Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman (for more, click photo to go to her blog)

Do we need a recipe for Chipotle-Corn Ciabatta?  I’m in the process of developing bread recipes, all kinds, working with sourdough, whole grain, the powerfully flavored rye, but I began with some basic flavored breads. This is one of my favorites because I am crazy for chipotles, and am devoted to corn, which goes great with chipotles.  Cilantro on top of that?  Good for color but optional if cilantro tastes like soap to you but I love it.

This is just the basic 5:3 bread ratio with flavors I love.  (For more on basic bread ratio, or any of my ratios, you can of course read this book.)  But really, you can flavor it any way you want to.  I like the ciabatta shape, Italian for slipper, a name marketed in Italy in the 1980s.  Cleveland’s own Orlando Bakery brought it stateside, according to Wikipedia.  I like the dough because of all the surface area; you get a lot of delicious crust.  It’s also a great starter bread because it’s a no brainer and very delicious.  (Frankly, you can simply make this without the corn or chipotles, just brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake, it’s delicious. This would also be a wonderful bread to grill.

Chipotle-Corn Ciabatta

20 ounces (4 cups) flour

12 ounces water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 teaspoons salt

2 or 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons adobo sauce

1 cup corn (best if fresh)

olive oil

cilantro (optional)

—Combine the flour, water, yeast and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium till the dough is smooth and elastic, 7 or 8 minutes.  Add the chipotles and adobo and continue to mix till it’s well incorporated.  The dough will become somewhat wet, just keep mixing or add a tablespoon of flour to give the dough some traction.  Add the corn and mix just till evenly distributed.

—Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it rise till doubled in size, 2 to 4 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

—Knead the dough by hand to redistribute the yeast and release some of the gas.  Flatten into into a disc, cover it with a towel and let it rest, shhhh, for 10 minutes or so.  Then pull and stretch it into the shape of giant slipper or basic oval shape.  Cover it with a towel and let it proof for 45 minutes to an hour.

—Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (it had better be clean or it will smoke).

—Before baking it, stipple it all over, aggressively, with your fingers.  Rub it with olive oil and sprinkle it with some more kosher salt.  Bake on a sheet pan or baking stone till done, 30 to 40 minutes.

—Brush with more olive oil and sprinkle it with the cilantro.  I like to eat this while it’s still warm.