Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rustic Bread- Ciabatta -"slipper bread"

Finished Loaf
One Slice
Putting dimples into bread before rising

This is a very wet dough. This Italian bread is called ciabatta or "slipper bread. It is a flatter bread shaped like a slipper. It has a very porous inside with a crusty outside. It makes a great grilled or garlic bread. You do not need to spend a lot of time shaping and need to be careful not to delate it when turning it. A great thing about this bread is that it can be made in one day.

2 2/3 cups cool water in all, 70 degrees
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white starter
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
8 3/4 cups unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cold milk
3 tableslpoons olive oil
Semolina flour for dusting (or cornmeal)

Put water starter, yeast and flour in the bowl of mixer or stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

Add salt and mix on medium speed for 2 more minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment at room temperature for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until it reaches the top of the bowl and doubles in size.

Sprinkle surface with flour and pour dough out into a oval. Sprinkle top with flour and cover with a cloth let rise for 20 minutes.

Cut two pieces of parchment paper 12 x 16 and place them side by side and sprinkle with the semolina and then bread flour. Uncover the dough and sprinkle the top with more bread flour.

Cut dough into two pieces Scoop up on piece and holding each end pick up one dough and allow it to stretch to from an oblong piece about 8 x 10 inches. and 1 1/2 inches thick. Repeat.

Using index finders, dimple each piece at 2 inch spacings. Make sure you press all the way to the parchment.

Sprinkle tops with flour and semolina, Cover with cloth and allow the dough to proof for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F for 1 hour before baking. Uncover dough and cut two additional 12 by 16 inch pies of parchment paper and place on top of dough. Flip dough over and then peel off paper and dimple again.

Open oven door an spritz with water from a spray bottle. Slide the oval and parchment paper into tile or stone and load second dough the same way.

Reduce temperature to 450 degree F. Spritz the oven two more times during the next 5 minutes.

After 15 minutes slide the peel between each round and its parchment paper then remove and discard the paper. Return the ovals to the oven and rotate if necessary.

Bake for a total of 30 to 33 minutes .

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