Monday, March 12, 2012

Ciabatta : Free And Easy Bake-Along #20

I am into bread making lately. Especially, ever since I received my book "The Artisan Bread Machine" by Judith Fertig. The wonderful smell of bread baking in the kitchen truly warms the heart! I was really looking forward to try my hands at making Ciabatta, Lena's pick for our Bake-Along. When I read through "The Artisan Bread Machine", it requires a sourdough starter that needs about anywhere from 5 to 15 days for the slow fermentation at its own pace. So, I put that till later when I'm ready to start on the sourdough, and in the meantime, I made this from another book that I have, and a stick-on note sticking out from this very page, Ciabatta. Well, that's one stick-on note down!

On the plus side, Ciabatta does not require kneading, but the dough is too soft to handle, I need more practice in handling really soft dough like this. The starter was left to ferment overnight, and mix with the rest of the ingredients the next day, and leave to rise for about 2 hours.

Divide the really soft dough into two and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Left to rise  for about 45 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven, when done, immediately turn out to a wire rack to cool completely. Ciabatta is an Italian word for slippers, refering to the shape of the bread, somewhere between a flatbread and a loaf-shaped bread. Do they look like slippers to you?  :)

How does it taste? Really nice, crusty crust with soft chewy crumbs. I would love to have more airholes in them, but overall this is quite nice.

We had this for our simple but satisfying lunch. Slice Ciabatta horizontally and butter on cut side. Toast lightly for about 3-4 minutes. Spread with filling, top with cheddar or mozarella cheese, toast until cheese melts and bread is  crispy, about 8 minutes. Filling :  sandwich ham cut to small cubes,  chopped tomatoes, fresh coriander, mix all ingredients together. Seasoning, some pizza seasoning, dash of salt and coarse black pepper, 2 tablespoon Thousand Island Dressing. Mix well. Top with cheese. Toast for about 10 minutes at 150C until cheese melts and bread is crispy. Just like mini-pizza!

Am trying out other Ciabatta recipes! In search of bigger airholes!! :) Hopefully I'll have a really nice one to share in a couple of days more.

Let's view Lena's and Zoe's Ciabatta bake and our friends who are baking along with us at the linky below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips, from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman. If you do not have this book, try google for the recipe, I'm sure you will be able to find it, otherwise, you may bake any fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips cake. The linky for this will be open on 27 March. Hope to see you! Everyone's welcome to join in.


I'm sharing this with :

Ciabatta Bread
(adapted from "The Bread Book" by Sara Lewis)
For The Starter or Biga :
125gm (1-1/8 cups) organic unbleached strong white flour
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
150ml (2/3 cup) warm water

For The Second Stage :
1 tablespoon milk powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
375gm (3-1/2 cups) organic unbleached strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
250ml (1 cup) water

  1. To make the starter, put the flour, sugar and yeast into a bowl and gradually mix in the warm water to make a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave overnight in a warm place.
  2. For the second stage, add the milk powder, oil, flour, salt, sugar and yeast to the starter then gradually mix in the measured warm water to make a smooth, thick spoonable batter. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 hours until the batter has tripled in size.
  3. Grease a large baking sheet then sprinkle it with a little cornmeal or flour. Scrape the dough into 2 mounds on the baking sheet. With well-floured hands, gently pull the dough into 2 long loaves about 25cm (10 inches) in length.
  4. Leave in a warm place, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until half as big again. Bake in a preheated oven, 220C, 425F, Gas Mark 7, for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped with the fingertips.
  5. Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This is a blog hop, to join in, click on the link :
get the InLinkz code


  1. This ciabatta looks lovely and I would love to try it too.
    BTW is Donnay Hay Theme already over?

  2. Hi Ann, Thanks! Try baking some Ciabatta, these are lovely breads, delicious with soups or sandwich too! The Donna Hay Theme is on until the last day of March! Join in anytime, hop over to Zoe, Bake For Happy Kids, for the full details on the blog hop codes. Hope you are able to join in this fun event! Wish you a wonderful week!

    1. Thanks Joyce! Hopping over to Zoe's blog now.

  3. Beautiful! I really WANT that one with the toppings for lunch, it looks fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing it w/ BYOB this month =) Yuuuummmmm.

  4. Congratulations Joyce; it is Picture Perfect; another one of your that I will be making when I get home! Don;t you just love that book!

  5. Looks delish, love esp. the one with the topping!

  6. Ooh, I haven't made ciabatta yet, I don't think. I'll have to try your recipe!

  7. Heard about the meaning of ciabatta being "slippers" too. LOL! I have this ciabatta recipe too but didn't choose to bake this. There is so many ciabatta recipes to choose and bake and all can be very different. Very confusing to choose :P Your looks great and eating a slice of it with lots of tomatoes and cheese is such a delicious idea.

  8. Ho Joyce, the 1st time I saw ciabatta was from the 3rd season of Masterchef Australia.2nd time was from a blogger friend's posting. 3rd time was after buying a new mixer, it is listed in the kenwood complimentary cookbook.And this is the 4th time. What an interesting name to name after the bread, isn't it? Your bread looks soft!

  9. Ciabatta is a relatively new 'invention' of Italian bakers, been around only a few decades, and yet it is so popular around the world! I wonder why? I make it often though, possibly because it is so easy and no need to kneed!

  10. I was crazy for ciabatta at one time and bake one almost every other day! Let's see if I can get my lazy butt up to do this:P Yours looks delicious with the open sandwich, how nice if I could have it for lunch later:)

  11. You all done a good job! Going to try this dour dough bread. Thanks!

  12. Very nice looking bread and with that topping it is looking very tempting. Just one doubt, can I use all purpose flour here because I don't think we get organic unbleached flour here

    Hamaree Rasoi

  13. Wow, look at the texture, awesome bake..

  14. Looks great!!!Love the combination of veggies in the bread.

  15. i see a very nice crust and it looks soft too! I also see a lot of ciabatta recipes that require a starter a day before and i'm sure the texture of your ciabatta is wonderful..looking at the pictures..especially the open sandwich!I told you that i wanted to make ciabattas again after my first try..i made them twice after that! hey,you know when i see my sticky notes in my drawer, i think of you and your sticky notes and your books!!

  16. Eileen@Hundred Eighty DegreesMonday, March 12, 2012

    Yours look perfect!

  17. Ciabatta pizza looks yummy to me.

  18. just came over from Lena and Zoe blogs, your ciabatta looks yummy too!

  19. You gals are so good with all these angmoh rotis. The name itself sound so foreign to me. Hahah ... very mountain tortoise hor!

  20. what a wonderful job! the bread looks amazing and perfectly done with the chewy center and crispy exterior!

  21. I truly enjoy baking bread but don't as often as I'd like since it's just my husband and I most days for dinner. I think your ciabatta turned out great!

  22. Nothing beats homemade bread. I recently made Foccacia and I have to say, it was one of the best breads I have had. I love your bravery in the kitchen and the Ciabatta looks just like the Ciabatta you get at the bakeries. I am definitely going to try this.

  23. wow...u hav made it so perfect..the bread looks so spongy...definitely a must try !

  24. Is there anything better than freshly made, home baked bread? I don't think so. Your ciabatta looks wonderful and the crumb looks nice and sturdy. That lunch must have been delicious!

  25. Your ciabatta looks the smell of bread in the oven.
    Hope you have a great week ahead and look forward to more ciabatta recipes :)

  26. Congratulations and good job on the 2nd try! Looks inviting! Got my recipe but don't think I will be in time to link up. Looking forward to a great sandwich lunch!

  27. Your ciabatta looks delicious! Sorry couldn't join in this round's bake along... baking bread still scares me :/ will definitely be trying to join the next one (: and I can't wait for the Home Bakers to start - still can't decide which recipe to choose!

  28. I've never tried making ciabatta - love the idea that it doesn't need to be kneaded. I obviously need to try this.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays.

    Sue xo