I was lucky enough to attend a 4-hour ciabatta bread baking class at 20 Shekels this past Sunday. I already love their bread so I was very excited to see the behind the scenes process.
Let me tell you, it was wonderful. I learned so much! I love that they use organic ingredients and I got to see from start to finish how to make 6 different types of ciabatta.
The best part? I got to taste them ALL. There are no words for hot, crispy bread right out of the oven. Don’t even get me started on their cheese ciabatta. It’s pretty much your own personal pizza, at least, that’s how I devoured it as soon as I got home.
What I would do for one of those loaves right about now…..
Marni from 20 Shekels
Marni is the owner of the shop, she taught the class. She is a fantastic teacher. She was extremely patient with us, very funny and never made us feel like we were doing the steps wrong. She included everybody and gave us all a chance to do each step. Very hands on, which I loved. I got to shape the loaf, divide the dough, flip the dough, and drizzle the olive oil multiple times.
Ciabatta Bread from 20 Shekels
Marni showed us the beginning of each dough in the mixer, how long to mix it, what it should look like and how to tell when it’s done. She also shared extra tips, like the sound the mixer makes when it’s at a certain point. Also, always hold on to the mixer when it’s going full speed or it WILL travel!
We watched the different doughs proof and I learned that they MUST triple in size before they’re ready. I loved watching the dough being poured out of the bucket, it was mesmerizing. Just look at those stringy cheese strands!!!
She also gave us a copy of the recipe she uses for the ciabatta. Boy, was I excited to get my hot little hands on that. I can’t wait to make my first loaf of rosemary garlic cheese ciabatta! Yes, I’m combining my three favorite loaves into one, don’t judge me! Marni said to be creative and experiment, so that’s what I’m going to do.
This is the bread we made in class and we each got to bring home a loaf of each.
If you’re ever in the Clearwater, Florida area, make sure you stop by 20 Shekels and try some of their amazing bread! You won’t be disappointed. If you’re interested in learning more about making different types of bread, I highly recommend taking one of Marni’s classes. She has a pizza dough class and a sprouted baking 101 class coming up, I can’t wait!
Quick Ciabatta Bread
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 cups water
- 2 t instant yeast
- 1 T salt
- In Kitchen Aid style mixer: Mix all ingredients roughly till combined with paddle, let it rest for 10 minutes.
- With the paddle (I prefer the hook to prevent the dough from crawling into the guts of the mixer), beat the living hell out of the batter, it will start out like pancake batter but in anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes it will set up and work like a very sticky dough. if it starts climbing too soon, then switch to the hook. You'll know it's done when it separates from the side of the bowl and starts to climb up your hook/paddle and just coming off the bottom of the bowl. I mean this literally about the climbing, i once didn't pay attention and it climbed up my paddle into the greasy inner workings of the mixer. It was not pretty! Anyway, it will definitely pass the windowpane test.
- Place into a well-oiled container and let it triple! it must triple! For me this takes about 2.5 hours
- Empty on to a floured counter (scrape if you must, however you gotta get the gloop out), cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Spray with oil and dust with lots o' flour. Let them proof for about 45 minutes, which gives you enough time to crank that oven up to 500F.
- After 45 minutes or so the loaves should be puffy and wobbly, now it's iron fist, velvet glove time. Pick up and stretch into your final ciabatta shape (~10" oblong rectangle) and flip them upside down (this redistributes the bubbles, so you get even bubbles throughout), and onto parchment or a heavily floured peel. Try to do it in one motion and be gentle, it might look like you've ruined them completely, but the oven spring is immense on these things.
- Bake at 500F until they are 205F in the center (about 15-20 minutes), rotating 180 degrees half way through. Some people like to turn the oven down to 450F after 10 minutes, but whatever floats your boat. I usually bake in 2 batches