Sourdough Ciabatta

This classic Italian bread is ideal for meat or vegetable sandwiches. However, warm ciabatta smothered with butter is absolutely divine by itself as well.

Ingredients

For the starter dough (biga):

  • 200ml Water
  • 125g Refined flour
  • 1/2tsp Instant dry yeast

For the dough:

  • 325g Refined flour, extra for dusting
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 30ml Milk
  • 30ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2tsp Instant dry yeast
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 200ml Water, lukewarm

Method

For the starter dough (biga):

Pour water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle over the flour. Sprinkle the yeast in. Stir for about 5 minutes. Then cover the bowl with a lightly oiled cling film. Leave overnight, until the dough has risen and collapsed.

For the dough:

1. The following day, or after at least 12 hours of resting, add the flour, salt, milk and oil to the same bowl.

2. In another smaller bowl combine the yeast, sugar and warm water. Leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes or until the yeast becomes frothy.

3. Add the yeast to the remaining ingredients in the bowl and bring them together to make a ball.

4. Transfer this ball of dough onto a flat surface dusted with flour. Knead for about 8-10 minutes to activate the gluten.

5. Transfer the kneaded ball of dough into a bowl which is well oiled. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about an hour. In this time the dough will rise to thrice the original volume.

6. Knock back the dough and vigorously knead to remove excess air. Shape into oblong loaves that are about 1" thick.

7. Dust the loaves with a little flour and leave them in a warm place to prove for 20-30 minutes. The shaped dough will increase in volume a little.

8. While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 220°C.

9. Bake the rested ciabattas for about 25-30 minutes. When they are ready the loaves will have a golden brown crust and will sound hollow when tapped at the bottom.

10. Cool on a wire rack and then serve.

  • function: top/bottom heating
  • temperature: 220 degrees C
  • time: 3 houirs  + overnight
  • level 2