Fresh Ciabatta

Baking bread is one of those smells that fills the house and makes you instantly happy. For many people the task seems daunting and the recipes out there are far too complex and confusing.

Ciabatta is a very wet dough that has a soft crust and a buttery inside (AKA crumb). Most sandwich breads are, in terms of baker’s percents, about 65% hydration. Ciabatta is nearly 85%. When you’re mixing it you’ll think you’re making batter instead of bread! Trust me. It works.

Follow my recipe below and you’ll be enjoying fresh ciabatta for dinner tonight!

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1 Tbl instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add in water and use a spoon to combine. Really combine. Like you’re angry at it. Or, use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Your dough should be wet and stringy. Mix for 5-7 minutes in the stand mixer, 10-12 minutes by hand.

Pour dough into greased bowl or shallow bin. Use olive oil to grease. It adds a nice flavor to your finished loaves. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Don’t skip this step. You need parchment!

Sprinkle some semolina flour on top of the dough in the bowl. Sprinkle a lot of your counter! About 1/4 cup spread out. Use a butter knife or bench scraper to separate the sides of the dough from the walls of your bowl. But carefully so that you don’t deflate your dough. Slowly tip you bowl to the side then flip the bowl over so that your dough falls onto the floured surface. Sprinkle with more semolina. Divide your dough into four parts, and with floured hands carefully place the dough lengths onto the parchment with the seam side up. These will flatten out so leave some room between them.

Let rise for 15 minutes. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes but an hour is better. Enjoy!

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