An authentic Italian recipe for ciabatta bread or slipper bread, originally from the Veneto, made with an overnight starter and cooked just like pizza on a preheated pizza stone.
Invented by Francesco Favaron in 1982, it is perfect for sandwiches, bruschetta, panzanella, or just to dip in your favorite olive oil.
Very easy to execute at home, but you will need to plan in advance for the starter or Biga.
Don’t be intimated, this is a sticky wet dough, hence those nice holes that make ciabatta special. Just roll with it, don’t be tempted to add extra flour, all will be great!
An authentic Italian recipe for ciabatta bread or slipper bread, originally from the Veneto made with an overnight starter and cooked just like pizza on a preheated pizza stone
- 2 c organic bread flour
- 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 11 tbsp filtered water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp warm whole milk
- 1 c organic bread flour
- 1/3 c filtered water at room temperature
- 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp warm water
Make your starter the night before you plan to bake the bread.
Mix together the yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow it to stand for a few minutes.
In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the yeast mixture with the flour and the water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature overnight. If preparing it in the morning then let it sit until evening and up to 24 hours.
Use your stand mixer and combine the yeast and the warm milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until creamy.
Add the starter, olive oil, flour, sea salt and water and mix together for about 10 minutes until everything is incorporated.
Prepare a large bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. Transfer the bread dough to it and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to sit until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.
Turn the bread dough onto a well floured surface and with floured hands cut it in half. Form 2 long loaves.
Transfer them to a piece of floured cardboard or parchment paper.
Optional step: Flour your fingers well and create dimples in the top of the loaves. Sprinkle with some flour.
Lightly dampen a tea towel and cover the loaves. Allow them to rise again until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 425” F with a Pizza Stone in the center for 1 hour before planning to bake the bread.
Transfer one of the loaves to the preheated pizza stone and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown to your liking.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing it with a serrated knife.
#1 If using a piece of cardboard gently shake and slide the dough onto the stone, just like we do with the pizza dough. If using the parchment paper method then you can transfer them together into the oven.
#2 To get a crusty loaf make sure to use a pizza stone and also create some steam in the oven, by placing a dish filled with water on the bottom as the oven heats up. Add more water if needed before baking the bread. Allow the loaves to cool inside the oven after baking with the oven door slightly open. #3 If you don't have a stand mixer just use a wooden spoon to mix the dough and a little elbow grease.