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Easy Ciabatta Bread

Easy ciabatta bread recipe or Italian “ slipper bread ”. Authentic, homemade from scratch, vegan and perfect to dunk in a hearty bowl of soup. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Ciabatta Bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting time 12 hours
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 744kcal
Author Florentina

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • 2 cups organic bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 11 tbsp filtered water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp warm cashew milk (or water)

For the Starter / Biga:

  • 1 cup organic bread flour
  • 1/3 cup filtered water, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp warm water

Instructions

Make the Starter:

  • Make your starter the night before you plan to bake the bread (this can be made up to 24 hours in advance).
    Mix together the yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow it to stand for a few minutes. In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the yeast mixture with the flour and the water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature overnight. If preparing it in the morning then let it sit until evening and up to 24 hours.

Make the Ciabatta Bread:

  • Use your stand mixer and combine the yeast and the warm milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until creamy. Add the starter, olive oil, flour, sea salt and water and mix together for about 10 minutes until everything is incorporated.
  • Prepare a large bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. Transfer the bread dough to it and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to sit until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.
  • Turn the bread dough onto a well floured surface and with floured hands cut it in half. Form 2 long loaves shaping carefully from the sides, do your best not to press the dough from the top so it doesn’t deflate. This is crucial to get a light and airy loaf with lots of irregular holes.
    (Optional: Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow slit lengthwise in the top of the loaf)
  • Transfer the loaves to a parchment lined baking sheet, pizza peel, or a piece of cardboard. Lightly dampen a tea towel and cover the loaves. Allow them to rise again until doubled in size, up to 2 hours. 
  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 425” F with a pizza stone in the center for one hour before planning to bake the bread.
  • Transfer one of the loaves (with the parchment paper) to the preheated pizza stone and spray lightly with water. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown to your liking. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing it with a serrated knife.

Notes

  • To get a crusty loaf make sure to use a pizza stone and also create some extra steam  by placing a dish filled with water on the bottom of the oven as it heats up. Add more water if needed before baking the bread. Allow the loaves to cool inside the oven after baking with the oven door slightly open.
  • To obtain the ultimate crusty ciabatta loaf a wood fired pizza oven is the best way to bake it. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 744kcal | Carbohydrates: 136g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1765mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.7mg