The Best Sourdough Recipes | Sourdough Starter

Ciabatta Bread Recipe

After reading a comment on my sourdough Ciabatta post, asking some questions about the recipe, I decided to create a video of a Ciabatta recipe in action. It is an unusual bread, to be sure. The dough is exceedingly wet and that makes the dough a bit challenging. First, here is the poolish recipe:

Take 3/4 plus 2 Tbs of cool water (55 degrees or so), add 1 and 1/2 cups of flour and just an eight of a tsp of yeast. Mix them together by hand and refrigerate for two hours. This helps slow down the chemical reactions of the yeast, water and flour. After two hours, remove the poolish and let it sit on the counter overnight (or for 10-12 hours).

The next day (or 10-12 hours later), it is time to make the Ciabatta dough! Here’s the recipe:
1 1/2 cups of water at 86 degrees
4 cups, plus 3 Tbs of flour
1 tsp of Rapid Rise yeast
1 Tb of salt

Put the water and the poolish together in a bowl and break it up by hand for about a minute. Then add the flour, yeast and and salt. Mix by hand for 4 minutes. At the end of the 4 minutes, take 1/4 cup, plus 2 Tb of water at 86 degrees and add it to the dough. You will add the water in three stages. Pour in about a third of the water and thoroughly mix by hand. Add the next third and thoroughly mix. Repeat with the last of the water. Transfer the dough (it will be very wet) to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.

At the end of the first rise, tip the dough out on to a well-floured surface. Fold in thirds and cover with plastic wrap for another 30 minutes.

When the timer goes off, we will flour the dough again, fold it over again and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

At this point we are ready to give to divide the dough. Use a mixture of equal parts cornmeal and flour for the final dusting of flour for the loaves. Prepare a kitchen cloth with a liberal dose of flour and place it on a cookie sheet. Divide the dough in half and gently flip one of the pieces over and on to the cornmeal/flour mixture. Then place it carefully on the floured cloth. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

While the bread is having its final rest, preheat the oven to 500 degrees about 20 minutes before baking. At the 10 minute mark, add a pan with 3 cups of warm water to the oven. Place the bread onto a bread peel covered with parchment paper, if you have a baking stone. If you do not have a baking stone. use a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

It is time to put the bread into the oven. Carefully slide the parchment paper on to the baking stone, reduce the temperature to 475 and set your time for 12 minutes.

After baking for 12 minutes, the loaves are ready to bake directly on the baking stone, so we remove the parchment paper and the water pan. At the same time, use this chance to rotate the loaves to ensure even cooking. Make sure that the loaves stay completely on the baking stone. They will burn if allowed to go off the stone.

When the timer goes off, it is time to take the bread out and let it cool. Always place bread on a cooling rack, to ensure that the crust does not become soggy. Let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before you tear into it. Bread tastes best fresh from the oven, but a few minutes to cool allows the crust and the interior to set.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The holiday season is the time for baking. A tin of cookies can be the perfect, low-cost gift for someone at the office or church. So, since my mind has turned to cookie dough (not literally, but it is early in the Christmas season, so give it time!), I thought I’d share my peanut butter […]

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

Thinking of my search for the choco chip cookie recipe that my Mom used, I thought it was worth it to talk about other good (but not Mom’s) ideas for chocolate chip cookie recipes — and easy to veganize, too. There are so many variants of the humble chocolate chip cookie! I wanted to highlight […]

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Choc Chip Cookie Recipe

Some of my earliest memories are of being in the kitchen with my Mom while she baked. She made bread and cookies and cakes weekly.We had an kitchen/eating area that was divided by a long counter. I would pull up a chair on the eating side and watch as Mom mixed up cookie dough or […]

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Sourdough Bagels Fail/Win

I have been experimenting with bagels for a few weeks. I have had fails and wins. Overall the bagels have always tasted good — but they have looked odd. First, the recipe — oh, and this is an overnight recipe. Step one is to make a sponge — like a preferment. You take 3/4 cup […]

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Sourdough Rolls

This is just a quick post, really. Work has been nutso lately and I have not made much sourdough bread as a result. Well this past weekend, I decided to take back my weekend and make bread! When we lived in Germany fresh rolls from the bakery around the corner and strong coffee was our […]

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Baker’s Tools

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A New Sourdough Bread Recipe

I have been experimenting with a new sourdough bread recipe and I think I’m ready to share it with you. Over the years I feel like I’ve tried them all with various levels of success. I like the shortcut recipes and the recipes that get clever with using up extra sourdough starter, but the best […]

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A New Scale for a New Sourdough Starter

I’ve been enjoying the joys of artisan bread making and neglecting my beloved sourdough. Oh sure I’ve made some sourdough bread. Or scones, or pancakes. Anything to use up that sour, right? I remember when I first got the artisan bread book, I noticed the whole section on sourdough. I filed that away, like when […]

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Baguette Recipe with Pate Fermente

The thing that makes baguettes and French bread so good is the pate fermente (or old dough). It’s what is called a preferment and it helps the dough get a good texture, taste and crust. You can make a pate just for the recipe you need, although it needs about 18 hours to really get […]

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