For those who have eaten at our home on Friday night, you most likely have tasted Davida’s delicious no-knead ciabatta. Since Davida will be spending the next few weeks in Israel, I decided that it was high time to take the ciabatta preparation back and make it my own.
Making something my own usually means taking some shortcuts and simplifying the whole process. It also means using fewer bowls and utensils because I hate the clean-up. Cleaning sticky dough off of counters, bowls, spoons and towels can really be a nightmare. And, truth be told, I do not have Davida’s baking precision or patience, anyway.
This ciabatta is almost as good as Davida’s with a lot less fuss. It can be made on the same day, although it requires a minimum of six hours of rising time. It still has the trademark thick crust and dough full of air bubbles inside.
3 cups of high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 3/4- cups of warm water
a sprinkling of additional bench flour or cornmeal
In a large bowl, toss flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Slowly pour in warm water, and knead with your hands or a large spoon until a soft sticky dough has formed without any spots or noticeable lumps.
Line a heavy loaf pan or narrow casserole dish with parchment paper and sprinkle a bit of bench flour or cornmeal. Stretch dough out a few times to create air bubbles and place dough in parchment-lined loaf pan. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the dough and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least six hours.
Lift dough with the parchment paper out of the loaf pan and carefully leave on the counter or on a baking sheet. Preheat the empty loaf pan in a 425 degree F oven for fifteen minutes.
Carefully remove preheated pan from oven (it will be very hot) and lift the waiting dough in its parchment paper back into loaf pan. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until top is a light golden brown.
Remove ciabatta from pan and allow to cool before slicing.