I am into bread making lately. Especially, ever since I received my book "The Artisan Bread Machine" by Judith Fertig. The wonderful smell of bread baking in the kitchen truly warms the heart! I was really looking forward to try my hands at making Ciabatta, Lena's pick for our Bake-Along. When I read through "The Artisan Bread Machine", it requires a sourdough starter that needs about anywhere from 5 to 15 days for the slow fermentation at its own pace. So, I put that till later when I'm ready to start on the sourdough, and in the meantime, I made this from another book that I have, and a stick-on note sticking out from this very page, Ciabatta. Well, that's one stick-on note down!
On the plus side, Ciabatta does not require kneading, but the dough is too soft to handle, I need more practice in handling really soft dough like this. The starter was left to ferment overnight, and mix with the rest of the ingredients the next day, and leave to rise for about 2 hours.
Bake in preheated oven, when done, immediately turn out to a wire rack to cool completely. Ciabatta is an Italian word for slippers, refering to the shape of the bread, somewhere between a flatbread and a loaf-shaped bread. Do they look like slippers to you? :)
How does it taste? Really nice, crusty crust with soft chewy crumbs. I would love to have more airholes in them, but overall this is quite nice.
We had this for our simple but satisfying lunch. Slice Ciabatta horizontally and butter on cut side. Toast lightly for about 3-4 minutes. Spread with filling, top with cheddar or mozarella cheese, toast until cheese melts and bread is crispy, about 8 minutes. Filling : sandwich ham cut to small cubes, chopped tomatoes, fresh coriander, mix all ingredients together. Seasoning, some pizza seasoning, dash of salt and coarse black pepper, 2 tablespoon Thousand Island Dressing. Mix well. Top with cheese. Toast for about 10 minutes at 150C until cheese melts and bread is crispy. Just like mini-pizza!
Am trying out other Ciabatta recipes! In search of bigger airholes!! :) Hopefully I'll have a really nice one to share in a couple of days more.
Let's view Lena's and Zoe's Ciabatta bake and our friends who are baking along with us at the linky below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking Fresh Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Chips, from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman. If you do not have this book, try google for the recipe, I'm sure you will be able to find it, otherwise, you may bake any fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips cake. The linky for this will be open on 27 March. Hope to see you! Everyone's welcome to join in.
I'm sharing this with :
(adapted from "The Bread Book" by Sara Lewis)
For The Starter or Biga :
125gm (1-1/8 cups) organic unbleached strong white flour
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
150ml (2/3 cup) warm water
For The Second Stage :
1 tablespoon milk powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
375gm (3-1/2 cups) organic unbleached strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
250ml (1 cup) water
- To make the starter, put the flour, sugar and yeast into a bowl and gradually mix in the warm water to make a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave overnight in a warm place.
- For the second stage, add the milk powder, oil, flour, salt, sugar and yeast to the starter then gradually mix in the measured warm water to make a smooth, thick spoonable batter. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 hours until the batter has tripled in size.
- Grease a large baking sheet then sprinkle it with a little cornmeal or flour. Scrape the dough into 2 mounds on the baking sheet. With well-floured hands, gently pull the dough into 2 long loaves about 25cm (10 inches) in length.
- Leave in a warm place, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until half as big again. Bake in a preheated oven, 220C, 425F, Gas Mark 7, for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped with the fingertips.
- Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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