Overnight ciabatta from Bibby's Kitchen Cookbook

If you’re suffering from sourdough bread envy, as most first time sourdough bakers are, this post is for you. Baking a boss sourdough requires skill, intuitive judgement and time. Plenty time. Not a casual four week on then off-again fling. While we’re nurturing our starter children who are either ravenously hungry, overfed, too hot, hyperactive or lacking in character, I have put together a blog post with seven easy bread recipes to bake great bread in the meantime.

Overnight ciabatta from Bibby's Kitchen Cookbook

The recipe for this Overnight Ciabatta is from my Cookbook, Bibby’s Kitchen – The Essence of Good Food. Like all the recipes in the Breaded Table chapter, no sourdough starter or poolish is needed. It’s straight forward mix, proof, shape and bake – 101 bread making, if you will. Traditionally, ciabatta, so called because of its slipper-shape, is a free-form. No two breads look identical. Here, I’ve included two options, a pot bread-style and the classic Italian, slipper bread. For the the potted bread, I’m using the Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole.

Twisted olive bread

I made this bread with my cooking class to serve with a caramelised onion and red pepper caponata. It was voted dish of the day. Breads such as this, with additional flavourings, are best served with a peppery green olive oil and nothing else. But, if you’re thinking of offering it as a precursor to the main meal, then a few tasty dips and spreads are a good idea. I’d go with a fresh basil pesto, tapenade or sun-dried tomato-ish spread.

Twisted olive bread

Floured milk bread buns

There is something about bread buns that sound home-spun, almost ordinary. And yet, these floured milk bread buns are irresistibly soft with just the slightest whisper of milky sweetness. Because of their gentle character, they can be anything – from burger buns to pillowy dinner rolls. You’re going to love them!

Best spelt burger buns

There’s nothing quite like the smell of bread. I think it’s safe to say, warm yeasted air is the kitchen’s perfume. Homely and inviting. I make these Spelt burger buns often. Sometimes, I’ll double the recipe and freeze half for another day, reheating them in the oven for about 6-8 minutes. It crisps the tops and warms the centre.

Easy Yoghurt flatbreads

If you’re looking for a bread recipe that’s quick and simple, these Easy yoghurt flatbreads are the ones to make. In Middle Eastern cooking, they’re used to scoop up sauces and stews, or eaten at breakfast, dipped into sweet milky tea. I use them for wraps, flatbread pizzas or served with dips and spreads. If you’re planning a Middle Eastern feast, which I do often, I’d make these ahead of time and serve them with succulent lamb shawarma, a tabbouleh bulgur wheat salad and jugs of cinnamon and cranberry tea. Chances are, you’ll feel like you’re sitting in the warm clay heat of Morocco. And who wouldn’t want that?

Walnut soda bread

Soda bread is an Irish staple and so you can expect everyone to have their own secret family recipe. Traditionally made with plain white flour, I’ve opted for a combination of plain and wholemeal flour with added oats and finely chopped walnuts. It’s rustic and earthy, with a nutty texture and toothsome bite. As it’s a yeast-free bread, there’s no proving, just a simple mix and bake. Soda bread is best eaten on the day of baking, but it does make excellent toast for scrambled eggs the next day.

Gluten free zucchini seed bread

My Gluten free zucchini seed bread is as delicious as it is quick and easy. Low in carbohydrates, flourless and versatile. I’ve added grated zucchini and a vibrant basil pesto for flavour. It makes excellent breakfast toast.

Gluten free zucchini seed bread

These Rye bagels are from my Cookbook, Bibby’s Kitchen. Later this week, we’ll be launching the Bibby’s Kitchen on-line shop. You’ll be able to order a signed copy, delivered to your door with an option of personalised messaging for special occasions, Mother’s Day or birthdays.

Rye bagels

16 Comments. Leave new

  • Karen Tracy Prinsloo
    15 April 2020 9:43 am

    Hi Di
    Please add the link for the flat breads – I cant seem to find it as it is not hyperlinked.

  • Christine Capendale
    15 April 2020 10:41 am

    stunning!!!! Love them all!

  • Dianne Bibby
    15 April 2020 11:39 am

    Thank you Christine. Thankfully they’re simple and doable in a day. Still trying to mend fences with my sourdough starter!

  • Dianne Bibby
    15 April 2020 11:41 am

    Hi Karen. All sorted. Love this flatbread recipe. Especially good with all those Middle Eastern dishes I love so. Great for skinny pizza bases too.

  • Liesl Diesel
    15 April 2020 7:07 pm

    Thanks for helping me to conquer my fear of yeast!!! The joys of making and baking bread at home! Fabulous!

  • Dianne Bibby
    15 April 2020 7:13 pm

    Ah Liesl! Is there anything better than a well-yeasted kitchen? So glad you’ve cleared the hurdle. By the looks of things, you’re on a winning streak. Thank you for sharing the joy of food with me.

  • WOW thank you very much Bibby these look amazing. I am so eager to try them. Bless you.

  • Dianne Bibby
    15 April 2020 10:02 pm

    Hello there Lesley. I hope you’ll find a couple of new ways to bake you daily bread. They’re mostly simple and very doable. Wishing you good health and strength. D

  • Thanks you so much Dianne for these bread recipes. I too have conquered my fear of yeast over this LockDown period! Last night I made the Spelt Burger Buns and they were delicious with our homemade Burger Patties.

  • Dianne Bibby
    17 April 2020 4:28 am

    So delighted to hear that homemade bread has lost its intimidation. For the most part, bread making is really simple. I follow the mix -proof, shape-proof, bake, rule. I do love these spelt buns. Thank you for sharing with us Carolyn. Here’s to more bakery style loaves. All the best Di

  • Hi Di, The overnight ciabiatta and the sundried tomato and feta babka, my dough is very wet and difficult to handle – I live in Cape Town. Any solution? Many thanks

  • Dianne Bibby
    7 January 2021 5:02 pm

    Hi Cheryl. Both these doughs are very soft in nature. The ciabatta, because of the hydration which is necessary for the loose airy texture. The Babka is tender and soft to ensure the crumb is almost cake-like and for this we need an enriched dough with butter and eggs.
    For the ciabatta, make sure you use the K beater on your electric mixer and beat on high speed until the dough comes together in a soft ball. Chilling overnight will make it a little more manageable. When you scrape the dough onto the counter the following day, don’t knock down, just divide in two and stretch out in a slipper shape.
    The babka dough is easier to work with when it’s cold. Try to handle it as little as possible. A warm kitchen and warm hands will accelerate the butter softening. I hope that helps.

  • Isabel Alexandra Da Silva
    3 March 2021 3:46 pm

    Hi D, do you have a published Brioche recipe?

  • Dianne Bibby
    9 March 2021 4:18 pm

    Hi Isabella. I have a lovely surprise coming this week.

  • Hi Dianne, a couple of your recipes are treats, if not staples, in my household. Your approach is simply right up my alley.
    I would love to try my hand at sourdough bread. I have absolutely no idea where to start. Any advice or direction?
    Stay warm!

  • Dianne Bibby
    17 August 2023 2:48 pm

    Hi Mariette. Thank you for your delightful message. I love knowing the recipes are being used and loved. Ah, yes. Sourdough is like a relationship – it needs constant attention, love and feeding!
    My best advice is to start with testing out several starters. There really are so different formulas and methods, but I would say, a simple 1:1 ratio for the starter is safest. 100g white bread flour to 100g water.
    Always use stoneground bread flour to build a good strong starter. If you like, reference Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. There bread is well known in sourdough circles. The Sourdough School is an excellent read and very informative too. I hope that helps just a little. All the best Di

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