Ciabatta Bread is an Italian bread that’s chewy and light with a thin crispy crust. It’s surprisingly a very easy bread to make! When I was reading Paul Hollywood’s recipe for the first time, I thought I read it wrong! It has a super high hydration percentage. While most of the dough for bun, pizza etc has a hydration rate below 50%, Ciabatta bread has hydration of 80%!!! Imagine how wet and sticky the dough will be. That, in a way, makes it a no-knead bread 😊.
- 500 G Bread Flour
- 400 ML Lukewarm water
- 10 G Salt
- 10 G Yeast
Since we do not want to handle the dough much after the rise, it’s better to let the dough rise in a square container. This way, when it’s tipped onto the work surface, there is minimal need to reshape the dough. I happen to have a nice plastic container I saved in the past, Costco’s cream puff container. Look how wet the dough is. I generously coated the whole container (all they way to the rim) with olive oil. Even so, when I try to tip the dough out of the container, I had to help it off the walls.
After couple hours of proofing, the dough increased its volume to about 250%. It’s super sticky. Heavily flour the work surface. I used a mixture of bread flour and white corn meal. After the dough fell onto the work surface (with some help, which might have deflated part of the dough), do NOT knead, punch it down, or even pat. We need all the air bubble that’s in the dough. Cut the dough lengthwise in half, and half the half again. I decided to make 2 loaves and 6 rolls. The dough is so so so soft, and with a great bounce. With plenty of flour, it’s no longer sticky, so it’s quite fun to play with them LOL!
Move the loaves and rolls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and let them rest for 10 more minutes. Preheat over to 450F. Bake for about 25 minutes. Here is my airy, chewy homemade Ciabatta Bread!
Ciabatta is great for sandwich, and panini, even though they are awesome on its own or with some butter. The yeasty soft inside and thin crusty outside was so perfect for a bread. Here is a quick night time snack, Ciabatta with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Yum!