Saturday, 26 March 2011

angry sourdough ciabatta sort off... oh...


i'm having the worst bread baking day i've ever had...

... i've been searching for that perfect sourdough loaf, you know, the one's you see that are full of air-holes and have that incredibly crispy crust and i've not quite made it yet...

... I was all ready to follow the best recipe ever by Luc Martin, for which i've been so excited about all week, but I lost patience and used the wrong kind of flour and it's been a wasted 24 hours and i'm pissed off... and I have two bread bricks I could kill a Luchador with... i will try again next weekend with the correct flour!

... so in an attempt to make matters worse I thought i'd try this easy ciabatta recipe... and whilst its ingredients don't call for a sourdough starter, it does say you should make a sponge the night before, which is essentially what a sourdough is...

... i'm also using this post as my entry for the Fresh From the Oven Challenge, which came from Helen at Fuss Free Flavours, who has asked us all this month to bake anything as long as we use flour from a local miller or supplier, so i've used some fabulous flour from our local windmill, the Alford Five-Sailed Windmill, which is beautiful stuff as well as a beautiful place and well worth a visit!


sourdough ciabatta
350g very strong white bread flour (I used a light brown organic flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
200ml hand-hot water

For the sponge (if you're not using a sourdough starter)
115g very strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
150ml hand-hot water

- make the sponge the night before by combining all the sponge ingredients in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel

- the following day mix together the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl.

- make a well in the centre and add the sponge, olive oil and a little of the water, beat to a smooth paste, gradually adding the remainder of the water.  You should end up with a thick batter.  Cover with a damp tea towel and let it prove for a couple of hours or until it triples in size.

- once it's risen, very carefully ease it out onto a dusted oven tray, coax it into your desired shape, sprinkle with a very generous amount of flour and let it prove again, un-covered for 45 mins.

- bake for 15-20 mins on 220.

... now I realise that this looks NOTHING like a ciabatta and in fact, it tastes NOTHING like a ciabatta and that's the fault of the flour... don't use brown flour for a ciabatta... however it had the most wonderful cake-like crumb and tasted so sweet and delicious... so not such a terrible day after-all!

eat and of course, enjoy!

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