I have tried to make Ciabatta before but it’s never really turned out that well. I followed Paul Hollywood’s recipe this time from his book Bake and it really worked. I have to say I didn’t fully read his method but my adaptation seemed to turn out ok. Phew!
However I wouldn’t even attempt to make this if you don’t have a freestanding mixer with a dough hook or a bread maker with a dough setting. The mess and stress will be too much! It’s a very wet dough…
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 10g salt
- 10g yeast
- 40ml olive oil
- 400ml tepid water
If you want to follow Paul’s advice to the letter, then his recipe is here – granted he is clearly a better baker than me but if you want the less fussy way, read on…
Put the flour, salt & yeast in your mixer, then add the olive oil. Paul says add 3/4’s of the water, mix and then add the rest but I found this resulted in watery dough spraying all around, so next time I’m going for all the water at once. I think it will be fine.
Mix for up to 10 minutes – it will be a very sloppy dough (sorry no other words can describe it). I covered the dough and left it on the side until I wanted to cook it, which in this case was 7 hours later. I left it in my mixer as I failed to read the tip about leaving it to prove in a square box. 🙄
Gently tip the dough out, trying not to touch it, onto a floured surface. Slice into four, trying to get loaf–ish shapes by streching them very slightly (also covering your knife in flour will help). Place them on a floured baking tray and leave for 10 minutes or so…
Bake at 220 for 25 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
I was really pleased how well these turned out. We ate them with lentil stew if you are interested! No photos of that, sorry!