Last summer, our ambassador Shaye Elliott fell in love with Sicily. Holding a deep appreciation and love of quality food, from how it is grown to how it is prepared and presented, the flavors and food practices of Sicily spoke to her. While lounging on a beach under the hot Sicilian sun, Shaye and her travel companions enjoyed some exceptional ciabatta sandwiches.
The Italians sandwich game is on point - it is the highlight of what they do best. The simplest ingredients and combinations of flavors, carried to victory by the quality of each component.
Upon her return home to the homestead on which she, her husband and children live, Shaye decided to bring the experience into her own kitchen. Filled with cured meat, tuna, vegetables, hummus, pestos, olive oil, or balsamic vinegar, these ciabatta rolls are the perfect vessel for a delicious Italian inspired sandwich.
SHAYE ELLIOTT'S HOMEMADE CIABATTA
▢ 480 grams warm water
▢ 2 teaspoons yeast
▢ 600 grams high-quality all purpose flour
▢ 2 teaspoons Pure Sicilian Sea Salt
AS SHOWN IN THE VIDEO
To assemble the sandwiches as shown in the video, try these delicious combinations:
- Butter, preserved lemon, good tuna, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, red onion.
- Prosciutto, cheese, arugula, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Roasted red peppers, fresh or oil-packed preserved tomatoes, mozzarella, arugula, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, red onion.
- Combine the water and yeast together in a large bowl. Stir to combine and let the yeast activate until it's just slightly frothy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour and sea salt into the bowl and use a fork to combine very well. Take the time to mix it, ensuring that there are no dry flour pockets. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a wet tea towel and set it aside in a warm area in your kitchen to rise for 1 hour.
- After one hour, and using wet hands, pull an edge of the dough out and press it into the middle. This is called "folding." Continue around the edge of the dough, stretching it out and then folding it back into the middle of the dough. After you've folded the dough, cover it again and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the stretching and folding twice more, letting it rest for 30 minutes after each folding.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. It will be very wet - that is ok. Just use floured hands to work with it. Pulling on the edges of the dough, roughly shape the dough into a rectangle.
- Without pressing on the dough (so as not to deflate the air bubbles trapped inside the dough), gently roll it into a log shape. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces.
- Transfer the pieces of dough to 2 parchment lined baking trays - allowing for at least 3" around each piece. You should have 6 pieces of ciabatta per baking tray.
- Cover the ciabatta once more and allow it to rise for a final 45 minutes. While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Use a squirt bottle filled with water to generously spritz all of the ciabatta pieces with water. Add the trays into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the trays and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The ciabatta should be just slightly golden and fragrant - adjust baking time as needed based on your dough and your oven.
- Let the ciabatta cool for 30 minutes before enjoying - this will ensure its completely cooked all the way through.