How to Make the Best Italian Ciabatta
There are few things in life more satisfying than a freshly baked loaf of bread. Whether it's the smell of the baking bread wafting through your home or the first bite of a still-warm slice, homemade bread is truly a pleasure to eat.
And while whipping up a loaf may seem like a daunting task, this Ciabatta Bread recipe is actually quite simple.
The high hydration in the dough results in a wonderfully chewy centre and tons of irregular holes, making it perfect for dipping into soups or sauces.
So whether you're looking for an impressive dish to serve at your next dinner party or just want to enjoy the satisfaction of baking bread from scratch, give this Ciabatta Bread recipe a try.
For the poolish
- 200 ml water, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 200 g bread flour
For the dough
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 240 ml water, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 350g bread flour
How to make the poolish
Making a poolish is simple: just combine flour, water, and yeast in a bowl and stir until smooth. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 hours.
The yeast will work its magic during this time, creating a bubbly, slightly sourdough that is perfect for baking bread. Just be sure to use fresh yeast and to give the poolish plenty of time to ferment; otherwise, you may end up with a loaf that is dense and heavy.
- Add the poolish you have just made, and all ingredients needed for the dough into a bowl. Slowly mix until all the flour is moistened, for a couple of minutes. Slowly start increasing the rate at which you are mixing, and continue to do so until the dough starts to come away from the bowl. Continue mixing until the dough becomes smooth and shiny, for about 10 minutes. The dough will have a very similar texture to a batter mixture.
- Transfer the dough into a bowl which has been lightly coated with olive oil or non-stick spray, if you prefer. Scrape the dough into the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. You should leave the dough to sit for about an hour at room temperature.
- One of the key steps in making bread is stretching and folding the dough. This helps to develop the gluten, which gives bread its signature chewy texture. To stretch and fold the dough, start by greasing a scraper or dampening your hands. Then, gently grab one side of the dough and lift it up, stretching it over the top of itself. Turn the bowl 180 degrees and stretch the same way. Rotate 90 degrees, stretch and fold. Rotate 180 degrees to stretch and fold the final side. Flip the dough over so the bottom becomes the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, dust your counter surface and gently place the dough onto the counter.
- Dust the top of the dough with flour. Take care not to put pressure on top of the dough.
- Cut the dough in half, down the middle of the square. Gently shape
- Transfer the dough to the prepared parchment paper. Repeat with the leftover loaf. Use a fork to gently poke the surface of each loaf as you shape it into a rectangle.
- Bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the ciabatta over to a rack, but ensure to cool completely before you cut up and serve.
This 10 step ciabatta recipe is easy to do at home, give it a go and share your results with us on Instagram!
Come and try our bruschetta at Pezzo D’Italia.
Looking for a little bit of Italian flavour in your life? Head on over to Pezzo D'Italia, where we serve up fresh, delicious bruschetta made with only the finest ingredients.
Our bruschetta is the perfect way to start your meal or enjoy it as a light snack. And with our convenient location in the heart of Islington, you can enjoy our bruschetta any time, day or night.
So what are you waiting for? Come and try our bruschetta today, book a table here!