Here is my latest ciabatta bread. Overall it worked out well and the bread was really delicious. This version should be baked when a really authentic italian style bread is called for, the recipe is easy, the crust is wonderful and the interior is soft and evenly porous. Perfect with flavourful olive oil and mediterranean dishes.
However, to be truelly satisfied with my ciabatta I would like to see bigger air holes in the bread…
..so the ciabatta storey is to be continued.
Ingredients and method for 2 large ciabatta loaves
Biga or pre-fermented dough
3g dried yeast
260g water (32-34 degrees)
330g wheat flour 550 (all purpose flour)
mix the yeast, water and flour until well incorporated, cover and leave to ferment and rise for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
Biga, as made above
500g strong bread flour (german wheat flour 550)
15g olive oil
4g dried yeast
15g sea salt.
First add the milk, water and dried yeast to the bowl and then add the biga. Break up the biga into the liquid. Then ad the flour, oil and salt and mix to combine. Knead for 10minutes using the dough hook of your mixer or by hand. This is a rather wet dough and is easier to knead with the mixer, however the structure will be better if you finish off the kneading with a few stretches and folds by hand. place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 -1.5 hours.
Turn out the fermented sticky dough onto a floured work surface, divide into 2 equal sized pieces and fold and form into rectangles. The dough is still very wet and will look a bit too flat and prone to spreading, but dont worry they do puff up in the oven. Place the ciabatta loaves onto a peel or baking tray and leave to re-rise for 45 minutes. Preheat your oven, and baking stone if you are using one, to 250degrees. When ready to bake carefully slide your loaves onto the hot baking stone or baking trays. Bake in a hot oven, 250 degrees, with steam for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake for a further 45 minutes.