Wow, we’re four weeks into the bake off and this week it’s Bread!  Everyone in the tent shivers at the thought of disappointing Paul ‘king of bread’ Hollywood but this week’s technical challenge was ciabatta.  I love ciabatta, it reminds me of Italian holidays stuffing myself before dinner dunking bread into olive oil!  I found the bread relatively easy as there wasn’t any kneading involved and was all done in the mixer which made life much easier.

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

 

The first thing you need to do is prepare a yeast, flour and water mixture and leave overnight to rise.  I’ve re-watched the show and I still can’t figure out when they did this – if you’ve figured it out let me know.

So I measured out part of the flour, yeast and water and mixed it in the Kitchen Aid to create a dough

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

 

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

This was then left in the bowl, covered with a tea towel and left overnight to rise

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

The next day I added the rest of the ingredients to the overnight mixture and mixed in the Kitchen Aid using the dough hook for approximately 8 minutes (this was enough for my mixture) until it becomes soft and stringy.  Having watched the show I remembered who did well from the challenge so I made sure my dough looked like those (Martha and Kate!)

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

The mixture was then placed in a well oiled tupperware box and covered with cling film and left for an hour to prove at room temperature.  My mixture rose quite a lot in a hour which always fills me with excitement!

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

Next you have to turn the mixture out onto a well floured surface and leave again for another 10 minutes – as you can tell there is a lot of waiting around making bread!  I also didn’t have any semolina so just used flour!

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

The mixture was cut into three pieces and placed on the tray and left to rest for another 30 minutes.  The key is to not knead the dough or play around with it too much to prevent the air from escaping!

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then voila your ciabatta is made.  I found the recipe pretty simple to follow, there are a lot of processes so allow time but the bread was amazing and you just can’t beat fresh bread out of the oven!

Ciabatta Great British Bake Off

Next week is dessert week – my favourite!

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Paul Hollywood’s Ciabatta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 400g/14oz strong white flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 300ml/10fl oz water
  • 30ml/1fl oz olive oil, plus extra for oiling
  • 7g salt
  • semolina flour, for flouring

Preparation method

  1. Combine half of the flour and 4g of the yeast with half the water in a bowl. Beat it together into a thick batter.
  2. Oil a clean work surface and knead the dough for five minutes.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and leave it to rise for at least six hours at room temperature.
  4. Tip the mixture into the bowl of a food mixer. Add the remaining flour, the oil and remaining yeast and half of the remaining water.
  5. Mix this all together in a food mixer with a dough hook attached.
  6. Dissolve the salt in the last of the water and gradually add this to the mixture; mixing for 6-10 minutes, or until the dough is stringy and soft.
  7. Tip the dough into a well-oiled litre square plastic container and put the lid on.
  8. Leave the dough to swell until the dough has risen three-quarters of the way up the side of the container.
  9. Mix equal amount of flour and semolina flour together and use this to flour the work surface. Tip the dough out onto the surface. Split the dough into two and stretch the two pieces into shape.
  10. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
  11. Place the dough on a baking tray floured with a mixture of flour and semolina and allow to prove again for another 30 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes.