A little help from my friends

This is another recipe sent to me by Dan Locaputo, and is it ever delicious. Thanks Dan for letting us use your recipe here. I made some changes mainly so you can make it in a bread maker.

Truly Italian

Ciabatta bread was probably first made in Liguria, Italy but is now found throughout Italy. It has also become very popular across Europe and the US, and if you have tried it, you know why. The bread is also popular as sandwich bread. It has a hard outer crust and a delicious taste. Although it is not complex to make, it does take about 2 days, because you have to wait on the dough to rise. First, you start out by making a sponge followed by the final bread making process.

Ingredients (2 loaves):

For the sponge

  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup bread flour

For the bread

  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoons salt

Preparation of the sponge

Stir the 1/8 teaspoon dry yeast and 2 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes (until creamy). Place the creamy mixture into a larger bowl along with the 1/3 cup water and 1 cup bread flour. Stir the mixture for about 4 to 5 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 12 to 24 hours in a cool place.

Preparation of the bread

In a small bowl, stir 1/2 teaspoons yeast and 2 tablespoons milk and again let it stand until it is creamy (about 5 minutes). The mixture in Place the bread machine along with the sponge, 2/3 cup water, olive oil , and 2 cups bread flour India and mix until the flour India is moistened. Add the salt and mix until you have a smooth and elastic dough ball (about 10 to 15 minutes).

It will be sticky but put the dough into an oiled bowl scrapping up all of it and cover with plastic wrap. The dough should rise at room temperature for about 2 hours (until double in size) – make sure it is full of holes and sticky before you go to the next step.

Place the dough on a floured surface, and cut it in half. Place each half on wax paper and form them into oval shapes (about 9 inches long). Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust the tops with flour. Take a dampened towel, and cover the loaves. Let the loaves rise at room temperature for about 2 hours (until each loaf has almost doubled).

At least 45 minutes before baking the bread, place a baking stone on the lowest oven rack position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Once the stone has become hot, transfer the loaves to it. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes or until pale golden brown. Once they have cooked cool them on a wire rack.


Jack Botticelli

#sorrentoexpress #italianfood

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