active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons
3 1/2 cups
whole wheat flour
PREPPING THE PAN
fine ground cornmeal
flour, for topping lightly
olive oil, for brushing
- In the bread machine's basin, proof the yeast by pouring in the warm water and dissolving the pinch of sugar in it then sprinkling the yeast on top-- if you don't have a 1/8 teaspoon size or a sliding measuring spoon, just leave few millimeters of leeway in a 1/2 tsp size spoon.
- Let the yeast proof for 10 minutes with the bread machine's lid open.
- Add the flours and salt and blend well by hand or slowly with a dough hook until the flour has completely absorbed the water.
- If you want add rosemary or other herbs, add them now too and blend.
- Pour on the olive oil around the bin but don't blend it in by hand.
- Close the bread machine and set it for a 2-lb loaf (1.5 should work if that's all your machine goes up to) at the DOUGH CYCLE. Kick back and let it do its work!
- When the dough cycle ends, leave it in the machine, covered, for 20-30 minutes to rise. After the rise is complete, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Grease an 11 x 7 pan with the 1/2 tsp olive oil-- NOT a loaf pan. This bread is best coming out relatively flat! The olive oil is a must for this, cooking spray won't make it come out the same! Brush the olive oil all over the inside of the pan, then sprinkle the cornmeal all over the bottom of the pan.
- Extract the dough from the bread machine, it should have a wonderful thick and elasticy consistency. Lay it into the prepped loaf pan and smooth out the top when done.
- Bake at 425F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- For that rustic look and crackly feel, brush a little olive oil onto the top and dust with some flour prior to baking.
- For Roman style ciabatta, season with marjoram and you can also make it ciabatta al latte by softening the dough with milk.