Saturday, 3 August 2013

Ciabatta

Ciabatta is a classic Italian bread that has a lovely chewy centre and the most delicious crispy crust. This is a simple and easy recipe to make as there is no need for pre-ferments (ie biga or poolish) and is made with only four ingredients: water, flour, salt and yeast - that's it.

I generally make the dough during the evening and let it sit on the kitchen benchtop overnight. In the morning all I need to do is shape it and place it into a hot oven for half and hour and it's done. Hot, fresh, home-cooked bread ready in time for breakfast. There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread and the taste and texture is amazing.


Ingredients:
340g lukewarm water
1/4 tsp dry yeast
440g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp salt (eg Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)

Method:
  1. Place all the ingredients into the TM bowl in the order listed.
  2. Set the dial to closed lid position, and knead for 30 seconds/interval speed. (The dough should have the consistency of a thick cake batter.)
  3. Turn out the dough into a large bowl that has been well oiled (both base and sides) with olive oil.
  4. Cover with glad wrap and leave to prove for 12-24 hours. (It will triple in size and be full of large air bubbles.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celcius.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust liberally with plain flour.
  7. Carefully ease the dough out of the bowl and onto the baking tray, using either a spatula or dough scraper. Be gentle as you want to preserve the pockets of air. (You will have a relatively wet and roundish pile of dough sitting in front of you.)
  8. Using floured or wet fingertips to stop the dough sticking to your fingers, grab the edge closest to you and pull up and stretch over to the other side. Then grab the edge furthest from you and repeat the process. Gently shape the dough if necessary.
  9. Lightly spray the top of the dough with water (use a spray bottle or just flick some water with your fingertips.) This will help to form a crispy crust.
  10. Place the dough into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped. (To help to create some steam place an ovenproof bowl with 1 cup of water at the bottom of the oven. )
  11. When cooked, place onto a rack and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Easy Thermomix Ciabatta

TIPS: I used White Wings Plain Flour. Different flours and climatic conditions may require a slight adjustment to the amount of flour required. You're after a thick and wet cake batter consistency for the dough (make sure it's not dry or too runny.) After the dough has proved it will be quite sticky - use wet hands when you handle the dough to prevent it sticking.

You can flavour the bread by adding herbs, garlic or chopped olives during the initial 30 second knead.

After 12 hours proving

Oven tray lined with baking paper and well-floured

Scrape the dough onto the baking tray



The final stretch up and over the dough


Ready for the oven


Ready to eat!