Ciabatta remains one of the most conventional types of bread out there today. Its origins hale from Italy, as this bread has found itself a special spot in the heart of not only Italians but also consumers all over the globe.
Francesco Favaron, the creator of the ciabatta bread pushed beyond the popularity of French baguettes by simply mixing together basic ingredients such as flour, wheat, water, salt and yeast.
Having a striking resemblance with the French bread, commonly known as “French baguettes” the ciabatta is long, broad, flat and versatile as it can be baked in many ways.
The bread made its way into the United Kingdom through Marks and Spencer and later made solid footing in the United States thanks to the Orlando Bakery.
Like every other recipe out there (conventional or not) the ciabatta bread continues to evolve as new variations are added to it each passing day. The world is becoming wiser and bakers are always trying to create something new out of old recipes such as this.
Although you can personalize a ciabatta bread recipe by mixing it up with beef, making it into a sandwich, and adding some black olives, that epic and classical taste of the ciabatta bread cannot easily be brushed off or altered.
Its crust is crunchy to the mouth and feels it with chewy delight. It is light in weight and has little holes when split down the middle – The ciabatta bread.
If all of that has picked your interest, this is how you can make your own.
- 1 ½ cups of liquid (warm water)
- 2 tbsp. milk (warm)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (white)
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 ¼ cup of flour (bread flour)
- 1 ½ teaspoon of active dry yeast.
- Stir the sugar yeast and milk in a bowl until it becomes creamy, and then allow to stand for about 3 minutes.
- Add the water and beat together for 5 minutes. (use either a mixer or wooden spoon, whatever is at hand)
- Use a dough hook to knead the mixture for about 5 minutes, alternatively, (if you do not have a dough hook) just keep on beating the mixture with a wooden spoon.
- After the successful combination of the dough, rub flour over your hands and start pulling parts of the dough using a up and down motion (more like you are boxing it out) do this for about 5 minutes (this is what brings about the holes in the ciabatta bread, as air bubbles will penetrate into the dough)
- Slightly apply oil round a bowl, and then gently toss the dough into it. Slowly drip oil over the surface of the dough.
- Use a plastic wrap and napkin to cover the bowl.
- Leave to rise for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, start pre heating your oven to 400F.
- Get a baking sheet and parchment, rub flour on the surface.
- Once again apply a bit of flour to your hands, and start shaping the dough into your desired size (ideally a 12in-4in loaf)
- Trickle down a bit of flour on the surface of the shaped dough (for aesthetic purposes)
- Put in the oven, and allow to bake for 40 minutes until it gives a golden brown appearance.
- When done, allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Voila! There you have it. You have created rustic art, a beautiful loaf filled with Italian goodness.
Recipe shared by Emma.