Italian Ciabatta Bread

This recipe is designed for use with breadmakers but may also successfully be created manually as well.

To the pan of your breadmaker, add the following ingredients in the order outlined below:

1 1/2 cups warm (but not hot) water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 Tablesppon Olive Oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour (may substitute 1/4 cup wheat flour to add more body)
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon of finely crushed rosemary

Add all ingredients and set breadmaker to "dough cycle".  When kneading stops, wait 15 minutes and then remove dough.  Place dough on cookie tray that has been lined with parchment paper and form into two long loaves.  You may need some additional  flour to get the dough from sticking to your hands or to form the loaves but try not to use too much.

Cover the loaves and let them rise for about 40 minutes in a warm area or until the size has approximately doubled.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Rub olive oil onto the top of both loaves.  This will lock in the moisture and help the top of the loaves to brown nicely.  Create a dimple running the length of each loaf and insert half pepperoni slices along the entire length.  Add your favorite shredded or crumbled soft cheese to the loaves.  I like to use "4 Cheese Mexican" and Feta.  Other toppings which work well include Kalamata Olives, sliced thinly.  Sprinkle additional Italian Seasoning and garlic powder to taste and bake for 18-22 minutes.  Reserve the last minute of baking to do a low broil for one minute to add an extra crispness to the cheese and crust....but don't over do it!!!

Allow to cool and harden in an open air environment before slicing.
Two Loaves of Italian Ciabatta Bread topped with Pepperoni, Kalamata Olives and Feta
Two Loaves of Italian Ciabatta Bread topped with Pepperoni, Kalamata Olives and Feta


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