Ciabatta Bread (Bread Machine)

I’ve owned a bread machine for at least 16 years, maybe more. I think I am on my third machine and I love it. I don’t ever bake the bread in the  machine as I prefer the traditional crust that only baking in an oven can make. Fresh baked bread from the oven makes me feel like a domestic goddess. Maybe because I feel like I am providing a very basic need to my kids, maybe it’s the aroma of fresh baked bread in the air, maybe it’s because I feel connected to my great grandmothers and a time when bread was sold in a loaf and not sliced. I don’t know what it is exactly but I could bake bread everyday!

I love crusty specialty breads like ciabatta and thought I’d give it a try at home. To my pleasant surprise I found this super easy recipe that makes a delicious bread perfect for meat dishes, pasta, soups etc. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

1. Place ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer.
2. Select the Dough cycle and start.  Go do something else, start your soup, pasta, drink some tea, whatever 🙂
3. Once cycle is complete, the dough will be very sticky and wet. DON’T add more flour.
4.Place dough on a lightly floured board, cover with a large bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.
5. Divide into 2 pieces and form each into 3 x 14″ oval
7. Place loaves on prepared baking sheets (I love using parchment paper on my baking sheets as it gives a nice stick resistant cooking surface). Dimple the surface with finger tips and lightly flour.
8. Cover and let rise in draft free place for 45 minutes.
9. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
10. Dimple dough again and place loaves in the oven.
11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Spritz loaves with water every 4-10 minutes for a crispier crust.
Let cool before slicing and enjoy!

originally found at http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/ciabatta-bread-29253

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