Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy Five Minute Ciabatta Recipe

This morning, when I began thinking about my evening plans (a lovely little dinner with my lovely fiancé) and then started thinking about our evening dinner (homemade bread?) I didn't pause to remember that I had agreed to babysit my friend's gorgeous four-month-old daughter Penelope. Luckily, Five Minute Ciabatta Bread can be made with a baby tucked under one arm. And yes, it takes a little longer than five minutes (but not much!)

Exceedingly Yummy Ciabatta Bread

My night went fabulously, and Penelope was a great help in the kitchen.

"Penelope, how much garlic should I put on this bread?" "Gurgle gurgle gurgle" "Really Penelope? That much?" And then there was "Penelope, do you think I should put butter on this?" "Gurgle gurgle" [drooling and bubbles] "You're right! It does need to have butter on it!"

This recipe is so easy, you can do it with one of these tucked under one arm! Also, yes I did make this hat. I will definitely have to blog about it soon!

 After much research, I adapted a recipe found on Lifehacker.

Five Minute Ciabatta Bread

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Rising Time: 4 Hours
Baking Time: 25 Minutes
Yield: Enough for two, or three if they feel like sharing. 


1/8 tsp Traditional Yeast
1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Hot Water
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
Herbs and Spices
Cornmeal, for dusting

Mix together sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Slowly add hot water - it should be hot, but not hot enough to burn your fingers. Mix together thoroughly and let the yeasty water sit for a few minutes, until the yeast starts bubbling up to the surface.

Mix two cups of flour directly into yeasty water. Add the salt, stir together. It should not be thick enough to feel like 'real' dough - instead it will be the consistency of thick cake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm area for about 3-4 hours, or until mixture is doubled in size. You should be able to see bubbles in the dough.

While your dough is rising, use this time to chop up some herbs, or have a snack, or change the diaper of the baby you have under one arm. Oh wait, that's just me!

I used a combination of fresh rosemary (from my mother's garden) fresh basil (from my grandmother's garden) and fresh oregano (from a cutting I had on the windowsill). Dried herbs work great too, but I find fresh tastes better. Wash herbs and chop very finely with a sharp knife. 

Yummy Fresh Herbs!
Once the dough has risen, prepare a baking dish by coating it lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal and pour dough into the bottom of the dish. Don't handle it too much - the less you handle it, the more fabulous bubbles will be in your ciabatta. Sprinkle herbs on top of the dough, and shake some ground pepper and liberal amounts of garlic powder on top as well. Let dough sit in baking dish for an additional half an hour. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 F. Because this dough is so small, I cooked it in a toaster oven.

Raw dough, sprinkled with herbs.

Pop into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and risen. Let sit in baking dish for at least ten minutes undisturbed, or else bread will collapse. I'm serious, no matter how delicious it looks, don't touch!

Fresh baked ciabatta bread!
Slices of fresh ciabatta bread

Once the ten minutes are up, remove bread from dish and either let cool for later, or (preferably) slice and eat. I buttered a couple slices for S and I to enjoy. Penelope looked like she wanted some too, but I didn't feel like sharing (also she doesn't have any teeth).


Edit: Also, I've submitted this post to Yeastspotting.

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