Whole Wheat Cibatta

Screen shot 2011-10-13 at 2.11.53 PM

This versatile dough recipe from Master Baker Peter Reinheart works well for breadsticks, ciabatta, focaccia, pizza, and regular loaves of bread. Make the dough on day one and form the final product on day two, letting the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator. Watch Mary Ann Esposito make Whole Wheat Cibatta at CiaoItalia.com!

Course:
Cuisine:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. On Day 1: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place all the ingredients except the olive oil in the bowl and mix on low speed for 2 minutes.The dough will be sticky but fairly smooth. If it seems too stiff,drizzle in some additional water, a teaspoon at a time until it becomes sticky.
  2. With the machine off, pour the oil over the dough, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix on low speed for another15 seconds. Let the dough rest uncovered in the mixer for 5 minutes. Mix again,on medium speed for 30 seconds to a minute.The dough will be smoother and stronger, but it will still be sticky. If it is too wet and feels like a batter and does not have enough structure to hold together, add some additional flour. Even though sticky,the dough should be able to pass the windowpane test when stretched gently with wet hands.
  3. If mixing by hand, follow the same process as above, using a large mixing spoon to replicate the paddle. Keep a bowl of water handy and dip the spoon in the water from time to time to keep the dough from sticking. Use a plastic bowl scraper, also dipped in water, to continually scrape down the bowl.You can also use your hands to mix the dough, also dipping them in water to prevent sticking. Adjust the water or flour, as needed. After 2 or 3 minutes of mixing, add the olive oil and mix for another 15 seconds, long enough only to coat the dough. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes, uncovered, and then mix again for 1 minute. The dough will be smoother and stronger, but it will still be sticky. If it is too wet and feels like a batter and does not have enough structure to hold together, add some additional flour.Even though sticky, the dough should be able to pass the windowpane test when stretched gently with wet hands.
  4. Coat the dough with olive oil and place it in a large oiled bowl or plastic bag; refrigerate for overnight cold fermentation. The dough can remain refrigerated for up to 3 days before use.
  5. On Day 2: Shape the dough into the desired form and place in the appropriate-shaped pan or baking sheet that has been oiled with a brush or sprayed with olive oil. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 550°F.
  7. Bake the shaped dough for 10 minutes, and then lower the oven to 465°F and bake the bread for another 10 to 20 minutes,depending on the shape and thickness of the dough.
  8. If using a baking stone, preheat it at 550°F for 25 minutes. Place the formed dough on oiled parchment paper to make sliding the dough onto the heated stone easier. Follow the baking times as above.