Meals and Courses

Ciabatta

prep Time 2–3 hours, depending on machine, plus standing, shaping, proving and baking
Ingredients
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) warm water
  • 125 g (4 oz) strong white bread flour
  • ¼ teaspoon caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
  • 225 ml (7½ fl oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 375 g (12 oz) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1½ teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
Directions

Lift the bread pan out of the machine and fit the blade. Put the starter ingredients in the pan, following the order specified in the manual.

Fit the pan into the machine and close the lid. Set to the dough programme. Turn off the machine before the second kneading cycle and leave the dough to stand for at least 4 hours.

Lift the bread pan out of the machine and add the remaining ingredients. Return to the machine and set to the dough programme.

At the end of the programme turn the dough out on to a floured surface and cut it in half. (The dough will be very sticky.) Using well-floured hands, gently pull the dough into 2 loaves, each about 28 cm (11 inches) long. Place them on a greased and floured baking sheet. Leave in a warm place, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until it is about half as big again.

Bake in a preheated oven, 220°C (425°F), Gas Mark 7, for about 20 minutes until golden and the loaves sound hollow when tapped with the fingertips. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with flour.

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