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Prepare within five minutes the starter/sponge, and then bake two Yeast Ciabatta Bread loaves tomorrow with a hearty crust.
Ciabatta is an Italian white bread made from wheat flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil, created in 1982 by a baker in Adria, province of Rovigo, Veneto, Italy, in response to the popularity of French baguettes.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour – I made 2 free form loaves or you can line 1 large loaf tin with parchment paper if you prefer 1 loaf
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour or if you wish use bread flour instead. I used cake flour.
- 1 x 10 g sachet instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 500 ml lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives (optional ) for the 1 loaf
- In a jug add lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast granules, stir and set aside to froth for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl add sifted flour and salt.
- Make a well in the center and add oil then your yeast mixture.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until all dry and wet are incorporated.
- The dough will be moist and sticky.
- Cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- The dough will rise double.
- Knockback dough and turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 4 minutes.
- If the dough is too sticky and wet add 1 or 2 tbsp extra flour and knead in.
- Divide dough in half and add olives to the one loaf ( optional ) or leave as 1 loaf.
- Place dough on baking tray free form shape and sprinkle the top with flour.
- Cover with a large plastic bag and let rise for a further 30 minutes.
- Just before placing it in the oven slash 3 slashes into the top of the bread with a sharp knife and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow.
Note: I place a bowl of water on the last rung of the oven. It creates steam while the bread is baking and gives a lovely crispy crust.
Recipe: Sybil Norling-Ely
Prepared, tried, and tested by Gail Haselsteiner