Homemade Ciabatta

by Shawnda on June 13, 2010

in Bread,Lighter & Healthier

Homemade Ciabatta

There are few things in this world that can beat the smell of homemade bread. Actually, the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven might be the only one.

Ciabatta is the second-most made bread in this house, behind baguettes. Well, third if you wanna get technical and count pizza dough. If it didn’t require a pesky overnight rest for the starter, it could easily be first. I’ve made several ciabatta recipes, settling on one for a while before moving on. This one is chewy, decently holy, and makes a darn good melty mozzarella sandwich :)

Homemade Ciabatta

Make the sponge: Sprinkle yeast over warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and gluten (if using), until mixture is thoroughly combined and there are no powdery streaks of flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours (I went ~28 hours).

Make the bread: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, sprinkle yeast over warm milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the sponge and remaining ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Increase to medium-high speed and knead for 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Dough will still be sticky but should mostly come off the side of the bowl.

Scrape into an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface (it’s sticky!) and with an oiled pizza cutter, divide dough in half. Using oiled hands (and a bench scraper works wonderfully, too), pick up the dough and transfer it to a lined baking sheet. Lightly stretch the dough into a ~10 inch rectangle as you lay it on the sheet. Heavy hands = popped air bubbles and less holey bread. Move the second loaf over using the same methods. Lightly dust top of the loaves with flour and loosely cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed with olive oil/cooking spray. Let rise for ~90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake loaves 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool loaves on a rack completely before cutting.

Homemade Ciabatta Bread

Chewy, holey bread perfect for sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • For the starter:
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • For the bread:
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp warm milk
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Make the sponge: Sprinkle yeast over warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and gluten (if using), until mixture is thoroughly combined and there are no powdery streaks of flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours (I went ~28 hours).
  2. Make the bread: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, sprinkle yeast over warm milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the sponge and remaining ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Increase to medium-high speed and knead for 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Dough will still be sticky but should mostly come off the side of the bowl.
  3. Scrape into an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface (it's sticky!) and with an oiled pizza cutter, divide dough in half. Using oiled hands (and a bench scraper works wonderfully, too), pick up the dough and transfer it to a lined baking sheet. Lightly stretch the dough into a ~10 inch rectangle as you lay it on the sheet. Heavy hands = popped air bubbles and less holey bread. Move the second loaf over using the same methods. Lightly dust top of the loaves with flour and loosely cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed with olive oil/cooking spray. Let rise for ~90 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake loaves 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool loaves on a rack completely before cutting.

Notes

Yields: 2 loaves

Adapted from AllRecipes

Estimated time: 15 hours

Nutritional Information*
Calories: 736.9 | Fat: 7.5 | Fiber 6.5
WW Points: 15

*Your mileage is going to vary based on your use of the bread. I calculated per loaf.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea June 13, 2010 at 6:16 am

That looks fantastic! I may have to soon add ciabatta to my bread repertoire.

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2 Joanne June 13, 2010 at 11:12 am

Yeah homemade bread is just fantastic. Maybe the smell of pie in the oven can rival it. Maybe.

I’ve been looking for a good ciabatta recipe! Thanks for posting this!

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3 vanillasugar June 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

gosh i hate making bread, but now i want some…..

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4 Aimee June 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Oh this looks delicious, and I love the sandwich you made with it! MMM!

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5 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking June 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

I started my very first blog post with the same first sentence! Really, nothing does beat the smell of homemade bread. I’ll have to remember this recipe the next time I make bruschetta… It’s just lovely, and you took great photos too!

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6 Katie June 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Your blog is so creative and I love the way you break everything down. I just recently got dough hooks so I’ve been looking for yeast bread recipes I’m willing to try. I can’t wait to try yours! Thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog, it really pays off :)

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7 Christina June 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I’ve made baguettes before, but never ciabatta. I want to give it a try since it would be delicious for sandwiches.
As a side thought, I usually add vital wheat gluten to all my bread recipes except artisan bread. It helps extend the life of the bread, I think I read somewhere.

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8 Chef Dennis June 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

home made bread is just the best!! I started making it at school, my girls love it! I have never made ciabatta, your recipe looks like a good one!
thanks so much for sharing

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9 Lauren June 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

Hey! Wow! I love a good loaf of bread— my dream is to open up my own sandwich shop, so I’m always thrilled to see a gorgeous loaf of something all brown and crusty… even if I can’t smell it! Good work!

Lauren, Lauren’s Little Kitchen

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10 Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking June 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

You just made me wanna start baking bread again! I used to do it a lot when I lived in Sweden but it was a looong time ago now. Thanks for a great, inspiring post!

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11 Sara June 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I have been wanting to make some ciabatta. Looks really good!

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12 Mo June 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I love ciabatta! Saw you on foodbuzz and am enjoying your site so far. :)

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13 valerian June 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm

i love Italian breads, they are so summery (is that a word?). Thank you for sharing the recipe

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14 Ciaochowlinda June 20, 2010 at 6:16 am

I’ve made plenty of breads, but never ciabatta. Thanks for inspiring me to try it.

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15 Ashley July 5, 2010 at 10:24 am

This looks fantastic! Great photo – it has me drooling over here!

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16 Lindsey April 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

QUESTION: it says it’s 15 points but it makes 2 loafs sooooo is it 15 points for the whole loaf, per slice (obvioiusly not but wouldn’t hurt to ask), or for the 2 loafs……………………………………….thanks <3

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