Sunday, 21 October 2012

quick and easy ciabatta

... you know when you find a recipe for something and you simply don't believe that it would ever work or could possibly be that easy... well that is this recipe.  I was drifting through blogland the other day, browsing at the myriad pretty pictures of food when this post caught my eye over on the Cake Hunter blog... it was for a quick and easy ciabatta which I thought sounded really rather nice, after-all as Sophie says, to be able to come home from work and spend 5 minutes slapping some dough for you to have some incredible, warm and light ciabatta in just over an hour and a half, cannot be a bad thing...

... the recipe originally came from another excellent blog called Pease Pudding back in 2010... don't you just love the way this whole blogging world swings around and around and the comments on the post at the time were mostly of disbelief and then once tried, of compliments and thank-you's... so I knew I was on to a winner... and it really is a very simple recipe... i've made it twice now and each time I pay more attention to the 'slapping' method and each rise it get's better...

quick and easy ciabatta
follow the recipe and method exactly and you won't fail... next time i'll add some rosemary and olives to perk it up a bit and maybe some toasted pine nuts too.

500g strong white bread flour
450ml luke warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil

- preheat the oven to 200C

- in a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar and yeast

- pour in the water then add the salt and combine - I use a silicone spatula for this - and once combined get stuck in with your hands

- you want to beat the dough for 5 minutes - pulling and stretching the dough up high and then slapping it back down into the bowl - the dough will not be like any other dough you're used to, it's more like a thick pancake batter and is a bitch to get off your hands but you only have to slap it around for five minutes... and it's this stretching and slapping process that adds the air bubbles...

- pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the dough, cover with cling film and let it rise for about an hour or until doubled in size

- once it's risen, pour the dough out onto a well floured work surface and without kneading, fold it over 'envelope' style into a classic ciabatta shape

- swiftly transfer to an oven tray, dust with flour and bake for 30 minutes or until risen and golden

- I challenge you not to eat it warm!

eat and of course, enjoy



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