It has been a very cold winter this year and my children usually prefer to have soup after walking back from school. They also insist on having ciabatta with the soup. Usually baking ciabatta is a lenghty process but I stumbled upon this blog and found this easy recipe but made a few variation like using a wholemeal flour and leaving in the oven to rise etc. The compliment that my daughter gave was its good enough to be sold to shops!. The 2 large ciabatta s were finished in no time.
400gm wholemeal flour
100gm self raising flour
(Alternatively use 500gm high grade strong flour)
- In a large bowl mix with your hands flour, sugar and yeast.
- Pour in the water.
- Add salt and ‘beat’ in the bowl with your hands for 5 minutes. The dough should be like a very thick pancake paste not like a regular bread dough. To beat the dough you need to pull at parts of the dough and stretch it up high and then slap it down again. This pushes air pockets into the dough to create the airy texture. If you have a food mixer, beat it with a dough hook but still finish off with the hand method to push air pockets into the dough.
- Pour about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the dough so the oil covers the top and goes down the side of the dough.
- Allow to rise covered with plastic wrap for about 1 hour in the oven at 40C.
- Pour the dough onto a well floured work surface (without kneading any further) and fold over like an envelope length ways to create the ciabatta shape.
- Lift dough onto a floured baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes at 200C, until golden and when tapped sounds hollow.