If you know me, you know I love challenges. Especially cooking challenges. Real challenges, your everyday pap and stew dish might not inspire me to do anything!

So on Friday I went to Melissa’s with a very dear friend of mine. The meals were simple but tasty. I loved their ciabatta bread so much. I was eating and thinking, ‘Why have I not made this at home?’. I make amazing bread by the way. We had pizza for supper, home made with veggies from my own garden. It was while I was waiting for the pizza dough to rise that I started looking for ciabatta recipes and I found one which I thought was simple enough.

Well, I made the pre-ferment and continued with the pizza dough. Turns out I had made too much pizza dough so we had pizza again for supper on Saturday night. I decided it was a good time to make the ciabatta so I got started. Now, it was getting very late and I assumed it would be easy like my everyday bread doughs. I had not read the whole recipe on Friday evening and was shocked halfway through (I was reading the recipe as I went along) when I realised I would need more time that the night had. I thought of leaving it for Sunday morning, but I had already started so I soldiered on. The turn out was amazing, looked, smelt and tasted really great.

The recipe I use is as follows:

Preferment

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons yeast (I used instant yeast)

1 cup of water

Mix all 3 and cover. Leave overnight, though apparently you can also leave it for 2-3 hours.

Ingredients

4 cups of flour (I used 5, it was too wet when mixing)

2 cups of water

2 teaspoons of yeast

2 teaspoons of salt

Method

Add the yeast to the water and mix.

Add the preferment to the yeast water mix.

Add the flour and salt to the water and preferment mix.

Stir and mix and leave for 20-30 minutes.

Take out your mixer and use the dough hooks to mix.

Mix on low-medium for 15 minutes.

Cover and set aside in a warm place to rise. I usually warm the oven a bit and put the dough in. It should triple in size.

Clean your working surface and cover with a generous amount of flour. Prepare your baking tin. Cover it with patchment paper or flour so that the dough won’t stick to the pan.

Gently pour/scoop/cut out a portion of the batter on to the floured surface, Do not knead or mix. Carefully move the dough to the prepared pan. Repeat until the dough is done.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees and let the doughs to rise for about 20-30 minutes. You will know that you can put it in the oven when you see bubbles in the dough.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

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Lessons learnt:

  • Challenges are good and I should challenge myself more.
  • Nothing is difficult, you just need to get up and do it
  • Read the whole recipe before you start.

 

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