Cloudy Kitchen’s Easy Ciabatta Bread Recipe

Cloudy Kitchen's Easy Ciabatta Bread Recipe

This recipe from Cloudy kitchen is not a traditional ciabatta bread, it is easy to make, requires no fancy tools or equipment, and can rise overnight in the fridge meaning you can take the dough out and bake it whenever you want.

You can make two loaves of bread or eight ciabatta rolls, depending on how you feel. Leftovers freeze well, and also make the most amazing garlic bread.

  • In a large bowl, combine the high-quality flour and the first measure of water. Combine with a spatula or hands to form a stiff, shaggy dough. Cover with a tea towel and let stand for 30 minutes.

  • After 30 minutes, mix the second measure of water with the yeast and add it to the bowl along with the salt. Mix by squeezing and pressing the dough together with your fingers, then stretch and fold it over on itself until it starts to come together. Mix the dough for five minutes using the stretch and fold technique. To do this, reach under a piece of dough, raise it and fold it on itself. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Keep working your way through the bowl.

  • When you’re done mixing, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or plastic container, preferably with clear sides. Cover with a lid or tea towel.

  • Let the dough rise for two hours, with one set of stretches and folds every 30 minutes (so a total of four sets of stretches and folds). To stretch and fold, repeat the same motion as in the mixing stage – reach down, stretch the dough up and over itself, then turn the container 90 degrees and repeat until you’ve done it four times. Then cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes until you repeat the next set of stretches and folds.

  • When you’re done stretching and folding, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

  • When you are ready to bake the ciabatta, line a baking pan with baking paper and lightly dust the paper with flour. Dust a work surface vigorously. Dust the surface of the dough and turn it out onto the floured surface. The dough is quite sticky, so using enough flour is very important.

  • Beat the dough into a square measuring approximately 24 x 24 cm, adding additional flour if necessary. Cut into two pieces and work one at a time, transfer to the baking sheet and turn over so that the floured side is facing up. Lightly push the edges of the dough under and shape into a rough rectangle. Repeat with the second piece of dough, leaving space between the loaves to rise and spread.

  • Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a lid and place in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour to let the dough rise, until slightly puffed and when gently poked with a fingertip, a small amount remains. notch behind that slowly rises back.

  • While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 220C baking. Allow about 20 minutes for the oven to preheat to ensure it heats up properly.

  • Once the dough has risen, transfer to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until the ciabatta is baked and golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

  • Remove from oven and let stand on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.

  • Store leftovers loosely packed at room temperature.

  • Comments: To form rolls, beat the dough into a 28 x 20 cm rectangle and cut into rolls. Turn over onto the floured baking sheet and let rise and bake in the same way as the loaves.