quick ciabatta

by Liz Gray (Craftyglutton)

Sportsglutton wanted to make his delicious tuna melt the other day and wanted to buy some ciabatta bread.  I stepped in and said “oh no, don’t BUY the bread, your AWESOME wife will bake you up a loaf” (plus the cost of bread can be a total rip off).  I make bread often; this should be pretty much like making any other loaf, right?

Well it is easy, but no, it is not like making my regular loaf.  The dough is much more wet and gooey… and you have to beat the living sh*! out of it.

Most of the recipes I found took two days, but I’m just not that patient.  After a little poking around, I found this “quick” recipe for ciabatta – Jason’s Quick Coccodrillo Ciabatta Bread – at the Fresh Loaf and went from there. 

The result:

The recipe worked out very well and is now in my regular bread roundup. 

Some notes on the recipe:

  • I would recommend using a stand mixer for this recipe – you really have to BEAT the bread “batter” which is loose and not kneadable.  If you really need to work out a bicep and want to mix it by hand, make sure you have a very strong spoon and lots of time on your hands.
  • After the initial mixing, I used my bread hook and turned my mixer up to 5 or about medium speed (for reference, I usually only have it set to 1 or 2 when making a regular loaf).  For me, it took about 12 minutes for the dough to climb up the hook AND pull away from the bottom of the bowl. 
  • I forgot to flip the unbaked loaf over when I put two of the three loaves in the oven and it did not ruin those loaves.  I would still try to remember to flip them next time I make it, just for a little more uniform bubble distribution. 

One last photo – and a side note, I did not cut this loaf in the best place, but the air bubbles are typically larger in the loaves than seen in this photo.

Also, go check out Sportsglutton’s corn dog muffin recipe!

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7 Comments to “quick ciabatta”

  1. This is really interesting. I never make QUICK ciabatta. And that’s actually prevented me from having it with some meals it would be perfect for in the past. Need to tuck this away. Do you think it gets the same airyness? (Not a real word, but you know what I mean.)

    • I do know what you mean :). It did have the large air holes and a great tender, but chewy crumb. The aggressive beating of the dough really develops the gluten. A bunch of the comments on the recipe at the Fresh Loaf include their own pictures, which show the airyness better than the photo I took. Definitely try it out, and let me know how it turns out for you.

  2. Yep, I make this periodically and find it amazingly light and holy. The flavor is very good, but I’ve tried various ways to let time and enzymes do their thing – so far without a lot of success. The recipe works very well, but varying from it changes the result. I have made this with 100% whole wheat at 100% hydration and liked the result. Below is a photo of some loaves I made;

    http://img829.imageshack.us/i/boneyard2013.jpg/

  3. Thanks for sharing your photo! I may try it out with whole wheat next – great to know you can go 100% on this recipe. I too have tried to go overnight with other bread recipes and found that it really does not add much to the flavor to warrant a two day process. Maybe this summer (when I have a little spare time) I will try a few and let them go 2 or 3 days (or at least the sponge) and see if that gives a better result, but until then- I agree, this loaf has great flavor.

  4. The 100% version was light, but the holes were not quite as large as the white flour version.

    I will add that Jason’s recipe makes terrific buns or rolls. I form a single rectangle with the proofed dough and cut with a pizza wheel into rectangular buns. Those are transferred to baking pans individually and flipped just prior to baking. I made those for my daughter’s wedding.

  5. Impressive! I love a good ciabatta loaf! Nice to know that there is a quick version out there. Thanks for sharing!

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