Ciabatta bread was born in Italy. It's basically an italian white bread made with flour, salt, water and yeast. It was made in response to the popularity of baguettes in the early 1980s. I've been making ciabatta for as long as I've been our 72 Hour Dough. Let me explain...I've made pizza dough a minimum of two times per week over the past four years. Most of it is used for, you guessed it - pizza!
But often times I have leftover dough, which sits in my fridge for literally days. Even though I haven't officially labeled an expiration date on the dough, it does "lose" its vigor after day 7. This just means it will be difficult to stretch old dough into a pizza. Enter Ciabatta bread. Basically, I take my old dough out of the fridge, let it rest for an hour or two, then simply hand-stretch and bake. It's literally the easiest way to make kick-ass ciabatta bread. The result is some kick-ass ciabatta bread. Tear it by hand, dip it in your favorite olive oil and chow it down. It doesn't get any better than homemade ciabatta bread, hot from the oven!
The best part - Even though this Ciabatta bread is more of a technique than recipe, I'm sharing a very quick dough recipe you can use if you want to make some bread this weekend. Just in case you don't have several extra pizza dough's kicking around in your fridge.
Create Some Love,
Ciabatta Bread Ingredients
500 (3 3/4 cups) grams bread flour
350 grams (1 1/2 cup) tepid water (105 F)
16 grams (2 teaspoons) sea salt
1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
1. Whisk the salt and yeast in the water. I like to whisk salt first, then yeast. Next add your flour and mix. Remove from bowl and knead for 2-3 minutes, you want to remove any dry clumps of flour. Let rest for 20 minutes.
2. Continue to knead for 1-2 more minutes, or until dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm environment. I like to toss mine in the oven (just be sure to check the oven is not turned on.) I've done that before, shit and major oops...
3. After 1.5 hours, the dough will have risen slightly. Remove from bowl and lightly dust your worksurface with flour. Divide the dough into equal portions. Use a scale if you have one, if not then eyeball. But you better have a scale, otherwise how could you have made this dough in the first place?
4. Lets make dough balls. With lightly floured hands, gently fold a piece of dough in half and press ends together. Now turn 90 degrees and fold in half again, press the ends together. Work firm but gently, trying not to tear the dough. Fold each side, top, left, right and bottom (or 4 times). Firmly pinch the seam and place seam side down.
5. If you are going to use the dough right away, place seam side down on lightly floured sheet tray. If not, place in lightly oiled containers for up to 10 days.
1. Preheat your oven to 450 F with your Baking Steel on the top rack.
2. Lightly flour a piece of parchment (about 15 inches wide) paper with a combination of bread flour and semolina flour.
3. Carefully place a dough on parchment, using both hands, gently give the dough a tug and pull dough until it is about 6-inches in width. Spinkle both semolina and flour on top, let rest for 5 minutes.
4. Using a pizza peel, carefully launch ciabatta dough onto your hot Bakng Steel. Bake for *15-18 minutes (See notes below). If you want to live on the edge, turn the broiler on for the last mintue to give it some more color. Remove and eat.
* I've been using our Baking Steel Bracelets mid way through the bake to elevate the bread off the Baking Steel so the bottom of my bread doesn't get too dark. These bracelets can withstand the high temp of the Steel...