Q:

What are some good Italian ciabatta bread recipes?

A:

Quick Answer

Epicurious.com features a recipe for Italian ciabatta bread that requires making a sponge, or dough starter, ahead of time. While the Epicurious recipe is for loaves of bread, TheKitchn.com offers a recipe for ciabatta rolls.

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Full Answer

To make the sponge, stir together 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast and 2 tablespoons warm water. Let stand for five minutes. Stir this yeast mixture with 1/3 cup room temperature water and 1 cup bread flour. Stir for four minutes, and let the mixture stand for at least 12 hours in a cool place.

To make the dough, mix 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast with 2 tablespoons warm milk. Let it stand for five minutes. Blend this with the sponge, 2/3 cup room temperature water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 cups bread flour. Mix until just moistened, and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Knead at least four minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and cover. Let the dough rise until doubled. For loaves, turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and cut in half. Form two long loaves, and allow them to rise until doubled. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes.

For ciabatta rolls, make the dough as above. Cut the two loaves with a pizza cutter, and then cut each loaf into eight rolls. Slightly flatten the rolls, and let them rise. Bake at 475 F for 20 to 30 minutes.

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