By Lisa Pizza on May 21, 2002
Photo by gailanng
Photo by gailanng
"DH and I buy at least one loaf a week of ciabatta and eat it with olive oil. I finally decided to see it I could make a better bread than the brands we've tried from the store. We agreed that this is the best bread we've EVER had! The first loaf was gobbled before the second one came out of the oven! :) Can't wait to make it again!! Note: The dough will be VERY sticky - do not add more flour. The bread itself is not tall and fluffy. It has a wonderfully crisp, tender crust. It would be perfect for an Italian sandwich, if cut horizontally, of mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and s&p."
Serving Size: 1 (116 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
"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."
"I must say this is by far the BEST Ciabatta bread recipe I have ever tried and it is now my only Ciabatta recipe I will ever use. The texture is wonderful and better than any store bought. I made as written with a couple of adjustments, I used King Arther's All Purpose flour, because I read that 00 Italian flour was used in Ciabatta bread and this flour was a suitable substitute. I also used my mini-loaf pan. Thanks for posting such a wonderful recipe. Made for the ALL YOU CAN COOK BUFFET - SPECIAL EVENT!"
"Great recipe, and easy. I don't have a stand mixer and did the mixing by hand (no so easy). I'm going to make the sponge again right now because I just realized I can use my cuisinart with the plastic dough blade (which I've never used before) to make this a bit easier on myself! I found the texture great, flavour was a little salty - I might cut back a little on that this time around. Other than that, yummy! My family devoured the bread!"
"Very yummy and easy! This was the first time I have ever baked bread so I wasn't sure what it should look like after the first 12 hours. My sponge did not appear to double in size although it was bubbly and sticky. After combining all ingredients it rose some both times, although never doubled. I did not put any water in the oven, but did use a preheated stone. Came out risen and golden in 18-20 minutes. Soft and chewy inside, crisp out."
"Just made ciabatta bread for first time, & had to make it w/ enriched white flour. And it was very good. Family loved it. It did have air bubbles in it, but very light & had a good taste, next time I will make it w/ the bread flour. Good Job Ms Pizza! Sherry in Kc"
"This was the first recipe I used from this site.. I loveeeee it!!! I always make a double batch..One batch the standard way.. in the second one I use garlic olive oil and I add Italian seasonings..Grated Asaigo cheese..finely chopped pepperoni and soposada.. Yummy...Have also made it with 1/2 whole wheat flour too...Just as wonderful..As a note..Mine always doubles in size!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!!!"
"O my Goodness! This is simply delicious. I loved the fact that the crust wasnt hard and crusty. I also made one with oil dimples and sprinkled kosher salt on top. The other one I made as you stated and brushed it with oil when it came out of the oven. I also did not have a pizza stone so I used the paper on a cookie sheet. I was so skeptical b/c it was very sticky, but I am so glad I made this. Thanks alot!"
"This was my first attempt at ciabatta bread. but considering things I probably did wrong, it really came out pretty well. All went well with the sponge. It raised well, and was very bubbly, but I let it go for more than 24 hours, and it deflated. <br/><br/>I continued making the dough anyway, and as what would be expected, it didn't raise as it should have. After 3 hours, it still hadn't come anywhere near double in volume. It was late, and I was running out of time, so I continued. I formed the loaves for the 2nd raise. Again, they raised a little, but no where near double. I started to prepare myself for a failure on this one. After another two hours on the 2nd raise, I put them into the oven using my pizza stone on the parchment paper they had been on. I spritzed the oven every 3-5 minutes while baking, and baked for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Surprisingly, they raised more. <br/><br/>With everything that seemed to go wrong, the bread was wonderful. It had plenty of wholes, the crust was chewy, and the crumb was moist. It could not have been better if everything went as expected. I will definitely be making this recipe again, and baking before the sponge tires out can only make it better."
"So great! I have never made bread before and I was so stoked with the result! It took a long time to prepare but was so worth it! My house is very cold (today is the coldest day of the year) so I don't think that it rose as much as it was supposed to but still looked fab!"
"Loved this recipe, I didn't use the stone but just like when I make French baguette, I put a pan with water in the oven to ensure humidity and I placed it in the oven. I put the oven on 450 and baked it in less than 15 min. It was delicious."
"Very good! Breadmaking takes some effort, but I already spend a lot of time in my kitchen. So much so, I insist you take me at my word that I've mastered the art of styling my hair with a fork and a twist-tie."