This quick easy ciabatta recipe was shown to me by the lovely Rafaella of Al Dente, who put the recipe together for her husband while on his sailing trips so that he could enjoy fresh bread on his journeys. It’s such a great recipe and the ‘beating’ of the dough rather than kneading it produces lovely big air pockets. The upside to the recipe is that it is so quick and easy and always turns out light and airy so we are making at least 3 loaves a week at present, the downside of that is we are eating far more bread than we normally do!
You can make this dough the night before you wish to eat it and leave the dough proving overnight in the fridge. Dough will always rise in the fridge, just at a slower rate. If you do make it the night before you just need to bring the dough out of the fridge an hour before baking it to allow the dough to come to room temperature.
500g High grade flour (strong flour)
450 ml Luke warm (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon dry Yeast
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Pre heat oven to 200C
In a large bowl mix with your hands flour, sugar and yeast.
Pour in the water.
Add salt and ‘beat’ in the bowl with your hands for 5 minutes. The dough should be like a very thick pancake paste not like a regular bread dough. To beat the dough you need to pull at parts of the dough and stretch it up high and then slap it down again. This pushes air pockets into the dough to create the airy texture. If you have a food mixer, beat it with a dough hook but still finish off with the hand method to push air pockets into the dough.
Pour about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the dough so the oil covers the top and goes down the side of the dough.
Allow to rise covered with plastic wrap for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
Pour the dough onto a well floured work surface (without kneading any further) and fold over like an envelope length ways to create the ciabatta shape.
Lift dough onto a floured baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and when tapped sounds hollow.