I mentioned this on social media a few days ago, but I have to find myself a new bread machine now. The rod that attaches to the paddle won’t stay in the bread pan–It keeps slipping out of the bottom. I called Sunbeam, but unfortunately for me, they don’t offer replacement bread pans. So it’s either buy bread from the store (this is another instance where the loss of Buttercrust really hurts…Brookings really needs an actual bakery!), or make it using my stand mixer.
As I don’t really like buying bread from the store, I’m using my stand mixer for the time being, until I figure out what to do with the bread machine sans bread pan. This week, I decided I’d make some Ciabatta, or “slipper” bread.
For the past few years, I’ve mainly used my bread maker for dough. I’ll run the dough cycle, and then bake the bread in the oven. I usually get two loaves that way, which is nice because I only have to do this every two weeks, since I freeze one of the loaves. The Ciabatta recipe I used makes two loaves, which is handy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yeast and the warm water together and allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast "blooms."
In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 C of the flour, salt, and sugar. Once the yeast has bloomed, stir in the flour mixture and mix using the paddle attachment. Stir in the oil and mix for 2-3 minutes. If the dough seems too wet, add in the remaining flour 1 Tbsp. at a time.
Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 9-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy. If kneading by hand, place on a lightly floured surface and knead 10-12 minutes.
Place the dough in a large greased and floured bowl. Cover and allow to rise roughly 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide in half. Shape each half into a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover, and allow to rise 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Grease and flour two large baking sheets. Take one ball of dough and with lightly floured hands, stretch it into an 18 x 6-inch rectangle. Place it on the baking sheet and gently flatten the dough until it is about 1-inch thick. Repeat with the other ball of dough. Cover the baking sheets and allow to rise 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly dust the tops of the loaves with flour. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Cool the loaves on wire racks.
I love Ciabatta for sandwich-making, especially panini. Which is something I haven’t done in awhile. Like my poor bread machine, my panini maker is also on its way out. I’ll probably have to replace that one next!