This no knead ciabatta belongs to the famous no-knead bread family, and it’s as simple to make following similar steps. The result is rustic, savoury bread is excellent for making Italian style crostini (small, open-faced sandwiches), bruschette (larger than crostini), and cicchetti (small bites, Venetian style) with cured meats like prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele, sopressa, pancetta, lardo di Colonnata, or even fresh cheeses like casatella or stracchino, topped with seasonal vegetables such as radicchio or carciofi (artichokes). Sliced, it makes a great carrier for baccalà mantecato or brandade (creamed cod). It also produces some excellent panini imbottiti (stuffed sandwiches). For a sweet take, try it with ricotta and honey for breakfast.
No Knead Ciabatta with Hazelnuts and Rosemary
This is a very easy method to make excellent homemade bread without the need to knead your dough, but letting time and yeast to do their magic. Plan ahead as you’ll need about 20 hours from start to final product.
300 g plain flour, sifted
200 g strong bread flour, sifted
350 g filtered water at room temperature
1 g active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
50 g shelled hazelnuts, chopped
1 small sprig of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
Semolina flour, for dusting
Olive oil, for brushing
Coarse sea salt, for dusting
In a large bowl, combine the two flours, yeast, salt, hazelnuts and rosemary. Pour in the water, mix everything quickly using a wooden spoon until barely combined, then wrap your bowl with cling film and leave to rise for at least 16 hours (12 in the summer and 18 in the winter are ideal rising times).Once this time has passed, check your dough: it should have doubled in size, and its surface should have lots and lots of air bubbles. Dust a surface with plenty of semolina flour and turn your dough on top. Flatten it slightly, then fold its four corners towards the centre (bento box style, to give you an idea). The dough should be very sticky and wet still, so make sure you use plenty of flour in this process to handle it easily.
Now, dust a clean kitchen towel with more semolina. Transfer your dough on top, folded side facing down. Dust the top with more semolina, fold the towel on top and leave to rest and rise for 3 more hours in a warm place.
Towards the end of this second rising period, preheat the oven to 220°C. Place a small, oven proof pot filled with water at the bottom of your oven to create some steam, then heat a baking tray until it reaches the same temperature of your oven. Meanwhile, turn your dough onto a sheet of parchment paper (folded side up, this time). Working the loaf with your hands, shape it like a ciabatta (long and fairly flat). Brush with olive oil and dust with coarse salt.
Remove the baking tray from the oven (careful! it’ll be very hot) and transfer the dough with its parchment on top of the tray. Work quickly so that the temperature of the tray doesn’t lower too much – you’re looking for a temperature shock, here. Put back in the oven on the middle rack and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust turns deep golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack before serving.