Sometimes less is more. At first I hesitated writing this post thinking this recipe isn’t “outside the box” to warrant sharing, but that all changed this past weekend when my neighbour raved about the loaf of this bread we had given her as a thank you gift for cat sitting while we were on Christmas holidays. She exclaimed it was just like bakeshop bread and perfect for toast – and she even joked that we should take orders for our lovely neighbours ☺️. Now that I know how happy bread can make people feel (a shout out to Lynda Bradt for her lovely feedback) I thought I’d share it with our readers….
As much as I love the Harvest Bread and baguette that Janik bakes regularly, I was craving a versatile aristan-style white bread. Of all the varieties of bread we used to buy (before the Thermomix entered our kitchen as my bread making assistant) Ciabatta was always one of my top picks. It’s perfect for Italian-style sandwiches, for dipping in soup or simply eating on its own. The irregular holes in Ciabatta – a distinctive characteristic – are perfect to trap olive oil, pesto or any other delicious spread. Since developing this recipe before the holidays we’ve used it for just about everything from toast to Panini sandwiches. The crisp, firm crust and sponge-like inside will make you think twice about ever buying store-prepared Ciabatta again 😉.
Please be sure to follow the recipe instructions…I don’t often say this but in this case the results are only as good as your methodology. First, the proofing time is not a typo. The dough needs to proof for at least 6 hours so plan ahead. Also, the dough will feel extremely (and I mean extremely) sticky but don’t be alarmed. And don’t give up. Be sure to work the dough (into two oblong shapes) on a lightly floured surface and don’t be afraid to work in extra flour at this stage. I should also add that the mounds of dough will (very likely) look unpromising as you place your baking tray in the oven; however, I assure you once the dough rises you will have two bakery-style rustic Ciabatta loaves. Good luck with these loaves lasting a full day in your household 😀.
PS: If you like this recipe, you may want to try our Salted Bread Bites! A perfect companion to soup, pizza dipping sauce, spinach dip, or scrumptious just as they are (with a tad of salt added!)
Greased mixing bowl (I use coconut oil spray, however olive oil would also work)
- 2 tsp dry yeast (10g)
- Cold water (520g)
- 660g all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/Add yeast and water to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Mix 2 min/37C/Speed 1.
- 2/Add flour and salt to the TM bowl. Mix 10 sec/Speed 6. Then Knead for 3 minutes.
Note: The dough will be very sticky…arm yourself with patience in removing from the mixing bowl ~
- 3/Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Let the dough proof at room temperature for 6-8 hours~
- 4/Once the dough has proofed, transfer to a lightly floured surface (again the dough will be very sticky so arm yourself with patience!) Working in the additional flour, divide the mound of dough into two equal parts (each an oblong shape). Dust each with a lightly sprinkle of flour.
- 5/Bake at 435F for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden.
Important: Once the oven has preheated to 435F place a shallow tray filled with water underneath the middle rack where your bread will be baking. The water will help keep the bread moist.
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance, however it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. mutli-function processor, immersion blender etc).