How to Make and Bake Specialty Bread, ciabatta bread, Home made, Artisan recipe

Baking the story

A couple of weeks ago my friend Fabio came around for a cooking night; I’d been making bread so he suggested that we make a favourite of his ‘Ciabatta’.

“I remember we always had one for Sunday dinner time fresh from Grandma’s oven.” He said.

So I thought I’d pass this on, because it is such fun to make and even more fun to eat and enjoy; which let’s face it is what food is all about. Although I think Indian cooking, is my favourite; Italian food comes a close second. When I worked in Russia some of my clients there were Italian, and they were so passionate about their food and life that it is difficult not to be a favourite.

Look at that!
Look at that!

Simple, easy recipe


This recipe is simple, but it needs a little bit of care and time to get it right. You need to make a very wet, or loose mix for this and it can get a bit messy.

You start with what is known as a flying sponge, a combination of flour, water, and yeast that gives extra lift and improves the bread no end.

No-Knead Ciabatta Bread

The sponge starting to bubble
The sponge starting to bubble

This is What You Need

The sponge.

100 gms strong bread flour, if you can get ciabatta flour or any Italian flour so much the better.

100 ml warm water

7-10 grams of fresh yeast. You can use quick acting, you will need one sachet or 7 gms.

Mix everything together and leave somewhere warm for 20 minutes or until it has gone spongy.

I usually make mine over a few days, each day adding more flour and water. It is well worth making the effort.

You also need.

The bread.

400 gms of the same flour as above and

500 ml of water. The total water in the mix for this should be about 80%

1 tsp of salt.

2 tblespoon of butter.

1 tsp sugar.

Lightly dust with cornmeal flour.
Lightly dust with cornmeal flour.


Now add the flour to your mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and add the sponge. Cover the sponge with the rest of the flour and leave it to soak about fifteen minutes. Now start to mix, once the flour is all mixed add salt, butter, and sugar.

The dough will be very loose, not possible to knead, watch for thin strands of gluten beginning to form. Now turn it out into a flat tray dusted with cornmeal flour.

A sticky dough that does not need kneading
A sticky dough that does not need kneading
pour into your oven tray.
pour into your oven tray.
fold as many times as you can
fold as many times as you can
as you pour, fold over on its self
as you pour, fold over on its self
fold as many times as you can
fold as many times as you can

How to pour your soft dough


As you pour the mix, come back on yourself and create a fold; do this as many times as you can. Leave it at room temperature for about twenty minutes before putting it in the fridge overnight.

When it comes out of the fridge it will be slightly risen from before, now with a scraper fold the dough over itself from the left then the right, turn the tray 90º and fold again left, right.


Set your oven to gm7 or about 425º. Let the dough rest for about an hour, and then pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. (if you have an oven stone make sure it is up to heat before you use it)


Just before you do this, mist the top of your dough with cold water, this will give it a great crust. My grandma used have a tin in the bottom of the oven which would be very hot, as she put the bread in, she would splash a little water into the tray to create a little steam.

When the bread turns golden brown, take it from the tray and put it directly onto the stone for another 3-5 minutes just to make sure the bottom is cooked; transfer it to a wire rack to cool.

So that is Fabio’s recipe, we ate it with thick butter and with a little soup we’d made, unfortunately the girls came home and we had to share with them.

Fantastic tasting bread every time.

Serve with butter and maybe a little soup.
Serve with butter and maybe a little soup.





The big air holes make it a great bread for dipping. Use it with soup, curry, pasta or a good old fashioned home made broth.

add a very fine mist just before cooking for a knock out crust
add a very fine mist just before cooking for a knock out crust

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Comments 7 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Hi, Tony. Ciabatta is a bread which I buy fairly often. I do use it for dipping in to soups or stews but more often for making bruschetta. I should probably make bread more often and your instructions for making ciabatta are excellent. Given my love of Italian cuisine, this is something I definitely have to try.

Cheers,

Gordon


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Hi Gordon

thanks for comment, you should try it, but it is messy. I forgot to mention it wentinto the oven quite cold and just bloated up. It was proper ciabatta flour, i can tell you where to buy it if you want.


Derdriu 4 years ago

Tony, What an aromatic, attractive, awesome recipe for Italy's one and only ciabatta! Italian cuisine is my favorite: I love the regional variations but the consistent peninsular and insular commitments to appearance, aroma, and health.

What kinds of soup, pasta and drinks would go with Fabio- and Tony-style ciabatta?

Thank you for sharing, voted up + all.

Respectfully, Derdriu

P.S. I hope that the "girls" got more than the tasty crumbs ;-]!


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Derdriu,

You have been very busy, and I am honoured and grateful that you have spent so much time and effort, I'm very happy.

Your questions, make me feel that I should think more about what surrounds each dish, i.e. what drinks, what soup.

I'm always looking for ways to improve, I read hubs such as yours and Stessily's which I think set the standards here and wish I was as clever.

I think I need to review many of my hubs and answer these questions to add just that little extra. You are truly inspirational ar lass.

The girls had us! what more could they need?;}

see ya later

kind regards

Tony


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Derdriu, this is a sort of PPS to comments below.

you ask what soup, may I link to your garden minestrone hub. That first picture is just wonderful.

real tummy scrummy stuff.

You may link to my ciabatta hub if you thought it was good enough to be associated with.

Kind regards

Tony


BakingBread-101 profile image

BakingBread-101 4 years ago from Nevada

I'll admit I am atypical when it comes to baking bread, as most of you know who have visited my website. But when it comes to ciabatti bread, Tony is soooooooooooooo not exaggerating that it is messy! Almost soup itself. Anyone who claims to be able to transfer of ciabatti loaf without it falling flat is a "liar liar pants on fire!" By letting it rise on the pan you'll be partially baking it on, you definitely avoid this issue.

I enjoy the chewiness of this bread and have been known to simply omit a cup of flour from my regular bread recipe!


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 4 years ago from Yorkshire Author

Baking bread-101

Any home made and baked bread is so wonderful and tasty. Ciabatta I make over severall days usually to give it the beeriness of sourdough.

thanks for visit.

Regards Tony

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