This simple Ciabatta Bread recipe will give you a rustic Italian loaf that is perfect for dipping into soups or sauces. The high hydration in this bread results in a wonderfully chewy center and tons of irregular holes.
Ciabatta is an Italian bread that was first produced back in 1982 by Arnaldo Cavallari, a miller and baker in a small town close to Venice.
At the time bakers in Italy were concerned by the popularity in the country with French baguettes and were afraid that they would endanger their business.
As a way to combat this, they set out to try to create an Italian alternative that would work for sandwiches.
After weeks of trying and testing breads, the ciabatta came to be and consisted of a soft, wet dough with gluten flour.
The new bread was registered for trademark by Cavallari and was called ciabatta Polesano for Polseine where he lived. It was subsequently licenced to bakers in other countries.
Many regions in Italy now have their own variations on the original recipe.
Italy is one of those countries about which you probably have quite a number of preconceptions before you have put one foot into the country. A country of olive oil and mafia, pasta, wine and sunshine, roman ruins and renaissance palaces, Italy has a lot to offer its visitors. Although some of these images are appealing, it would be a shame if that was the only thing you come away with. Italy is certainly much more complex and interesting than that.
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