I came across this recipe in a recent issue of Food and Wine. In an article by Ray Isle, in which he flies to Puglia, Italy to attend cooking school at iSensi, recently opened by the owners of the Cantele winery. We’ll get to the no knead part in a minute, but first lets talk about the wines of Puglia, Isle is a wine writer after all. Out of the top five Puglian wines that he recommends I could only find two listed with the LCBO, these include a 2012 Tormaresca Neprica ($14.95) and a 2012 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva ($14.95), both would go great with this amazing no knead ciabatta recipe.
It is not just any ciabatta, this bread is a meal! It includes chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sautéed onions and olives. And it produces a gorgeous bread that you don’t have to knead!
Once you’ve made this incredible bread you can eat it as is, maybe dipped into some really good olive oil and balsamic or you can use it as the base for some fantastic bruschetta. In fact, I’d enjoy the bread fresh with the oil and vinegar and then when it’s day old I’d use it for bruschetta. Get some fragrant ripe tomatoes, a few basil leaves and a clove of garlic cut in half. Slice the day old ciabatta and brush it with olive oil, give it a grilling to toast it. Once grilled take the half clove of garlic and rub it all over the surface of the bread. The garlic magically melts into the bread. Lay slices of ripe tomato over top and sprinkle with kosher salt and a drizzle of really fruity olive oil. That’s how you kiss summer goodbye.
A traditional Pugliese ciabatta, make some today.
Tomato Ciabatta with Olives and Onions
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onionsm coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
kosher salt and black pepper
Three 1/4 oz. packages of active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 3/4 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour. plus more for shaping
3/4 cup fine semolina
1. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat until lightly caramelized, 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and chili flakes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the olives and tomatoes. Season with salt and black pepper and let cool.
2. In a bowl, whisk the yeast, sugar and water; let stand until foamy, 10 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the 2 1/2 cups of flour and the semolina until the dough comes together; it will be quite wet. Stir in the cooled olive mixture. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 450. Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Shape it into 2 rough 14×13 1/2-inch loaves and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until the loaves are lightly browned and rise; transfer to a rack and let cool completely.