To celebrate the launch of my website, I have created this video to create Ciabatta Bread with you.

Follow the recipe

There’s a special place tucked away in the Spanish mountains that has my heart. It’s quite remote and the way of life is very simple and I love spending time there with The Guest Chef from The Deep South.

We like to shop locally, trying to speak Spanish as much as we can, then have fun experimenting with all the wonderful produce we have bought. The Guest Chef is a bit of a bread fiend and for him a meal isn’t complete without it …. so with time on our hands and wanting to embrace a slower way of life we started to make ciabatta …. and we realised how moorish it was …. so we made some more …. and it became part of our way of life over there.

When we returned from our travels we carried on baking bread and as we enjoyed it so much I thought I would try it for the first baRnby’s bistro night that I did as a delivery meal . Now it turns out that my guests REALLY enjoyed it too …. so I made it again …. and again …. and my guests started asking for the recipe …. so here it is ….

Ingredients

500g strong white flour
10g fine salt
5g easy bake yeast
+/- 400g tepid water
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

Method

  1. You require 2 mixing bowls. One large and one smaller but if you watch my video you will see I only use the one ( to save on washing up). If you decide to do it all in the one bowl it needs to be large enough to let the bread rise. If using two bowls use the smaller one to make the dough
  2. Mix the flour, salt and yeast together.
  3. Add the water to make a sticky dough.
  4. If using two bowls put the olive oil in the unused large bowl and put the sticky mixture into the olive oil . If using one bowl jiggle the dough around (it’s a technical term) and pour the olive oil round the side. The oil will work its way to the bottom. You can see how I do this on my video.
  5. Cover with clingfilm and allow to rest for 1 hour . The dough must be covered at all times to stop it drying out.
  6. After 1 hour fold the dough lightly four times. Pick the edge farthest away from you in the bowl and bring it to the edge nearest to you and lightly press it down. Take the edge nearest to you to the farthest edge and lightly press that down. Repeat taking the left edge to the right and the right edge to the left . It will be very squishy and you might find it a bit tricky but don’t worry it will be fine…. it’s a bit like making a big envelope.
  7. Turn the whole thing over so that the folds are underneath.
  8. Cover the mixture again and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  9. Repeat the process another three times with 1 hour rest in between.
  10. When the dough has risen to its peak after 5 hours of rest (and four lots of folding ).
  11. Place the dough on a well floured work surface.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 225C.
  13. Cut into 2 or 3 slipper shaped loaves.
  14. Sprinkle flour on two baking sheets and place the loaves on the baking sheets (you could maybe fit them on one depending on the size of your trays ).
  15. Let the ciabatta loaves rest for 10 minutes.
  16. Bake at 225C for 18-20 minutes. I like a crusty top …. if you prefer it to be a little softer on top bake a little less.
  17. Allow to cool on a wire rack …. and Enjoy!

Notes

I mention in the video that the bread is very forgiving . By that I mean that when we are in Spain we have no way of measuring anything so it’s all done by guesswork with one teaspoon being 5g, a large mug of water being 400g and trying our best to measure half a 1kg bag of flour to get 500g.

Also at any point you can put the dough in the fridge to help manage the amount of time it takes. The yeast won’t work as fast in the fridge …. so if you have started the dough off in the morning and would like a long walk in the afternoon then you can pop it in the fridge so you don’t have to rush back. You might start it off in the evening and want to bake it off in the morning so you can pop it in the fridge overnight.

You don’t have to use clingfilm but you need to keep it covered . You could use a big Tupperware cake box or use a separate mixing bowl to place over the top if you have one that fits snugly.

My flour of choice is pasta flour from Shipton Mill.

And finally …. I am not an expert baker by any stretch of the imagination …. but this is how I make ciabatta …. why not give it a go because I bet you can too …. it’s easy peasy.

Enjoy !

Cary xx

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