Sourdough bread, this time i went for the famous Italian bread 'Ciabatta'.
Italian bread has had something of a renaissance in the past few years and rightly so. Italian breads are a delight, delicious served with pasta, fish, meats and poultry as well as cheese. Any Italian baker will tell you there are thousands of Italian bread. This could actually be true, should anyone ever try to count!
Some of the best known loaves ciabatta and pagnotta are national bread available everywhere. Olive oil was frequently added not only for flavour, but to add extra nourishment and to help the keeping qualities of the loaf. Nowadays these rustic loaves are still made using olive oil. They may be yeast leavened but originally would have been using a natural leaven. Small bakeries, especially those in the south of Italy, still produce these loaves for their loyal customers, made in the traditional way from time- honoured recipes.
Like the French baguette, ciabatta is a relatively new shape of bread. It is normally a white loaf made using a sponge dough method- flour, yeast and water are fermented for upto 24 hours before being incorporated into the rest of the dough. Another particular feature of ciabatta, making it a tricky bread to bake at home is the soft consistency of the dough. It has a minimum of 75 percent of water and oil.
The crumb of the bread is holey and chewy. The flavour and texture of the bread makes it undeniably one of the world's favourite bread.
The dough of the bread is extremely wet, do not tempt to add more flour, it's mean to be that way.
Recipe adapted from the book BREAD by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter.
For The Biga
White bread flour- 175 g
Warm water- 200 ml
Dried yeast- 1/2 tsp
For The Ciabatta Dough
White Bread flour-325 g plus extra for dusting
Warm water- 200 ml
Olive oil- 2 tbsp
Milk- 2 tbsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Dried yeast- 1/4 tsp
Start preparing the Biga for the dough previous day you want to make the bread. Mix together all the biga ingredients in a clean, large bowl to make it into a dough. Cover the bowl with a cling film and leave it to rise for 12 hours. The dough will be well risen and starting to collapse. Now add the ciabatta dough ingredients to the Biga and knead it together to make it into a dough. Knead the dough using a electric mixer or spatula as it's quite sticky to handle with . Transfer the dough to a large clean bowl, cover with a cling film and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
The dough should have been tripled in size. Do not knock the air back.
Leave the tray uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220 degree celsius. Bake the breads in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.
Serve this bread with soup or salad.
This bread is been Yeast spotted.
This recipe also goes to Champa's Bake-Off event.
This recipe goes to BBD#32 Italian Breads hosted by Family, Food and Other Things originally started by Zorra.