No Knead Ciabatta Bread

This bread is super easy to make—it just requires some advance planning since the dough has to rise for 18 hours. The list of ingredients is very short:

• 4 cups bread flour (3 1/2 cup white + 1/2 cup wheat)
• 1/4 tsp yeast
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/2 tsp salt

This 5 minute video gives a helpful play-by-play of how to make it. Even Eddie was entertained, asking to rewatch the "bread movie" several times. But just in case your attention span is shorter than a two-year old, here is the gist: Mix the ingredients together in a bowl for a minute or two until a sticky dough forms. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 18 hours. Form it into a long flat shape on an oiled cookie sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise for another 2 hours. Cook at 425 for 35-40 minutes.

My experience played out pretty much identical to the video with one exception. The original recipe calls for bread flour, but I used to unbleached all-purpose flour since that is what we have on hand. I'm no flour expert, but I assume this is why my loaf didn't turn out quite as light and bubbly as the one in the video. Do we have any bakers in the house? Am I right in my assumption?


robmba said...

I think bread flour has extra gluten in it. You can just buy gluten to add in. The gluten adds some elasticity to the dough, so it can stretch out more without all the air escaping, so you're probably right, that is what you need.

This is about the same as the no knead dutch oven bread I've made, except that you don't cook it in a dutch oven, and when I made loaves with and without extra gluten, the one with the gluten was a lot taller and rounder, rather than flatter and spread out.

Anonymous said...

18 hours? Did you have to start in the middle of the night to have it read at dinner?

It looks good. I'm going to share with you some super easy artisan loaves I've found recently that take less time.

robmba said...

I look forward to the bonus artisan bread recipes...always looking for something new.

I would say, though, that just because it takes awhile doesn't mean it's bad. It just takes a little planning. Since there's no kneading, it may actually take less time than a traditional loaf of bread in terms of active participation on the part of the baker.

It takes maybe 5 minutes to toss the ingredients together in a scrappy dough, when in a traditional recipe you'd barely be done activating the yeast, with plenty of mixing and kneading left, not to mention getting the liquid to just the right temperature so it rises but doesn't kill the cultures.

Dave said...

I mixed up the dough around 9 pm the night before, then it was ready to shape around 3 pm the next afternoon. Add 2 more hours of rising and a half hour for baking, and it's coming out of the oven around 5:30-6:00. But there's probably only 10-15 minutes of actual work involved.

How much gluten do you add in ratio to the all-purpose flour?

robmba said...

It's about 2 T of gluten per loaf.

I've also tried out dough enhancer, which you'd add about the same amount, 1-2 T.