- 1 cup room temperature water
- 1 3/4 cup bread flour (preferred) or all-purpose flour*
- 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast (any dry variety will work)
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour* (preferred) or all purpose*
- 1 1/4 cup room temperature beer**
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- In a medium-large bowl combine water, first listed flour and first listed yeast. Combine well, the mixture will be very soft and extremely sticky. Cover bowl with plastic food wrap and set aside at room temperature for 15-24 hours.
- Add flour, beer, salt, sugar and remaining yeast. Knead by hand or using a machine fitted with dough hook until dough becomes elastic, about 10 minutes. This dough will be much softer and way more sticky than nearly all other types of bread dough. Do not be tempted to add additional flour as doing so will inhibit the formation of the desired large and irregular whole structure typical of Ciabatta.
- Cover dough with plastic food wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Using your hands press dough flat and fold outer parts towards the center of dough. Cover with plastic and let sit for 20 minutes, meanwhile turn oven to 440°F, if you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven.
- Cut dough in 2 equal parts. Shape each piece about 8 inch long and 3 inch wide. Dust each piece generously with flour but do not mix flour into dough- flour should only be used for exterior.
- Place loaves on a parchment lined large cookie sheet. (perforated sheets are excellent) If using a pizza stone, place loaves on parchment on the bottom of a cookie sheet. (Cookie sheet turned upside down). If you have an oven peel, place dough onto heavily and evenly floured paper towels and place on upside down flipped cookie sheet.
- Cover with plastic food wrap and allow to rise until the loaves gained 50% in volume- not doubled!
- Open oven door and quickly place loaves in oven, if using a pizza stone, slide loaves quickly (along with parchment paper) onto pizza stone. If you have an oven peel, sprinkle with flour and run your hand across it to evenly distribute flour.
- Place your hand underneath the paper towel to lift the loaves and very gently flip upside down onto oven peel. Ensure that loaves are not sticking by shaking oven peel gently.
- Open oven door and unload loaves from peel onto pizza stone.
- Bake until deep golden brown, about 43 minutes.
Imperial Sugar Insight
**Ciabatta shown is made with cream stout but any of your favorite beer will work perfectly.
NOTE: The only way to achieve large irregular holes and chewy texture is to prepare a "Poolish". Combine the first 3 listed ingredients and allow to rise for 15-24 hours before adding the final ingredients.