ITALY – Ciabatta

DSC_8325Beautiful ciabatta: crusty on the outside, soft and sour on the inside and look at that texture! Excellent on it’s own just warm from the oven, or – as we later had it – with some olive oil, cheese and fresh tomatoes. What a shame that we didn’t have fresh basil as well.

  • Recipe chosen for ciabatta
  • Cooking method: Oven

Rating:

  • Faithfulness to recipe: Yes
  • Met expectations? Yes. Exactly the taste of ciabatta.
  • Would cook again? Maybe. Making the biga requires prior planning. The taste was good though and it was certainly nice to have warm ciabatta than getting it a little bit older and colder from a shop.
  • The taste test rated on a score of 5: 4.5

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) active dry yeast
  • 5 tablespoons (76 grams) warm milk
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) water, at room temperature (if using a food processor, use cold water)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) olive oil, plus more for the bowl
  • 2 very full cups (500 grams) biga, rested for 12 hours – (make this earlier)
  • 3 3/4 cups (500 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) salt
  • Cornmeal

Method

Note: You need to make the starter (biga) ahead of the dough. I made mine a week before and froze it. I knew I was going away and wouldn’t have time to make the whole recipe.

Biga and subsequent dough – good rising!

Detailed instructions and pictures are available from the website I used. I had to read the recipe a few times to get my head around the steps and the waiting.
The recipe gives instructions for a food processor or stand mixer. I just used a simple handle held set of beaters and my hands for kneading and it worked out just fine.

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