From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a recipe that falls into the "on the eve of" category. Tomorrow, I'm going to feature a recipe for my all-time favorite sandwich. It is made with ciabatta bread and because the success of the sandwich depends on the freshness of the bread you use, I generally make my own. If you have access to good ciabatta bread or rolls, feel free to bypass this recipe and just comeback tomorrow for the "meat" of the sandwich. The rest of you had better stick around. The recipe I've chosen to share with you comes from the Taste of Home Baking cookbook, and while it must be started the day before you plan to bake the bread, it makes a no-knead loaf that is easy to prepare and really quite flavorful. I must warn you that the dough for this bread tends to be wet and sticky, but if you form it on a floured pan and use a spatula to help you shape it, the dough is manageable and will come together for you. This recipe can easily be doubled and it freezes so well that I almost always have a loaf of it tucked in my freezer. I do hope you'll give the recipe a try. Here is how the bread is made.
No-Knead Ciabatta Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Taste of Home Baking
2-1/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 cup cool water
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1) Combine 2 cups flour, water and yeast in a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled in size and bubbles are present on surface, about 12 to 18 hours. Combine salt and remaining flour. Stir salt mixture and oil into dough.
2) Turn dough onto a well-floured baking sheet and gently press with a spatula into a 10 x 5-inch loaf. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until dough holds an indentation when gently pressed (loaf will slightly increase in size).
3) Arrange one oven rack at lowest rack setting. Place second rack in middle of oven. Place an oven-safe skillet on bottom rack. Preheat oven and skillet to 475 degrees F.
4) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Wearing oven mitts, place bread on top rack. Pull bottom rack out by 6-8 inches and add boiling water to skillet. Working quickly and carefully, pour water into skillet away from your face and hands. Carefully slide bottom rack back into place and quickly close door to trap steam in oven.
5) Reduce heat to 425 degrees F. and bake for 10 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and bake bread 12-15 minutes longer, or until deep golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices).
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