Time from start to warm bread: 20 hours
Bake: 20-25 minutes at 500
Ingredient 1 loaf 2 loaves 3 loaves
Bread Flour 560g 1120g 1680g
Water 450g 900g 1350g
Yeast 1/4t 1/2t 3/4t
Salt 1 1/2t 1T 1T + 1 1/2t
Olive Oil 50g 100g 150g
(substitute olive oil for water so total liquid equals 450g per loaf)
Why is it undead ciabatta? Because it’s dead simple and delivers killer taste. Hey-o, I should be a writer for R.L. Stine books! Don’t be fooled by the overall time for this bread. Your actual hands-on time might be as little as 15 minutes.
First, mix up all the ingredients in a very large bowl. You’ll want to give this dough a little room to grow and bubble. Now cover the bowl and leave it out on the counter, preferably not near a cold draft, open flame, or recently-disturbed grave.
Now leave it alone for 18-20 hours. For you math geniuses out there, this means you can make it before you go to bed at 10pm and have it ready to turn out at bake by 6pm when you get home from work. Or if you work the graveyard shift, make it at 4 am and be ready to bake by 10 pm.
So, you’ve had a busy day of fighting vampires, battling zombie hordes, and slaying demons. Not up for spending a lot of time in the kitchen? Good, now comes the easy part. After it’s resting/spawning period, your batter will have come to life! Spooky!
One hour before baking time, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. When the oven is devilishly hot, fold the batter over onto itself five or six times and see the gluten form itself into strong strands. Now you can pour the batter out directly onto parchment paper and spread it into a rough rectangle shape with wet hands. Go triple lock your doors, because the smell of baking ciabatta is about to draw the moaning undead hordes to your house. Slide the ciabatta, paper and all, onto your baking stone. I’d recommend rotating once halfway through the bake and let it get to an internal temperature of 205-210 degrees.
Now start up that chainsaw and start swinging your baseball bat. You’ll need to fight off several waves of succubi, zombies, and werewolves who want to eat the ciabatta while it’s still warm. Let it cool down so the crumb structure can finish forming. Ready, steady, rip into it!
Footnote: If you want to use natural levain, skip the yeast and use a dollop of active sourdough starter. A dollop is…let’s say one tablespoon per loaf. Then follow the recipe as indicated.
Footnote 2: If you want a softer ciabatta, use the olive oil. If you want to rip it apart like a zombie tearing leg meat from a femur, don’t use the olive oil. Regardless, keep the liquid measure the same.