Ciabatta Bread

I am not going to look at ‘panini’ in the same way again! Next time I have some ciabatta bread I will savour each and every crumb, so long was the preparation process I followed from Friday night to Saturday at 6pm when they finally came out of the oven!
Here is a very short version of the recipe. What I loved of this process is that you have lots of ‘free’ time in between stages, not good though if you like immediate results!

First make the ‘biga’ with fresh yeast, hand hot water and flour, let it raise for 12 hours (leaving it to the morning after is actually the best option). Comes Saturday morning the next thing I did after breakfast was to add some more water and yeast to the biga, then half of the flour needed for the next stage until I got a very elastic dough (which is fun). Then it’s another three hours, after which you add the rest of the flour, olive oil and salt. Two hours to go now….until you finally cut the dough, put the pieces in a plastic bag and let them raise (again!) for half hour…then it’s oven time!!!!

Here are my little babies:

Wondering what I did whilst waiting for the dough? Watched the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, went shopping, had a long chat with my mum, went to the pub and ended the weekend with a 1950’s party. Cooking rocks 😉

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