|4.9028573 (50)||rate this recipe »|
This rustic Italian loaf is filled with irregular holes, all the better to trap a drizzle of olive oil. Cut lengthwise, ciabatta makes a wonderful Italian-style sandwich.
1 1/2 cups cool water (12 ounces)
3 1/2 cups King Arthur European-Style Artisan Bread Flour (14 3/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Stir the water, 2 cups of the flour, and 1 teaspoon of the yeast together, cover and let rest at room temperature for several hours, or overnight. Add the remaining flour, yeast, and salt, mixing vigorously until the dough begins to hold together. This is a very sticky dough; add more flour only if it's "soupy."
Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl. Let it rise for 1 hour, then gently deflate it. Let it rise another hour, then turn it out onto a liberally floured work surface or silicone rolling mat, and sprinkle lots of flour on top. Flatten the dough to an 8" x 10" rectangle, about 3/4" thick, and cut it into two pieces, each about 4" x 10" inches. Transfer the loaves onto a piece of parchment, leaving about 6" between them. Cover with a proof cover or heavily oiled plastic wrap, and let rise till they're very puffy, about 2 hours.
While the dough is rising, place a baking stone in the oven and set the temperature to 500°F. Allow the oven to heat for 30 minutes. Spritz the dough with water, then transfer the bread to the stone, parchment and all, and lower the oven temperature to 425°F. Bake the ciabatta until it's golden brown, approximately 22 to 25 minutes. Turn the oven off, place ciabatta on the oven's middle rack, crack the door open about 2", and allow ciabatta to cool completely in the turned-off oven. Yield: 2 ciabatta.
Note: If you don't have a baking stone, transfer parchment and ciabatta to a cookie sheet, and bake on the middle rack of your oven.