I have been making Ciabatta from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day several times now. The recipe makes 2 large loaves of ciabatta but I've been halving it and making 1 loaf at a time. It is super good and pretty easy. I think it's a much simpler method than the Ciabatta in his Bread Baker's Appretince book. This version does not require poolish and everything can be done in one bowl, no mixer required. I don't own Peter's BBA book but I am curious how the 2 ciabatta compare, tastewise. So one of these days I will try the BBA recipe and blog about it. But for now, let me show you how this one from Artisan Bread Every Day is.
Half recipe of Ciabatta used 2 1/4 cups (283 grams) of unbleached bread flour, 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 1 cup of chilled water, and 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil.
Mix flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. I used a pyrex container. Then prepare your cold water. The water should be cool, so I put 3-4 ice cubes in the water. Let it sit for a few minutes until the ice starts melting and the water feel cool to the touch.
Dump the cup of water into the flour mixture.
Mix with a wooden spoon for a minute or so until they are combined. Then let it rest for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, mix it again with the wooden spoon more vigorously for another minute.
Let it rest for 10 minutes.
At this point Peter said to dump the mixture onto a greased countertop for the next part. I like to do this all in the container because the container comes with a cover so I can just put the cover on between the resting period. Also, I used the same container for storage. So I just washed the container and dump the dough back in.
However, the dough looks much smoother now than the previous picture, doesn't it? It is pretty unbelievable what the 10 minute resting does (and what a clean bowl does as well!).
Next part is the stretching of the dough.
Refrigerate the dough overnight.
he next day, take out the dough 3 hours before baking. Let it rest in the container for an hour before proceeding to shaping.
After an hour resting, it is time to shape the dough! Prepare a baking sheet with floured silpat or parchment paper.
You can also check out a one minute video tutorial posted by Peter Reinhart on how to do hearth baking on YouTube.
After pouring the water onto the preheated pan, lower the temperature to 450'F and bake the bread for 12-15 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until it's golden brown like the picture below or the internal temperature is about 190'F.
Up close and personal on the texture.
Bread interior! I love seeing those holes :).
This is best eaten on the same day. When I have leftovers, I often have it toasted with some jam. Yum!