Sourdough Italian Ciabatta Recipe

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Photo from King Arthur Flour web site.

Ciabatta is an Italian word meaning "slipper". This wonderful bread recipe is also know as Italian Slipper Bread. This bread has a crunchy crust with an extra-light interior. For an interesting and delicious variation, this bread can also be topped with your favorite pizza ingredients.

Ciabatta Bread

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Bread Making Hints: Secrets to using the bread machine, About yeast in bread making, and Sourdough Starter - How to make a Sourdough Starter.

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Sourdough Ciabatta Italian Bread Recipe:

Recipe Type: Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Starter
Yields: 1 large loaf
Prep time: 15 min
Rise time: 1 to 3 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hour


1 cup sourdough starter, room temperature*
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour**
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon diastatic malt (optional)***
1 teaspoon instant yeast (I use Red Star Instant Active Dry Yeast)

Active Sour Dough Starter* If you don't presently have a sourdough starter, either make your own sourdough starter or purchase Packaged Sourdough Starter Mix by mail-order.

** This bread will end up being a very sticky, wet dough. Do not add any additional flour to the dough.

*** Diastatic malt contains active enzymes which help break starch down into sugar. The extra sugar feeds the yeast in the dough, helping the bread to rise, and also gives the bread a browner crust.


Place all ingredients in bread pan of your bread machine. Select dough setting and press start. When dough cycle has finished, dough will be very soft (between a batter and a runny dough). Remove dough from pan and place into a oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in at room temperature approximately 1 1/2 hours or until tripled in bulk (dough will be sticky and full of bubbles).

On a baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle parchment paper with semolina flour. Turn the risen dough onto a flour dusted work surface. Pat dough (do not punch down) into a rectangle and dust with flour. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Press fingertips into dough in several places to dimple surface. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

At least 45 minutes before baking, place baking stones on lowest oven rack in oven and set the temperature to 500°F. Allow the oven to heat for 30 minutes.

Lower oven temperature to 400°F. Transfer loaf (with parchment paper) to the hot baking stones. Bake 15 minutes or until pale golden. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees.

This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.

Remove from oven and place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Let baked loaf cool for 30 minutes before cutting (this is because the bread is still cooking while it is cooling).

Makes 1 large loaf.


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