Friday, 17 February 2012

Ciabatta



Remember what I resolved after the Daring Baker's fiasco back in December? I made a resolution to conquer the much dreaded bread making and vowed to produce a stunning loaf by the end of 2012. I even spammed my brother, Suresh, with links of bread-making books on Amazon coercing him into buying me one for my birthday/Christmas. And he did, no surprise there!

Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads is a brilliant book with interesting and easy to follow recipes. Following his recipe I managed to bake myself an really good basic white loaf and things have really taken off since then.

Figuring that yeast/bread is no longer the enemy, I decided to jump right in and try out the ciabatta recipe. It turned out so much better than expected! Perfect crisp crust with a light, air-pocketed middle. It's even looks like a typical ciabatta loaf - broad and almost flat.

That same evening I talked Gavin through the recipe on Skype and even he made some pretty awesome ciabatta loaves. This recipe doesn't involve any kneading - just throw the ingredients into a bowl, give a good mix and leave it to rise. Tip the risen dough onto a heavily floured surface, coat it with more flour, cut it up into desired size, bung it in the oven and voila! Homemade ciabatta!
Like any rustic bread, ciabattas are so versatile and so I've been dunking it in soups, making bruschettas and plan to make sandwiches with it. So good! 

I'm glad my perseverance is paying off; and who knows, before long I may even become some sort of bread connoisseur. Watch this space I tell ya!



Ciabatta 

Makes 4 loaves ( 6-7 inches long)

Ingredients

500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tsp salt
15g dried yeast
400 ml tepid water
30 ml olive oil

Method
  1. Place flour, salt, yeast and 300 ml water in a big bowl and mix with wooden spoon until ingredients come together. If using a mixer, mix ingredients with a dough hook on slow for 3 minutes.
  2. Slowly begin to add the remaining water and mix for a further 5-8 minutes. The dough should now be wet and stretch easily when pulled.
  3. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and coat the top of the dough with flour.
  5. Cut the dough lengthways and divide each piece into two. You will now have four pieces of dough.
  6. Stretch a little and shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Place on a lined baking tray, ensuring there is ample space between each piece of dough.
  7. Rest for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220C for 25 minutes until golden brown.

2 comments:

  1. I love big fan of ciabatta & focaccia bread. The bread looks amazing. Can I have one? =D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have always loved the bread :) It indeed goes well with almost everything, and they really make superb sandwiches (that's my opinion alone though).

    ReplyDelete