I have already had a bit of experience making no-knead bread - but this one takes the cake. I love Ciabatta bread and have made it is the past - but it usually takes a lot longer (actual work-wise) and is a lot more labor intensive. I did have trouble getting the "hollow knocking" sound on the bread - I didn't have a loaf pan large enough to fit over the loaves. Instead, to make sure a good crust formed, I frequently sprayed the inside of the oven with some water. Another trick is placing a pan full of boiling water on the bottom of the stove. I kept one loaf for myself (it made a wonderful black-bean burger bun and canvas for peanut butter sandwiches) and gave the other to the boys at 505. This is a great sandwich bread - make it now!
Adapted from Jim Lahey
- 4 cups of bread flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 cups of tepid water
- The night before, mix the flour, yeast and salt. Slowly add the water as you bring the dough together with either your hand or a spatula. The dough will seem too wet, then seem too dry. It should end as a fairly shaggy and wet dough.
- Cover the dough with a clean cotton cloth or a piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm room for 12-18 hours
- When you check the dough the next day after the allotted time has passed, it should be a bubbly wet dough.
- Gently slide the dough out onto a floured cookie sheet. Split the dough into two and shape the dough into the desired shape of Ciabatta, which is a long slipper like shape. Cover the dough and let rise another 1-2 hours. It will roughly double in size.
- Before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 220C. Place a baking tray in the middle rack.
- Place the loaves on the baking tray and cover them with an upturned loaf pan.
- Cook the bread for 20 minutes, before lowering the oven temperature to 180C and cooking for a further 10-15 minutes or until nicely coloured, when ready the bread will also sound hollow to a gentle knock.