I’m really caught up in a bread-making-buzz. It’s certainly not rocket science, but I just love how magical it is to mix flour, water & yeast and come up with bread. And I love that there are so many variations on the same theme.
My favourite bread is Ciabatta – hands down. I hadn’t tried to make it before, but today I decided it was time to tackle Ciabatta. I say tackle because for some reason, I assumed it was going to be difficult. That pre-conceived notion couldn’t be further from the truth. This recipe is simple and the end result – amazing! Promise. We will be making this again, and again, and again.
500g High grade flour (strong flour)
450 ml water (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Pre heat oven to 200 C
Place flour, sugar & yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in the water and mix with the dough hook on slow until ingredients amalgamate. Add the salt and mix for a couple more minutes. The dough should be like a very thick pancake paste, not like a regular bread dough. Turn off the mixer and finish off the mixing by beating the dough by hand. This means pulling at parts of the dough and stretching it up high and then slapping it down again. This strange action pushes air pockets into the dough to create the airy texture.
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 or until it doubles in size.
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, until golden and when tapped sounds hollow.
Allow to cool (if you can hold yourself back!) and then cut in and enjoy with lashings of butter.
Recipe adapted slightly from: Peasepudding