Ciabatta bread recipe
See your street as it was 11 years ago! ...
for the starter
- ½ teaspoon dried yeast
- 150 ml tepid water
- 3 tablespoons tepid milk
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 150g strong white flour
for the dough
- ½ teaspoon dried yeast
- 350g strong white flour
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 200 ml water
- 1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt
- In a very large bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 150 ml of water mixed with 3 tablespoons of milk.
- Leave for 10 minutes then stir in the honey
- Mix in 150 g of strong white flour to make a fairly loose batter
- Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for 12 hours
- In a small bowl sprinkle ½ teaspoon of dried yeast into 240 ml of tepid water, together with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Give it a quick stir then leave for 10 minutes to dissolve
- Add this mixture to the large bowl together with 350 g of strong white flour and 1.5 teaspoons of fine sea salt
- Using a wooden spoon, beat this mixture for at least 5 minutes until fully combined
- Use a silicone spatula to collect the dough residue from the edge of the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 3 hours in a warm place until doubled or trebled in size
- Be very gentle at this stage as we don't to knock the dough down
- Generously flour 2 baking sheets and have a small bowl with extra flour for your hands
- Using a dough scraper divide the dough in two. My dough was slightly too wet so it was easier to pour the dough onto the floured sheet.
- Using well floured hands, shape the loaf by tucking the sides under themselves until you have the classic flat elongated shape.
- Repeat with the second loaf
- Preheat your oven to 220° C (425° F - gas 7), [fan oven 200° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
- Leave the loaves to prove for 30 minutes, during which time they will spread out more
- Bake to 30 minutes in the middle of the pre-heated oven.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Using a breadmaker: Kneading this mixture with a wooden spoon was hard work to say the least. The second time I made these, I transferred the dough mixture to our Panasonic SD-ZB2502 automatic breadmaker for the kneading process. I set it to pitta bread (22) and let it run for 10 minutes, then switched it off and left for 3 hours to rise. It was easy to pour the dough onto the baking sheets, using a knife to cut the dough.
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