Ciabatta an italian house bread is a denser crustier version of a french Baguette , often used for making Bruschetta , crostini & make excellent soup accompaniment !
Here I am sharing a recipe from My chef at the O hotel !
Bread recipes carry different kinds of terms like - bread flour, , Dry active yeast, bakers yeast ,fresh instant yeast , resting , proofing, rising fermenting , sourdough starter , Biga , artisan methods are a few to name .
All these sound not only very daunting, but are often confusing & complicating till once you understand the science of bread making .
it really isn’t so difficult once you overcome the initial fear!
Here we start with the Term Biga -
a starter which gives your bread a character of taste , texture & aroma !!!
Ingredients for -:
Water 60mi (2 Tbsp )
Yeast 6 gm ( i am using here an instant slab yeast - brand Prestige )
pinch of sugar
Ingredients for -:
•8 gm sea salt
•20 gm olive oil
•pinch of sugar
For the Biga -
mix all in a bowl , cover & leave for minimum 12 hours or -overnight .
method - Mix together the yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow it to stand for a few minutes. In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the yeast mixture with the flour and the water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature overnight. If preparing it in the morning then let it sit until evening and up to 24 hours (in our warm summers here 4-6 hours too is good )
Make the Ciabatta Bread:
* Use your stand mixer and combine the yeast and the warm water
* Let it sit for a few minutes until creamy. Add the starter, olive oil, flour, sea salt and water and mix together for about 10 minutes until everything is incorporated.
* Prepare a large bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. Transfer the bread dough to it and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to sit until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.
* Turn the bread dough onto a well floured surface and with floured hands cut it in half. Form 2 long loaves shaping carefully from tkhe sides, do your best not to press the dough from the top so it doesn’t deflate. This is crucial to get a light and airy loaf with lots of irregular holes. (Optional: Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow slit lengthwise in the top of the loaf)
* Transfer the loaves to a parchment lined or oiled baking sheet .
* Lightly dampen a tea towel and cover the loaves. Allow them to rise again until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.
* Meanwhile preheat your oven to 100 degree C .
* with a pizza stone / or a cast iron girdle / invert a shallow pan . place in center rack for one hour before baking t the bake the bread @ 100 C to heat .
* Transfer the loaves (with the parchment paper) to the preheated oven increase heat to 220 C ,
* spray lightly with water. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown to your liking.
* Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing it with a serrated knife.
Enjoy it warm straight from the oven freshly baked ,serve with plenty of extra virgin Olive & balsamic !
Ciabatta was made as late as in 1982 by an Italian baker from Verona & has become popular since !!!