Ciabatta bread recipe

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Ciabatta bread recipe
Ciabatta bread recipe
Servings:Serves 8
Calories per serving:231
Ready in:15 hours, 20 minutes
Prep. time:15 hours
Cook time:20 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:4th July 2016
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Loaves proving
This recipe needs advance preparation!


Ciabatta (carpet slipper) because of its shape, is an Italian white bread made with wheat flour and yeast. The dough for this loaf is quite wet, hence the 'collapsed' shape.

Ingredients

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for the starter

for the dough

Mise en place

Method

Starter

  1. In a very large bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 150 ml of water mixed with 3 tablespoons of milk.
  2. Leave for 10 minutes then stir in the honey
  3. Mix in 150 g of strong white flour to make a fairly loose batter
  4. Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for 12 hours

Dough

  1. 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
  2. Add this mixture to the large bowl together with 240 g of strong white flour and 1.5 teaspoons of fine sea salt
  3. Using a wooden spoon, beat this mixture for at least 5 minutes until fully combined
  4. 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

Proving

  1. Be very gentle at this stage as we don't to knock the dough down
  2. Generously flour 2 baking sheets and have a small bowl with extra flour for your hands
  3. 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.
  4. Using well floured hands, shape the loaf by tucking the sides under themselves until you have the classic flat elongated shape.
  5. Repeat with the second loaf
  6. Preheat your oven to 220° C (425° F - gas 7), [fan oven 200° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
  7. Leave the loaves to prove for 30 minutes, during which time they will spread out more
  8. Bake to 30 minutes in the middle of the pre-heated oven.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack.


Variations

If using fresh yeast, use 2.5 g of fresh yeast for the starter and 2.5 g of fresh yeast for the dough

See also

Chef's notes

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.