Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ciabatta Bread & Sundried Tomato & basil,Mozarella Sandwich

Manasi and myself ,we enjoy  eating ciabatta with olive oil and some freshly grated parmesan . I buy this italian bread from Trader Joe's and I think there ciabatta is particularly fantsatic .I buy this bread very often and everytime I buy it I give it a serious thought of baking it in my oven some day.

 The last  tiny piece of Ciabatta from Trader Joe's was lying on the kitchen island and I still had plenty of fresh mozzarella & sun dried tomato and fresh basil  I had bought to make ciabatta sandwiches for Manasi. So I set out to make this very versatile Italian ,"slipper bread". The shape of the bread justifies its name.It quite resembles a slipper,with its characteristic long & flat shape. I looked up on the net and found one recipe which had been reviewed and had solid feedback :) I followed the instructions to the T as I knew this artisan bread needs to have the perfect crackly crust and a moist crumb. Trust me-The bread looked great,tasted so perfect that between Manasi & me we finished of more than half of it  while it was still warm ,with just olive oil. The crust and the crumb soaked the oil so well-it tasted exquisitely divine . I later used the remaining ciabatta to make Manasi a tomato mozzarella sandwich.

Here's the recipe for Ciabatta bread:

Ingredients For Sponge:
Active Dry Yeast: 1/8 tsp
water: 2 tbsp (105-115 f )
 room temprature water: 1/3 cup
Bread flour: 1/3 cup

For Bread:
Active Dry Yeast: 1/2 tsp
Warm Milk: 2 tbsp (102-115 f )
Room temprature water: 2/3
Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
Bread Flour: 2 cups
Salt: 1 1/2 tsp

Method to Make the Sponge:
Stir together warm water and yeast.
Let this stand till frothy/creamy
Transfer this mixture to another bowl and to this add 1/3 cup room tempartaure water and flour.
Stir this for 4 minutes.Make sure you stir this for 4 minutes,it will come together.
Now cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it for half a day minimum 12 hours or upto 1 day at cool room temprature.

Method for the Bread:
Mix the milk and yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes until creamy or frothy. Now in a food processor blend milk with sponge,water,oil & flour and run the processor till moistined. Run the food processor for a couple minutes more,add salt and run the food processor for couple minutes again.
Please Note: The original recipe called for beating this in an electric mixre with dough hook but I kneaded the dough in the food processor and it turned out just fine. You can also knead by hand. Just follow the time needed to beat/knead or process.

Scrape dough and cover with plastic wrap until doubled 1 1/2 hours.

Baking The Ciabatta Bread:
Dough will be sticky and full of bubbles. Cut two pieces of parchement paper approximately 10 inches by 6. Place on baking sheet and flour well.
Turn dough out on a well floured surface and cut in two halves.
Transfer each half to paper and shape into irregular oval shape about 7 inches.
Dip fingers in flour and dimple loaves.
Dust tops with flour.
Cover with dampened kitchen towel and let it rise double in size for roughly 1 1/2 hours or  more untill doubled in size.
Heat the pizza stone in the lowest rack at 425 d farhaneight 45 minutes before you are ready to bake the bread.
Transfer 1 loaf along with the parchment paper on the pizza stone and bake for 20 minutes or till the top is  pale golden .
remove this and keep it on the rack to cool and repeat the same with another roll.

Recipe for Ciabatta Sandwich:

Fresh mozzarella : Cut thin rounds
Sun dried Tomato: chopped into small pieces.
basil: 5-7 leaves chopped.
Pesto: 2 tbsp
Ciabatta loaf:  2 pieces.

Take 2 pieces of ciabatta loaf and spread pesto on both sides. Arrange mozzarella rounds,and spread chopped sun dried tomato along with chopped basil leaves on one loaf. Press the othet half on top of this and heat this on  a griddle and press it tight with  a plate or keep something heavy on the plate.. Do this on both sides till the sandwich is flat and slightly crisp & brown on both sides. Please make this in a panini maker if you have one.

 Notes:  Please follow the  exact instructions for the sponge .
You can add a slice of cheddar cheese and a fresh tomato slice too along with other things.


  1. As I read the ingredient list I kept going wow..everything I like ..nothing I don't :)
    That ciabatta is baked to perfection :)

    US Masala

  2. Perfect and yummy! So far I never tried this sponge method, will try this some time. Love the topping for the sandwich too...

  3. The bread looks so soft and love to try it once..

  4. nice sandwich....i like all types of Italian bread...

  5. Merhabalar, ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyor.


  6. Kavita, your bread is gorgeous! It came out perfectly and your sandwich is to die for. It looks so good!! I love all the fresh ingredients and even better than it's served on homemade bread. Beautiful!

  7. Sandwich looks perfect and delicious,I am a sandwich person especially for dinners.Loving it.

  8. Sandwich looks really yumm!!!

  9. Kavita-I'm so thrilled you made your own ciabatta bread, better than I've seen in the best bakery shops...and home made. I'm so jealous! The addition for the sandwich is what you would get in a well know panini shop, but only better!
    Absolutely loving it!

  10. wow..u made u r own ciabatta, i love that bread and sandwich looks awesome..

  11. kavitha-this one totally rocks ! loved the recipe--bookmarked !

  12. Inviting sandwich,makes me hungry..prefectly baked ciabatta bread, love sandwich prepared with this bread..

  13. The bread looks so soft and yummy,love the sandwich,makes me hungry.

  14. Loved your sandwich and your bread looks perfect.

  15. I liked it..feel like grabbing it right now..

  16. Ciabatta Bread came out beautifully soft and crunchy...I can have this sandwitch for lunch.. perfect healthy meal!!!! bookmarking the recipe for later :)

  17. I'm sitting here giggling because I came to your blog through Elizabeth's and because of your google profile page I was totally expecting to see (and learn) some fantastic Indian dishes.... and I find a quintessential Italian sandwich! But, I must thank you because I ate the real deal when I was in Italy with my father as a teenager and the memories your post evoked are so sweet, thank you.

  18. This sandwich looks so tempting and sounds tasty as well. Bob-from biggest loser was mentioning that people should eat colorful food rather than badge ones and from that day on , colorful food have become my favorite:)

  19. yummy!!! U have a nice space.. Just loved your blog and pics....

  20. wow! this is something I really want to try. slurrrrrp :)


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