Introduction: Uno, Due, Tre, Quattro, Ciabatta!

About: Tate is an artist, occasionally a curator, author, social designer as well as a frequent workshop facilitator focusing on utilization of available materials, tools and site specificity.

Ciabatta is about as simple as bread gets...and also about as delicious. So why don't you make some ciabatta, dummy!

It'll only take a a few steps/few hours and most of that time the dough is doing all the work, so you can just relax.

Step 1: Ingredients

  • 500g bread flour
  • about 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tbsp. salt

Put your ingredients in a bowl which is AT LEAST 3x the volume of your ingredients.

Now use a something to vigorously stir, or whip, the batter together. do this for 5-10 minutes until your mixture is a goopy batter, almost like what you would use for pancakes but much thicker. I like using the handle-end of a wooden spoon to mix my ciabatta batter because it's easy to move the batter around and also because it's easy to clean.
If you want, after mixing the batter, you can move the batter to an oiled bowl but the batter will still end up sticking after a couple of hours in the bowl so I don't bother

Now wait for the batter to TRIPLE in size; this should take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, give or take. When it's tripled it'll look like the pictures.

Step 2: Scrape, Divide, Rest.

Now you have to pour the batter out on a well floured surface. If you have to scrape the bowl to get all the batter out then do it. 

Divide the batter into 3 or 4 pieces and dust them with some more flour.

Allow these pieces to proof for another 45 minutes. While the batter is just sitting there, why don't you start to pre-heat your oven to 500F/260C.

Step 3: Almost There...

You're almost done at this point:

Take as many of your pieces as you can spaciously fit on a, greased, baking tray. As you're placing the future loaf onto the tray, flip it; most of the bubbles will have risen to the top of the loaf during the proofing process so if you flip your loaf onto the tray the distribution of air pockets will be more even.

Bake at 500F/260C for 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Finito!

Providing you followed the steps, something like closely, you should be able to pull your delicious and golden loaves out the oven. 

Give it a couple of minutes to rest and cool because that bread is HOT.

If you still have more pieces to bake then repeat step 4, otherwise you should enjoy your crispy-on-the-outside and soft/chewy-on-the-inside loaf of ciabatta.

Easy, no?