Gluten Free or Regular Ciabatta Bread
With everything going on in the world right now, I just want to help. The only way I know how is through the kitchen. Being on Long Island, 30 minutes outside of New York City, we are getting hit very hard and food shopping, let alone shopping for someone with food allergies, has become nearly impossible. This recipe I worked hard and fast on to hopefully help another family.
When managing food allergies, especially wheat and seed free, buying bread can be a nightmare. There is no safe store brand for Casey so I always make his. This bread, ciabatta, means “slipper” in Italian. It gets that name because it is very wet dough, almost batter like, and just slides on the pan in a slipper shape. It’s perfect because it is mixed in one bowl with no mixer necessary with hardly any ingredients, needs no pan to bake and can be in the oven is half the time normal bread can.
Now this is not a loaf type bread, it is made to be done as a long loaf sliced horizontally or dropped in smaller amounts to make rolls. I have adapted it so it’s basically the same for gluten free or done with regular bread flour. The only difference is the gluten free version stays a bit more moist (like most gf breads) and is better toasted after it’s sliced if not fresh. It freezes wonderfully as well.
Please be safe and well everyone! 💙
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
Flour– This bread can be made with either regular bread flour or gluten free flour. If using a gluten free flour blend, stick to the 140 g. per cup and use a blend that has xanthan gum. Add ¼ tsp. per cup of flour if it does not have it. There will have to be minor adjustments depending on the one you use, but they are minimal. The gluten free version will be denser and more like a thick batter, the wheat flour will be looser. The wheat flour version will also require a second “proof”, or rise, to the bread after it is on the sheet pan. I also added a small amount of baking powder to the gluten free to help rise a bit more. Note that on a more humid or rainy day, a handful more flour might be necessary.
Yeast – I used dried yeast when formulating this recipe because that is more readily available to the home baker. If using fresh cake yeast in a recipe, increase the amount by 1/3. Make sure it sits until it foams to ensure the yeast is alive, it will be feeding on the sugar. Dead yeast will not bubble.
Proofing – Proofing dough is when it doubles in size. It needs a warm environment. I turn on my oven, put sheet pans on the stove, and place the bowl of dough on the pan. When proofing ciabatta dough made with regular wheat flour for a second time, cover lightly with a kitchen towel. In the warmer months this step isn’t necessary.
Gluten Free or Regular Ciabatta Bread
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes for loaves, 25-30 for rolls
Total Time: With proof time 1 1/2-2 hours
Yield: 2 ciabatta loaves or 12 rolls
- ½ oz. (1 Tbls. + 2 tsp., 15 g.) active dry yeast
- 9 oz. (about 1 1/8 c.) warm water (approximately 110 degrees)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 oz. (1/3 c., 75 g.) olive oil
- 15 oz. (3 c., 440 g.) gluten free or regular bread flour
- 1 ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 8 oz. (1/2 c.) warm water, may need less for bread flour
- Set oven to 425 degrees to help proof the dough and bake. Set a sheet pan aside to place on the stove to put the dough bowl on when ready to proof. You do not have to proof it this way, but it does go faster.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together yeast, sugar and 9 oz. of warm water to bloom the yeast. The water should feel like comfortable bath water on the back of your wrist. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast. Let sit until foamy, the yeast is feeding off of the sugar. If there are no bubbles after a few minutes, discard. The yeast is dead.
- While yeast is blooming, in a medium bowl whisk together flour, gluten free or bread, salt and baking powder. Omit baking powder if using regular bread flour.
- When yeast is ready, add the flour mixture, olive oil and 8 oz. warm water. Whisk to combine, removing lumps. The dough will be very loose and wet, more like batter than bread dough. The gluten free version will be denser and gummier than the bread flour.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set on the sheet pan on the stove to proof, or double in size. This goes relatively quickly. The dough will be bubbly and come up higher. Do not let it get more than double or it will “overproof”, meaning the yeast will start to die.
- When doubled, remove from the stove. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Pour half the dough on one side of the pan from the short side down. It should be about a 9”x5” rectangle. Pour the other half of the dough next too it. If it is too loose, pour back in the bowl and add a handful of flour and mix. Alternatively, you can drop batter to make rolls. I get 12 per batch, but you can make them bigger if you’d like but get less out of the dough. Dust the tops of the loaves lightly with flour.
- FOR GLUTEN FREE – Put pan in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until browned. Cool completely on a rack before cutting and eating. It will be too wet if you cut beforehand.
- FOR BREAD FLOUR – Cover pan lightly with a kitchen towel and let proof one more time until doubled in size. When it has doubled, bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until browned. Cool on a rack before cutting.
- GLUTEN FREE – Ciabatta is much better when sliced and toasted once it is a day old or from the freezer.
- Ciabatta freezes great, just slice each loaf in desired size, wrap in foil then in a zip top bag.
- Remember, if using for a sandwich, slice horizontally. I usually slice vertically in thirds, then horizontally for a sandwich. Casey loves his with safe butter and jelly.
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!