For those weeks when you remember to start the ciabatta the night before, my no-knead ciabatta recipe is perfect. It requires no kneading, very little effort in preparation and produces a delicious ciabatta bread with a crusty exterior and large air pocket holes on the inside. The only downside to this recipe is that it requires slow overnight rising of at least 12 hours.
Every once in a while, I intend to start the ciabatta the night before and life just gets in the way. This past week was one of those weeks.
I woke up Friday morning and still wanted to prepare ciabatta, but just didn’t have enough time for the slow-rise method.
So, I had to adapt another recipe that would be ready in a lot less time.
Oh, and, while I was experimenting, I decided to prepare it in a zipper bag to eliminate most of the mess.
It worked out perfectly.
This original The Crepes of Wrath recipe was sent to me by Kaitlyn last year. I simplified the preparation and adapted it to my measurement and temperature preferences. Best of all, I adapted the recipe to be prepared in a zipper bag.
And, yes, without the overnight rise it still produces the enviable crust, so chewy inside with those oh, so wonderful air pockets.
Here it is.
3 cups of high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 2/3 cups of warm water
a sprinkling of additional bench flour or corn meal
In a large ziploc bag cuffed over a large jar or saucepan, combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Shake or whisk vigorously to combine. Slowly pour in warm water, and knead from the outside of the zipper bag for a few minutes, making sure that the water and the dry ingredients are well incorporated and a soft sticky dough has formed through and through. Keep kneading from the outside of the zipper bag until you are sure that the dough has no lumps or dry spots within.
Gently shake some bench flour into the bag, coating all sides of the dough and getting flour on your hands, too. Place your hands into the zipper bag and stretch dough out and then slap it back into shape. Keep doing this for several minutes to create those trademark air bubbles in your ciabatta.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the dough in the zipper bag and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least two hours.
Preheat a heavy pot or pan in a 425 degree F oven for fifteen minutes. While pan is preheating, add just enough flour or cornmeal to the dough to be able to coax it out of the zipper bag.
Carefully remove preheated pan from oven (it will be very hot) and place dough into pan. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-25 minutes more.
Remove ciabatta from pan and allow to cool before slicing.