Well this will probably be the SHORTEST post I ever do! Why???? Because it is about BREAD, yummo BREAD and I certainly don’t have to tell a story about my “inspiration” for this wondrous food! Who doesn’t love bread and this is my favorite kind CIABATTA or Italian “slipper bread”!
It’s the SIMPLEST recipe and with ALL the soups and stews being made right now, this is totally perfect! Also since it is holiday season and we are eating a ton of carbs anyway, this is so complementary to the Thanksgiving or Christmas table packed full of potatoes, dressing, and pie!!! Balance this out with some bread and butter and Whammo, carb HEAVEN!
Now don’t mistake me that you can’t make this year around because you can…it is SO good dipped in olive oil and pepper, made into a panini, or grilled and doused with garlic, olive oil, and salt then served with pasta or any other dish.
If you have a bread maker, even better because you put in ingredients, turn on to dough setting and your done with that part….if you don’t have a bread maker, no worries, this recipe explains how to make by hand.
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3¼ cups bread flour
- 1½ teaspoons yeast
- Rosemary or any other herb, roasted garlic, or sautéed onions, optional
- In a mixer, mix together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar (and herbs or other additions if choose). Pour in the warm water, and beat for 5 solid minutes. If you have a dough hook, use it and knead the mixture for an additional five minutes, until the dough is well combined, otherwise use beater blade.
- When the dough is well combined, flour your hands, put in the bowl, and pull parts of the dough up and fold it back down into the bowl. Do this for another 5 minutes. This will push air bubbles into the dough and create nice holes when it bakes which is signature for ciabatta. Dough will be "wet" and that is perfect.
- If you have a wooden cutting board or a regular cutting board, put on some flour and turn dough over. Knead a couple times so not too "sticky" and cover with a big glass bowl for 15 minutes.
- Oil a large bowl, then plop the dough into that bowl. Drizzle your olive oil over the top of the dough, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap and cover with at towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot and allow it to rise for 2 hours.
- Lightly flour a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper, or use a non-stick sheet. Form into an oval shape and place onto prepared sheets, lightly dust with flour. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a draft-free place for approximately 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Place loaf in the oven, positioned on the middle rack. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.