10/52: Ciabatta


ciabatta dough

ciabatta sticks

Ciabatta. We love to eat it, but never make it. So when meatballs were put forward for dinner, Ruby and I thought we’d step up with something more interesting than spaghetti. We earmarked Paul Hollywood’s recipe and then sat around smugly, thinking we’d lots of time to rustle up a little rustic roll to match Ruby’s dad’s matchless meatballs. Thing is, we didn’t read the recipe properly. If we had, we would have started the day before. And mixed our starter dough, and left it for 24 hours to mature, and realised in advance that we need a proper food mixer to knead the extremely wet dough, and have the right container to let it prove, and……

Anyway, we’d committed ourselves so we had to produce a ciabatta loaf of some description. We bypassed the first dough mix and just combined all the ingredients in our fairly old food processor with a dough blade (not hook), and pressed on. It stayed on for about 3 minutes, then turned itself off. Pressed on, nothing. Pressed on again, nothing. Unplugged, waited, detached the top, detatched the bowl, re-attached everything – action! For another 3 minutes by which time the processor was hotter than our central heating, and the blade was starting to melt. So we decanted the ridiculously wet dough into an oversized container and let it prove for two hours. By which time it had slightly spread itself and risen a modicum. Undaunted, we slopped it out onto a floured surface, cut it half and manhandled both pieces onto a well floured/semolina-ed baking tray. The result? Mildly aerated, chewy crust, soft if a bit flat. But edible.

ruby says “nice, but the dough was very sticky!!!”


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