificing any of the quality.

Time To Prepare:

About 25 hours. Don't worry - most of this time you're letting the poolish rest.

Foodie Tips:

  • What's a poolish? It's a "preferment" or a magical step in fermentation that will add extensibility to your dough making it easier to form. The result will be a superior oven spring texture. The fine folks at King Arthur Bakery note that a preferment that is ripening in a 65°F room would require more yeast than one in a 75°F room. That being said you'll likely find that as you make the bread over time each loaf will treat you to a slightly different result and that's the fun!

  • About 00 Flour: Double zero flour is known in Italian as "doppio zero" or simply typeset as "00" flour. It's the gold standard of Italian dough making and I love using it for my homemade pizza, pasta, and bread creations. You can learn more about the differences between 00 and All Purpose (AP) flour in this helpful MasterClass article. Trust me - once you try 00 flour you will likely be a fan of your new floury friend. As Master Class notes: 00 flour "straddles the best of both worlds: tender and toothsome with a hint of give."

  • I use the fluff, scoop, and level method to measure my flour and I find that it works great. I have a very large flour container that holds an 11-pound bag of 00 flour. I use a flat-back butter knife to fluff the flour right in the container then scoop the flour up with a measuring cup and level it off with the back of the knife.

  • My family enjoys this ciabatta in many ways from the simple to the decadent. Try it toasted and dipped in olive oil, spread some compound butter on top (my garlic herb compound is a favorite), or make one of the most memorable grilled pressed panini (sandwiches) this side of the big pond. When cut and toasted I found myself enjoying the crunchiest breadcrumbs I've ever had - they're perfect for soups and salads!


for the poolish: 1 ½ Cups | 00 Flour

1 Scant Cup | Room Temperature Water

¼ Teaspoon | Instant Yeast

for the dough: 2 Cups | More 00 Flour 1 Cup Room Temperature Water

2 Teaspoons | Salt ½ Teaspoon | Instant Yeast

What To Do:

We'll start by making the poolish:

Combine the flour, water, and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover the bowl with cling film and let it ferment at room temperature for 15-20 hours. My magic number of hours of resting in my kitchen is 20 hours and I have fermented the poolish as little as 17 hours.

To make the dough:

1. Add the poolish and all ingredients for the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I use my KitchenAid®). Mix on low speed until all the flour is moistened, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until the dough forms into a mass and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes. 2. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on medium-low until the dough becomes smooth and shiny about 10 minutes. The dough will be soft, a little wet, and sticky.

3. Lightly coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Use a silicone dough scraper to scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover with cling film and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature. 4. After the 1-hour rise, use a greased scraper and gently grab one side of the dough, lift, and stretch it over the top of itself. Turn the bowl 180 degrees to stretch it again the same way. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees, stretch, and fold. Rotate the bowl 180 degrees again and stretch and fold the final side. Flip the dough over so the bottom becomes the top. Cover with cling film and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. Repeat folding two more times, covering the dough with cling film each time and letting it sit for an additional 45 minutes after each time.

5. Adjust the oven racks so that one is in the lower-third position (just below the oven center). Preheat the oven to 450ºF. It's important to let the oven preheat for at least an hour to ensure it is hot enough.

6. Liberally dust your work surface with flour and let the dough slide out of the bowl onto the counter. Be very gentle here so you don't knock all the air out of the dough and try to handle it as little as possible. Liberally dust the top of the dough with flour. Using 2 well-floured bench scrapers carefully manipulate it from the sides to form a square. Take care not to put pressure on top of the dough.

7. Cut the dough in half down the middle of the square. Gently shape each half into loaves by using the bench scrapers to manipulate the sides.

8. Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Using both bench scrapers slide them under both ends of the dough and transfer the dough to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use your fingertips, to gently shape each loaf into a rectangle.

9. Cover with a lint-free cloth to prevent the loaves from drying out. Proof in a draft-free place for about 30 minutes.

10. Bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, about 20-35 minutes. Start checking on it at 20 minutes as oven brands and sizes bake differently and it depends on if you're using a gas or electric oven. The internal temperature of the bread should be 210ºF-215ºF.

11. Transfer the ciabatta to a rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. This ciabatta freezes well when wrapped in press and seal.

Ciabatta With A Twist: Toasted With Peanut Butter And Hot Honey

Joe Paul Reider

Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder Austin Realtor® Keller Williams Realty

Email: Mobile: 512-222-3302 Web:

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