Thursday, April 28, 2011

Clean Eating #111: Whole Grain Ciabatta Bread

Whole Grain Ciabatta Bread
Our family LOVES Panera Bread.  Since becoming vegetarian around here, I made a lovely discovery... their Mozarella and Tomato grilled on Ciabatta bread.  DIVINE.  So, of course, since I can't afford to spend $6.99 on a sandwich more than once, I decided to try to find a substitute for at home.  I made the sandwich on our normal bread... and that was SO close... but because the bread is SO important, it was really NOT it.  I had to find "the" bread.

This is my first try, with this recipe, slightly altered to 'clean' it up a little, since I can't use refined flour and stay within my eat clean parameters.  Unbeknownst to me, this bread isn't mean for last minute impulsive people, which is why I cooked four recipes yesterday... after I discovered that I had to let my bread 'starter' sit for 24 hours after starting the recipe.

It might do me good at some point in my life to start making plans rather than just flying by the seat of my pants.  Lol.  Yeah, that's going to happen.  And with frequency, too.  I will also be learning to fly in the near future.  You know, with my invisible wings.  Not really, don't worry, that was just my sarcasm.  Perhaps another personality trait I shouldn't exercise quite so much.

So, The day BEFORE you want bread, make your "sponge" or starter.
Sponge/Starter Recipe:

First, mix these:
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 tablespoons warm water

Let that sit for about 5 minutes.  Then ADD:
2/3 cup warm water
2 cup Unbleached flour

Cover with Saran Wrap (Or a leftover plastic produce bag if you're out of plastic wrap) and let sit for 24 hours or so.

Ciabatta Bread Recipe:

Source: This recipe originated in Gourmet Magazine 


  • Sponge/Starter from above
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tsp Ideal Xylitol
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Unbleached flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • Wholewheat flour for dusting

Mix the ingredients together, then place on the table for kneading.  Knead for at least 5 minutes (OR go read the directions for the original recipe, because I just did this like my normal kneading bread recipes)

When you're finished kneading, place in a bowl and cover.

Wait until it doubles or triples in size
Then Form it into 4 loaves like so:  
Bake at 375-400 (My oven is a little hot, so I use the lower temp.) for about 20 minutes until lightly browned.
I use a pizza stone and include a pan of water to help the crust get nice and crisp.

Verdict?  My husband had another meltdown when he tasted this.  I wasn't video taping until he had the sandwich, though... although he STILL flipped out:)