Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ciabatta Bread for the Bread Machine

I love bread.

I know.  Bread's bad, blah, blah blah.  Too bad, we're still enjoying it from time to time.  We don't eat white bread much here, and when we do, I make it, or buy a nice loaf of sourdough or something delish.   I tried making whole wheat rolls with flax seed yesterday from the ripped out recipes pile, and I imagined it was going to be this amazing, therapeutic process, and I would love the feel of kneading the dough, and they would be amazing and healthy and delicious, and I would be awesome.

Well, insert reality here:  the stupid dough was like a rock, and I got a full workout in trying to knead it.  The rock never rose, and for kicks I baked a little of it to see what would happen, and it was like a hockey puck, and I was stressed and crabby.  Epic fail, as the teen boy would say.  SO, back to the bread machine method, where fabulous soft, elastic balls of dough appear magically after I press a button and walk away.  I'm a COOKING Baker for a reason, not a BAKING Baker.  Anyway, here's a recipe (I THINK it was from, but I've since lost the source, sorry.) for a good loaf using the bread machine to do the hard work.  We like to dip it in olive oil & balsamic vinegar.

Ciabatta Bread
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil (I sometimes use a rosemary-infused oil - delish)
3 1/4 c. bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

Place ingredients into the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer.* Select the Dough cycle, and Start. Dough will be quite sticky and wet once cycle is completed, resist the temptation to add more flour. Place dough on a lightly floured board, cover with a large bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Lightly flour or use parchment lined baking sheets. Divide into 2 pieces, and form each into a 3x14 inch oval. Place loaves on prepared sheets, dimple surface, and lightly flour. Cover, and let rise in a draft free place for approximately 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Dimple dough for a second time, and then place loaves in the oven, positioned on the middle rack. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. During baking, spritz loaves with water every 5 to 10 minutes for a crispier crust.

* If you're like me, the manual is long gone, or you never had it to begin with.  I found this helpful guide to bread machines.

Nutritional Information
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 73
Total Fat: 0.9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 146mg
Total Carbs: 13.7g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
Protein: 2.3g

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