Chewy Ciabatta Bread

I wanted to honour Cook’s Illustrated copyright, so I am re-writing this in my own hands. you can’t break a copyright, But hey! you can’t keep people from sharing their own version of a great recipe, right?

ciabatta bread loaves
I made this batch yesterday evening. I can't believe how moist and chewy it turns out every time!

*If you weight the flour you will get a more even recipe every time. Flour measurments can be up to 25% innacurate depending on the way it hads been processed and how long it has been sitting in the package.

**You can double the recipe and get the same results

 

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups (15 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups water (room temperature)
  • 3/4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup milk (this keeps large bubbles from forming, but if you like’a the bubbles, then change’a the milk with water!)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

Add the dry yeast to 1/4 Cup of the water (should be warm) and let it start to… uhm, do it’s thing.
Combine the rest of the water, milk and salt to the mixing bowl.
Turn on the mixer and start to add about half of the flour to the bowl – After the yeast has started to bubble – scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Add the yeast mixture to the mixing bowl and let it mix in for about a minute.
Add the rest of the flour and let the entire bowl continue to mix for about 8 more minutes.
Let the dough rise in a large, covered bowl for about an hour until it doubles in size.
Fold the dough with a rubber baking spatula about six times to reduce it’s size, but keep most of the air pockets intact, and let rise for about another 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. *For best results, place a large pizza stone or ceramic baking pan to heat it.
Place dough on a large wooden board and divide it into two pieces. The dough will be very wet and sticky, so make sure you dust the board well. *I also rub a generous amount of olive oil on my hands and the cutting device to keep the dough from sticking too much.
Shape each piece into 12X6 inch pieces and then fold over in thirds, like you would a legal letter.
Place on a 12X6 inch piece of baking paper, dust with flour and cover it with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes has passed, press your fingers into each piece of dough to make it a bit flat, but not too flat.
Move the pieces to the pan, leaving them on the baking paper and spray them with a little bit of water. *You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on the tops to add a very nice roasted flavor.
Place in the oven, taking the bread out two more times, within the first five minutes, to spray them with more water.
Let bake for about 10-12 more minutes, until the tops become golden brown.
Remove the loaves and let them cool on a wire rack.
Smather with butter and enjoy!

 

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