Sourdough Ciabatta & Bread Variations

With a handful of easily mastered recipes, including Sourdough Ciabatta, you can make every batch of sourdough look and taste unique. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Long before I got hooked on sourdough, I made yeast-based Italian slipper bread using Patricia Wells’s Trattoria. I used the recipe from the 1993 edition of her book without changes because it is so good.

Once I started into sourdough, I fell for the flavor and texture of long-ferment loaves, and Sourdough Cabin Bread, aka Auntie Julie’s Special Bread, became my go-to recipe. But one day I flipped passed the slipper bread recipe and was inspired to create a version that could use sourdough starter.

Wells describes Italian slipper bread, or ciabatta, as “ideal for those who want great flavor in a hurry.” This sourdough version takes a little more time to build than a yeast loaf but far less than long-ferment doughs that spend hours to days in the fridge. It’s definitely a high-hydration dough: expect it to be wet, sticky, and hard to shape. Your final loaf will look different every time, with lots of holes inside, and will cool and be ready to eat more quickly than denser loaves.
Learn to make Sourdough Ciabatta and bread variations

Sourdough Bagels

Many commercial operations make soft, fluffy bagels. You can do far better at home. Get sourdough recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
My first attempt at sourdough bagels followed our backcountry adventure last summer: it was a win for its poke bowl and huckleberry sourdough pancakes but a loss in the bagel department, when I had to resort to supermarket bakery “bagels.” Our county’s only bagel shop closed years ago, so the only local option was closer to squishy rolls than chewy, dense bagels. I started testing my own version as soon as we returned home.

Some research revealed the main problem: many commercial operations steam their bagels. It’s quick, cheap, and easy to automate for massive batches, but the bagels are soft and fluffy. (I’m not even sure the supermarket went this far; more likely, they took their hamburger bun dough and poked a hole in the center.) As with soft pretzels, bagels really want to be immersed in boiling water before baking. Boiling the dough lets its starches gel, forming a firm crust that surrounds a dense interior after baking. Without this step, you’ll end up with a texture and flavor closer to a bread roll. Although some bakers swear by a water bath spiked with honey and others go au naturel, I find a soda bath, similar to the one used for Sourdough Pretzel Bites, adds flavor and color.
Learn to make Sourdough Bagels and Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

Sourdough English Muffins

English muffins can combine tradition with the best aspects of sourdough and hollandaise. Get sourdough recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram, you know I’ve spent weeks perfecting this Sourdough English Muffin recipe. Once I started researching recipes, I discovered people’s images of English muffins—including which ingredients to use and how they should be cooked—vary widely. I tested everything from extremely wet batters to baked muffins to rolls folded like Sourdough Brioche. After many practice batches, I developed the recipe I’m sharing here. It’s as close as I can get to the traditional English muffin process in my home kitchen while maintaining my favorite aspects of baking with sourdough: long ferment times, little handling, and smashing flavor and texture.

Despite its name, the English muffin’s closest kin is the crumpet; that’s probably why some English muffin recipes call for doughs so wet that they need to be cooked within a ring. The original creators baked the muffins on an open griddle; many modern recipes rely entirely on or finish in the oven to ensure the dough cooks through. I’m not sure who decided English muffins would be the perfect base for eggs Benedict, but we can all agree they pair beautifully with hollandaise.
Learn to make Sourdough English Muffins and Small-Batch Hollandaise