Friday, April 10, 2015

Ciabatta

Ciabatta is of Italian origin and is one of the lightest bread you can bake. The bread dough is made with almost 85% hydration. It is wet, sticky and very tricky to work with. When the dough is placed in a very high temperature oven the water evaporates leaving behind a well risen and extremely light loaf. Ciabatta makes a great sandwich bread.


I like working with high hydration dough but most of mine are about 75%. Working with 85% is something else altogether. It is hard to shape as it does not hold the shape very well. The dough is sticky but you cannot add too much flour as it absorbs the flour quickly.


I searched for a good formula for this bread but did not find any. Finally I made my own. I mixed just enough dough for one loaf. I used 200 gm of flour and calculated everything else. I mixed the dough very late one night, after 11:30 pm and left it in the refrigerator for the bulk fermentation. Next day I shaped the dough and gave it a short proofing time (about three hours). I then baked it in my dutch oven. I am really pleased with the result.

You will need
200 gm bread flour
170 gm water
3 gm instant yeast
3 gm salt
2 gm sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl with wet hands. Form a very wet dough. Knead for about 5 minutes until  you feel the texture of the dough change. It will be smooth and elastic and not as sticky. It will be very wet and will not form a shape. Cover and keep for 6-8 hours for the bulk fermentation.


Transfer to a lightly floured working surface and shape like a slipper. Pull the dough along the length and fold over.


Place on a parchment paper sprinkled with flour and keep aside for an hour.


Preheat the oven with the dutch oven inside to 500 F. Place the shaped dough on a parchment paper inside the dutch oven. Put the lid back on and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 20-25 minutes until you get the desired color. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.


Enjoy!







19 comments:

  1. again a bread with such a beautiful crust!!! I have become a fan of your breads!!!

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  2. You nail all these breads so well. Amazing

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  3. Another wonderful bread recipe.

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  4. wonder how you work with sticky dough, i have the dough all over my body when i start kneading and hoping that it will give in , i end up scraping it using a ulatna and wash hands and succumb to adding more flour...i really need to be patient with this, i want to bake ciabatta from such a long time...i will make an attempt again coz i loved the beautiful color of your bread and m suddenly longing for that crunchy bite of cia...we get a kadak pav version u might be aware...comes very close to it

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  5. Ciabatta looks very stunning, u rock always with your bread, well done again.

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  6. This beauty is in my long to-do list, i need to get a DO soon!! Loving that crunchy top !!!:)

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  7. This bread is beautifully baked and love the crust.

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  8. That is one beautiful looking rustic bread.

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  9. High hydration doughs are very difficult to work with, but that is what gives ciabatta its characteristic texture and flavor. Yours came out just so perfect.

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  10. I was keen on this bread but the minute i read the words tricky and sticky i gave up!
    Beautifully baked Varada , the bread has come out fabulous.

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  11. So perfectly made..looks beautiful..Bookmarked and give it a try soon..

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  12. I have heard that ciabatta is sticky, but never really tried it. I have also read that this is one recipe not to try with hand. Its best to work with stand mixer. The bread looks good, btw, Varada

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  13. I once read on this bread and looking at how sticky it was, thought best to leave it for another day..you have got it done so perfectly!

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  14. Lovely color to the rustic looking bread!

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  15. Very rustic and lovely hue of the bread ..

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  16. All your bread looks so professional. Handling a sticky dough is indeed tough. I have once made a French country loaf and I never ever tried it again...

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  17. You are tempting me to buy a DO soon! After I spoke with you, I wanted to buy one soon, but now after seeing this simple bread, I am going to be buying it ASAP :)

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  18. Lets say I will not attempt this dough and bread for a long long time. I need to go miles befor I cna manage this dough. But I am loving this bread too.

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  19. When will I ever try to bake all the beautiful breads in your space. The crust looks so very good

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