• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 1 Servings

Ciabatta #2

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Breads

 Ingredients List

  • 4 3/4 c White flour; bread
  • 2 Cakes compressed fresh
  • -yeast, (0.6 oz each)
  • 1 3/4 c Cold water; (from the tap)
  • 1/2 c Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tb Kosher salt; or flaked sea
  • -salt
  • 2 Baking sheets; heavily
  • -floured


Put 3,1/4 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of
the flour. Crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 c. of the
water until smooth. Pour the yeast mixture into the well in the flour. Then
add the remaining water to the well and mix. Mix the flour from the bowl
into the yeast mixture in the well with your hand or a wooden spoon to make
a very sticky batterlike dough. Using your hand, beat the mixture for 5
minutes until very elastic. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let
rise at room temperature, away from drafts, for 4 hours until it rises and
collapses. The dough will rise up enormously, so check that it does not
stick to the dish towel. Punch down the dough. Add the oil and salt to the
dough and mix briefly with your hand. Then gradually work the rest of the
flour in the bowl into the dough with your hand to make a soft, quite
sticky dough. When all the dough is smooth and the flour has been
thoroughly combined, cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let rise at
room temperature, away from drafts, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Using a very sharp knife, divide the dough in half, disturbing the dough as
little as possible. Do not punch it down or try to knead or shape the dough
at all. Tip a portion of the dough onto each prepared baking sheet, nudging
it with a spatula, to form 2 rough-looking rectangular loaves, about 1 inch
thick. Sprinkle the loaves with flour and let rise, uncovered at rm. temp.,
away from drafts, until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. During the
last 15 min. of rising, heat the oven to 425F. Bake the loaves for about 35
min., or until they are browned and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Transfer the loaves to wire racks until lukewarm, and then serve. Or, eat
within 24 hours, gently warmed. Freeze for up to one week only.

"This new Italian loaf, all the rage in London, comes from the area around
Lake Como in the north, and it is supposed to resemble a slipper. In any
case, it is free-form- simply poured out of the bowl in which it has risen
onto the baking sheet in a rough and ready rectangular loaf. It has large
holes, and a soft, but chewy, floury crust. I find that many commercial
loaves taste of stale olive oil or lack the pungency of good extra-virgin
oil. Finding a good recipe for this bread was difficult, and I made abut 30
before I was happy with the results. Taking advice from chef Pierre
Koffmann, I adapted his baguette recipe...adding a good quantity of olive
oil to the dough, and altering the final consistency. As with the
baguettes, it is not easy to achieve a perfect result the first time, even
though the final loaf should taste very good. I have not had good results
whth easy-blend yeast or dried yeast granules, so I have only included
instructions for using fresh yeast."

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