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Old 09-25-2006, 02:50 AM   #1
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Ciabatta Bread

CIABATTA BREAD

This recipe comes from an Italian woman living in Switzerland. She is famous in her area for her baking, especially for her breads. The secret to this bread's success is to let it rise to triple its size on the first rise. Be sure to make the sponge the night before you want to make the bread.

Makes 4 loaves

INGREDIENTS:
Sponge:
1 tsp. dry yeast
1 cup (250ml) warm water
1 1/2 cups (350g) sifted flour

DOUGH:
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
5 tablespoons warm milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup (250ml) warm water
3 cups (600g) flour
2-3 teaspoons salt
(2-3 tablespoons more warm water, if needed)

1. SPONGE: In the bowl of a mixer, add the yeast to the water; allow to stand for 3-4 minutes, stirring gently. Sift the flour and add to the yeast. Combine ingredients well, cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours.
2. DOUGH: Add the yeast to the milk, stir and let it stand 3-4 minutes to be sure the yeast is working.
3. Add the yeast mixture, water and oil to the sponge and mix with a dough hook.
4. Add 2 cups of flour and the salt, and knead for 2 minutes at low speed, 3 minutes at medium speed, adding the remaining flour slowly, or more water, until the dough begins to pull from the sides of the bowl.

NOTE: The dough should be quite soft, firm enough to handle without sticking to the hands, but still very soft. Add the last of the flour slowly, or add water, if necessary.

5. Place in a large, oiled bowl covered with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until tripled in size and bubbly.
6. Place the dough on a floured surface, and divide into four pieces, but do not punch down. Form into rectangles 10" by 4" (25 X 10 cm) in size, and press down lightly with the fingers. Cover the dough, and let rise for 90 minutes. The dough will rise only slightly.


NOTE: The flour on the surface where the bread makes its final rise is what remains on the top of the loaf after baking. With practice, you can adjust the amount to get a pleasing appearance. You can also form into rolls.

Heat oven to 400F (200C).


7. Heat two baking sheets in the oven for about 15 minutes. Pick up the loaves, turn them over, and lay them upside-down on the cookie sheets, being careful not to press out the air. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes until bread just begins to turn golden. During the first 10 minutes of baking, paint or spray the bread with water 3 times.





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Old 09-25-2006, 04:51 AM   #2
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Anne, I have tried forever to find a recipe for this. Thanks so much.
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:51 AM   #3
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Ooh, thanks Anne. My family loves this bread. I will try it sometime. It's about $3 a loaf at our grocer.
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia
Anne, I have tried forever to find a recipe for this. Thanks so much.
Thanks, Anne. I'm with Licia. I, too, have been looking for a recipe for this. I'm definitely going to make some this week.
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #5
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You ladies are making me happy. When I posted this bread recipe last night, I thought probably no one would want it, but I went ahead and posted it anyway. It's a little bit of work to make this recipe, so I hope the bread doesn't disappoint you. I like it very much, but everyone has different tastes. Thanks for leaving your comments.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:34 PM   #6
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Thanks, Anne! I think you'll find "takers" for every recipe you'll ever post here... maybe not the first few seconds, but eventually!

Good bread does take TIME to produce, but most of that time does not require your presence. I find especially the Italian Country loaves take lots of patience, but the reward is always well worth it!

"The Italian Baker," by Carol Field is a book anyone who loves Italian baked goods -- breads included -- will enjoy! Check it out!
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:20 PM   #7
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Smile Anne

Your Ciabatta Bread receipe sounds great and I know our great cooks and chefs will certainly enjoy it.

Have a wonderful day.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:03 PM   #8
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Thank you very much Anne. I also looked for a recipe for this, 'cause I love to make sandwiches with it. I am printing it right now.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:23 AM   #9
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ChefJune, thanks for telling me about the cookbook. I have one problem with it -- space! I have so many cookbooks that I'm looking for a bookcase for my kitchen, and I have so many bread cookbooks that I'll never make all that bread if I live to be 100! I laugh about it, but space really is an issue right now.

Bake away, ladies, and let me know how you like this ciabatta. If you are ever looking for a certain bread, let me know; I might have a recipe for it. I'm far from being an authority on baking bead, but I'd be happy to look for a recipe for you.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:28 AM   #10
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Anne, no such thing as too many cookbooks! I long ago outgrew being able to keep em all in the kitchen. Only the most used 6 or 7 live there... the rest comprise a whole wall in my office/dining room! and yes, LOTS of bread books!
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