To make ciabatta, you have to have a stand mixer...right? Not according to this 20-year-old recipe from the New York Times.
I'm not sure what combination of searches and click-throughs led me to this page, but suddenly I found myself looking at a 1992 recipe from Florence Fabricant in which she insisted that ciabatta could be made in the food processor. We just need to replace the processor's metal slicing blade with its plastic "dough blade." The powerful food processor motor is more than enough to whip the batter-like ciabatta dough into submission.
I discovered another gem when searching for Florence Fabricant's original 1992 article: a second New York Times recipe for ciabatta that requires no machinery at all. In this recipe, published just two years ago, a series of gentle folds as the dough is rising builds the structure of the ciabatta. The method looks labor-intensive, but very doable.
I can't wait to give these recipes a try and see how they stack up against my favorite stand-mixer recipe:
• Food-Processor Ciabatta by Florence Fabricant from The New York Times • The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Ciabatta by Emily Weinstein from The New York Times
Have you had success making ciabatta without a stand mixer?
(Image: Emma Christensen)