Ciabatta means slipper in Italian and the loaf resembles a well-worn slipper. This artisan bread has a firm, crispy crust and a tender, chewy crumb with a coarse texture.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 2-1/4 cups bread flour, divided
- 1 cup cool water (55° to 65°)
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine 2 cups flour, water and yeast. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand until more than doubled in size and bubbles are present on surface, 12 to 18 hours. Combine salt and remaining flour; stir salt mixture and oil into dough.
- Turn dough onto a well-floured baking sheet; gently press with a spatula into a 10-in. x 5-in. loaf. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until dough holds an indentation when gently pressed (loaf will slightly increase in size).
- Arrange one oven rack at lowest rack setting; place second rack in middle of oven. Place an oven-safe skillet on bottom rack; preheat oven and skillet to 475°. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil.
- Wearing oven mitts, place bread on top rack. Pull bottom rack out by 6-8 in.; add boiling water to skillet. (Work quickly and carefully, pouring water away from you. Don't worry if some water is left in the saucepan.) Carefully slide bottom rack back into place; quickly close door to trap steam in oven.
- Reduce heat to 425°; bake for 10 minutes. Remove skillet from oven; bake bread 12-15 minutes longer or until deep golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices).
Originally published as No-Knead Ciabatta in Taste of Home Baking Book 2011, p344
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