Whole wheat and ciabatta don’t go together very easily as ciabatta is an open crumb-style bread, but the addition of vital wheat gluten flour in this recipe gives the loaf a light, airy texture that approaches a ciabatta.
Servings: 1 loafPrep Time: several hours, depending on sponge time Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten flour
This is a Grandmother Bread recipe.
Make a sponge by placing the warm water in a large bowl. Add the yeast and honey. Let sit about 5 minutes then mix in one cup of the whole wheat flour and the salt. Let sit, covered, from two to twelve hours, the longer the better.
When you’re ready to go on with the bread, add the 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil then gradually add the remaining whole wheat flour and the wheat gluten, until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Knead dough until smooth and elastic–-a few minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl; cover. Let rise until more than doubled–let it triple if you have the time.
Dust with flour so you can handle the dough gently. Punch down the dough once, then gently fold the dough into an oblong ciabatta-style loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Let rise until doubled. Dust the top with whole wheat flour then dimple it with your fingers or slash it. Bake at 350-degrees for about 25 minutes or until done (lightly browned). Let cool on a wire rack before slicing. (You could also bake it in a loaf pan, if you prefer, of course.)
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