Monday, December 19, 2011

Organic Ciabatta Bread

This ciabatta bread turned out spectacular! I could not be happier with the way it turned out.

4.5 cups organic bread flour
2.5 teaspoons sea salt - I use Celtic for the vital nutrients and minerals
1.25 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups 55 degree water
1 tablespoon cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil

I mixed all the ingredients except for the oil together with the paddle attachment on my mixer on low for 1 minute. I then let it rest for five minutes. I drizzled the olive oil on the dough and mixed it on medium-low for 1 minute. I oiled a non-reactive bowl and put the dough in the bowl for 10 minutes. I then stretched and folded the dough a couple times.

Peter Reinhart doing the stretch and fold technique

I covered the dough for 10 minutes again. I repeated this process three more times of stretch and fold and then letting the dough rise. After I was done, I put the dough in the fridge to rise overnight.

In the morning I pulled the dough out 3 hours before baking. After an hour, I took the dough out carefully, made the dough into a square and divided the dough into two pieces. I took one piece and on a floured counter, formed the dough into a rectangle. I then folded the sides over on the dough folding it like a letter. I rolled it as one big piece in the flour for a couple seconds and then put it seam side down on floured parchment paper. I did the same thing with the other half. I oil misted the tops and then covered it with a baking couch for an hour.

After an hour, I took it in my hands, flipped it over and let it fall into a more square like loaf shape. I then put it back on the parchment paper and used my metal pastry scraper and formed it into a better rectangle.

There are big bubbles. This is perfect! It is an airy bread
and you want to keep it that way.

I left it for another hour. An hour before baking I turned the oven on to 550 degrees.

When it was time to bake the bread, I prepared the oven in the same way I did the French boule with the water. When I put the bread in the oven, I dropped the temperature to 450 degrees.

Preparing the oven

After 12 minutes, I rotated it and then baked it for another 15 minutes.

It turned out amazing! I can't believe that more people do not make bread from scratch when it is such a perfect outcome. And once you know what you are doing, it isn't that tremendous amount of work.

The air bubbles are perfect inside!

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