Ciabatta Bread

TRH Ciabatta Bread1  TRH Ciabatta Bread2

Preheat oven to 180 C line a large baking tray with parchment paper sprinkle with a little flour – I made 2 free form loaves or you can line 1 large loaf tin with parchment paper if you prefer 1 loaf
3 1/2 cups cake flour or if you wish use bread flour instead. I used cake flour.
1 x 10 g sachet instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
500 ml lukewarm water

1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives (optional ) for the 1 loaf
In a jug add lukewarm water, sugar and yeast granules, stir and set aside to froth for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl add sifted flour and salt.
Make a well in the center and add oil then your yeast mixture.
Mix with a wooden spoon until all dry and wet are incorporated.
The dough will be moist and sticky.
Cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside in warm place to rise for 1 hour.
The dough will rise double.
Knock back dough and turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 4 minutes.
If dough is too sticky and wet add 1 or 2 tbsp extra flour and knead in.
Divide dough in half and add olives to the one loaf ( optional ) or leave as 1 loaf.
Place dough on baking tray free form shape and sprinkle the top with flour.
Cover with a large plastic bag and let rise for a further 30 minutes.
Just before placing in oven slash 3 slashes into the top of bread with a sharp knife and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow.

Note: I place a bowl of water on the last rung of the oven. It creates steam while bread is baking and gives a lovely crispy crust.

Recipe: Sybil Norling-Ely
Prepared, tried and tested by: Gail Haselsteiner

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