The other day I went to Togo's and had a Turkey & Avocado sandwich. For how simple the ingredients are, the sandwich is always so tasty. I took the inspiration from that sdammie and made my own version - but extra special with homemade bread. Today I give you a recipe for no-knead ciabbatta you can easily make in the comfort of your own home. Let me tell you, this bread rocks! A light and airy open crumb with a perfectly crisp crust. Crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
We celebrated my mom's birthday again and I served this with dinner. I was eager to try the bread so I made sandwiches for Lobster and I for lunch. The bread was the perfect vessel for the sammie and held up nicely against the numerous layers of filling I'd built. Apparently I was trying to stick everything but the kitchen sink into the sandwich.
My only complaint is I'd wish the bread had more flavor. Oh well - I guess that's what butter's for. Nonetheless an entire loaf was nearly consumed by the end of dinner. For my next attempt I'll have to focus more on the actual shaping of the dough. As you can tell they weren't the prettiest thing to look at. Overall I'd say the ciabatta was a success. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until my mom walked in the kitchen and said, "what's this ugly looking bread?" Thanks mom.
Jim Lahey No-Knead Ciabatta
Adapted from Jim Lahey
Makes 2 large loaves
* 4 cups of bread flour
* 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast or active dry yeast
* 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
* 2 cups of warm water (think warm bath water)
1. The night before, mix the flour, yeast and salt. Slowly add the water as you bring the dough together with either your hand or a spatula. The dough will seem too wet, then seem too dry. It should end as a fairly shaggy and wet dough.
2. Cover the dough with a clean cotton cloth or a piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm room for 12-18 hours (I let mine rise for 16 hours)
3. When you check the dough the next day after the allotted time has passed, it should be a bubbly wet dough.
4. Gently slide the dough out onto a silpat lined cookie sheet floured and dusted with cormeal. Split the dough into two and shape the dough into the desired shape of Ciabatta, which is a long slipper like shape. Cover the dough and let rise another 1-2 hours. It will roughly double in size.
5. Before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 425F. Put rack in middle of oven and another rack just below that one. Meanwhile put a large kettle of water to a boil. Put a shallow baking pan on rack below the middle rack.
6. Remove towel and sprinkle some flour on top of the dough. Open the oven door and throw some ice cubes into the bottom of oven to create a steam bath. Next pour boiling water into the pan then add bread baking sheet into middle rack and quickly close the door.
7. Cook the bread for about 35 minutes or until nicely colored, when bread is ready it will sound hollow to a gentle knock and register 201F. Let bread cook on a wire rack for one hour.
**UPDATE: The trick to shaping a ciabatta is to use lots of dough when flouring the board to shape the ciabattas on and then using lots of flour when shaping as well. I did not use a lot of flour and therefore got an ugly dough.
Labels: Bread - Saturday, December 4, 2010