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Ciabatta means “slipper” in Italian. The loaves are fairly flat and oblong, with large air holes and a nice crust. Directions given for making rolls too. Recipe by Linda Larsen on Low Cholesterol Cooking. A good recipe using whole wheat flour and oat bran.
- In large bowl, combine water and yeast; stir and let stand for 10 minutes. When yeast is bubbly, add milk, olive oil, whole-wheat flour, oat bran, ½ cup bread flour, and salt and beat for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Add enough remaining bread flour to make a soft dough; beat for 1 minute. Cover bowl and let rise for 1 hour.
- Remove dough to lightly floured surface (dough will be soft and sticky). Grease two 4″ × 10″ shapes on a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough in half and shape into two 3″ × 9″ rectangles on the greased areas of the cookie sheet. Let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place a 9″ pan filled with ½″ of water on bottom rack. Bake bread on middle rack for 20–30 minutes or until loaves are light golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Cool on wire rack.
- Yields 2 loaves; 8 servings.
- For Rolls:.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal.
- Prepare Whole Wheat Ciabatta Bread through the first rising. Punch down dough and turn onto lightly floured surface.
- Divide dough into 6 portions. Using floured fingers, shape each portion into a 3″ × 3″ rectangle.
- Grease six 4″ × 4″ squares on a cookie sheet with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place dough onto each cornmeal coated square. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
- Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Bake rolls for 10–15 minutes or until very light brown. Turn off oven and prop open oven door. Let rolls stand in oven for another 5 minutes. Then remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.
- Yields 6 rolls.
- Creating Steam When Baking Bread.
- Adding steam to the oven when baking bread makes a crisper, thicker crust. There are several ways to do this. You can place a pan with some water in it on the rack below the bread. You can also spritz the loaves with water a few times while the bread is baking. The steam helps keep the bread softer longer, so the crust develops more slowly.