I've used this exact recipe for a long time now. It's the best bread ever! I got the recipe from an old Gourmet magazine. My loaves bake up fine. I spray water on the hot oven floor to make a nice crust on the bread... and if you don't have a stone.. you can go to your local home improvement center and get unglazed quarry tiles to line your oven rack.
This recipe is incredible! I've never made bread from a starter before, but after this experience an entirely new and heady world of breadmaking has been opened to me at last, at long last!! Every hour it took to rise was worth it. I made each loaf differently. The first was just as the recipe stated. The second I worked in a good amount of olive oil into the dimples, sprinkled some fresh oregano & thyme, and grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano (a good amount) on top. The first loaf had an exquisitely soft top- much softer than I had imagined it would be. But its the taste in this bread that is just incredible. Chewy, yeasty, and filled with that 'just-right' amount of crunch on the bottom. The second loaf was harder on the top, and thusly more crunchy throughout, but just as good as the first. There may be a couple of pieces of bread left from last night- but neither my husband nor myself or talkin' about it! ;)
Lisa, this makes wonderful bread. I just made the batch and I've already eaten 1/4 of a loaf with EV olive oil and sea salt. Thank you very much for posting!
Hey all- Just an additional note...I'll make the recipe again to be sure, but I doubt the dough rises to double it's size. I thought it was just my cold house, but I think it's just the kinda bread it is and the directions are mis-leading. Even though my loaves only came out to be 2 inches high, they were delicious, and very much like the one's from the store (only better:).
Yummmmmmmy! I made this bread over the weekened and it was excellent. I broke my stone so I used an inverted cast iron skillet. Thanks for a wonderful recipe Lisa Pizza.
Thank you for posting this recipe. It makes excellent bread with a lovely slightly chewy texture. My colleague at work loved it so much that she almost ate a whole loaf all by herself! I don't have a pizza stone but I baked mine in a convection oven and it turned out perfect. Definately a recipe for keeps!
This is a really good recipe - easy to make. However if you live in a high altitude location (above 4200 ft) I'd recommend increasing the water in the sponge to 3/4 c. When I made the bread using the recipe my "sponge" came out like a dry, hard mass. I had to add a considerable amount of water to loosen it up (and get it resembling "sponge") before setting it to ferment. Just FYI. One I got it loosened up however, it worked exactly as described in the recipe.
S'kat was RIGHT--this is AMAZING bread. EVERYONE was impressed and totally in awe of me when I told them that yes, this was my OWN homemade bread. I don't have a stand mixer so I made it by kneading it by hand. Simply incredible. I served it with pasta and papergoddess's green and black olive tapenade.
I made mine in my bread machine on the dough setting,then flopped it out and surprisingly, it wasn't a big deal to get it all out of the pan. Then I added a little more flour,kneaded it a little,formed the 2 loaves,oiled a cookie sheet and baked them and before they were cold, they were gobbled up by DH and myself! I then found another recipe at an Italian cooking site, made it and it's ready to go to the compost pile! Great recipe Lisa,Thanks!
My husband and I both like the new hamburgers that Jack in the Box has, made with Ciabatta bread so I was hoping maybe this recipe might work. It took me some pinching and adding and I came out with 5 good size buns. While they were raising,it looked like they were`nt going to raise enough to make buns that could be cut in half.After I put them in the oven and they were done, they rose like little pillows!, I was so excited. My husband and I enjoyed the BEST hamburgers!, owing it all to the buns. I decided next weekend when we have everyone over for our combined Birthdays that I`m going to bbq hamburgers with these special homemade buns. I`ll also use this recipe for how it was intended, just great bread! Thanks so much for posting this great recipe.