No-knead ciabatta

Nearly every Sunday morning I take a stroll to the Eagle Farm Markets. I buy up on the essentials and then as an extra special treat I buy a loaf of ciabatta from the Sol Bakery stall. It sounds very boring but one of my favourite lunch treats is a ciabatta filled with sharp cheddar cheese and toasted in the sandwich press. The frugal side of me hates forking out $4 for a loaf of bread but it’s so good.

No-knead ciabatta

That was until I was sent my very first reader recipe. John contacted me a few months ago to tell me about a fabulous recipe for ciabatta that requires literally five minutes work and a little time resting. The result is a fluffy but dense loaf with a thin crust that is just delicious spread with butter and would make the perfect sandwich loaf. Thanks so much for the recipe John. If anyone else has a recipe they’d like me to try please feel free to send it through.

The ingredients

You only need four ingredients to make no-knead ciabatta.

Flours, yeast and salt

This recipe is so ridiculously easy you won’t believe it. Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl.

Folding in the water

Use a spatula to fold through the water until it is all mixed in.

Dough

That’s it! No more work but a minute or two to turn it out later.

Foil-covered and resting

Cover the bowl with aluminum foil. I’m not sure why but it’s very specific that you must cover it with aluminum foil. Then it’s time to go off and do whatever you like for 18 hours. Don’t worry about working out the timings to have your bread ready when you want it. John did the work for us and made a little table.

Prepping the bench

When the 18 hours have passed, sprinkle the bench with a little water then cover it with plastic wrap. Dust it with corn flour so it covers the whole piece of plastic.

The dough

It’s amazing how much the dough rises in 18 hours especially when all you had to do was stir it all together.

Ciabatta dough

Very gently turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap. I just turned the bowl upside down and held it there until all the dough was out. You’re meant to shape the loaf in the next step but I found it a little too wet to shape.

Ready for the resting then into the oven

Line a baking tray with baking paper (or oil a tray) and then coat it with cornflour too. Now comes the hardest part (which isn’t all that hard). Pick up the plastic wrap with the dough on it and turn it onto the tray. Sprinkle the top of the dough generously with more corn flour and then cover it up with a clean, dry tea towel and set it aside to rest for another 2 hours.

While the bread is resting, get the oven ready by half-filling a heat-proof dish with water. Put it in the bottom of the oven then pre-heat the oven to 220C fan-forced so it’s ready at the same time as the bread.

Put the tray in the oven then spritz the bread with a bit of water. Spritz it again after 5 minutes and then bake the loaf for another 20-35 minutes. It’s ready when it’s golden on top and sounds hollow when you give it a tap on the bottom.

Cooling

Let the bread cool on a wire rack.

Ciabatta

Slice it up when it’s cool enough to handle.

Bread and butter – one of my all-time favourite things

I thought this bread was just perfect spread with a blob of butter. John suggested making it into garlic bread which I imagine would be amazing.

What about you? Do you have any secret food indulgences?

Ciabatta

No-knead ciabatta bread

No-knead ciabatta bread

Ingredients

  • 3/12 cups white bakers flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • corn flour or polenta for dusting

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together (except the corn flour) in a large bowl then add 2 cups of warm water (I used water at 105F/40C).
  2. Use a spatula to fold all the ingredients together until everything is mixed in. It will be very wet and not really look like dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and set it aside for 18 hours.
  4. Sprinkle some water on the bench top and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Dust the plastic wrap generously with corn flour and then very very carefully pour the dough from the bowl onto the corn flour then gently shape it into a loaf. You need to be extra gentle so it maintains its aeration.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then sprinkle it with more corn flour. Very carefully turn the dough from the plastic wrap to the tray and re-shape it if you need to. Generously sprinkle the top with more corn flour and cover the bread with a dry tea towel then set it aside for another 2 hours.
  7. Half-fill an oven-proof bowl with water and place it in the bottom of the oven then pre-heat it to 220C(428F) fan-forced so that it reaches that temperature at the same time as the bread reaches the 2 hours.
  8. Put the dough in the oven and spritz it with a few squirts of water. I just used my fingers to fling water on it. Repeat the water spraying after 5 minutes.
  9. Bake the loaf for 30-45 minutes or until it sounds hollow when it's tapped on the bottom.
  10. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

Makes 1 loaf and takes 21 hours total


John very kindly worked out a preparation table so we don’t have to do the maths.

For a loaf tomorrow

Start time

today

Mix onto tray,

next day

Start bake

Cooling on rack

Lunchtime

3.00pm

9.00am

11.00am

12.00pm

Dinner time

8.00pm

2.00pm

4.00pm

5.00pm

Mid morning

12.00pm

6.00am

8.00am

9.00am


 

Need dinner ideas & can't get to the shops?

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