Monday, April 01, 2013

This is quite the labour of love and yes, this loaf requires you to start the day before but it's worth the extra effort. 
This loaf is crispy on the outside and light and holey on the inside!  We will be eating this sliced and filled with beef meatballs and homemade marinara sauce- yummy!



Overnight preparation
  • 115g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • 0.5 tsp dried yeast
To finish the bread
  • 350g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin Olive oil
  • 200ml hand hot water


  1. For the overnight preparation, mix the flour and sugar with the water in a large bowl and add the yeast. Whisk for three minutes.  Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise overnight (or at least eight hours).
  2. To finish the bread, add the remaining flour and yeast to the bread mixture and mix well.
  3. Gradually add the rest of the water and oil to the bread mixture. When nearly all of the water has been added, add the salt to the remaining water and mix together for a further five minutes, until a sticky dough is formed.
  4. Transfer the dough into a large oiled bowl and leave to rise for one hour.
  5. Transfer the dough to a heavily floured work surface and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 240 C/465 F.
  7. Place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and carefully shape it, making sure you don't knock the air out of it- leave for ten minutes.
  8. Transfer the dough to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

TIP- I was a little rough with the dough when I was shaping it (trying to get the perfect shape) and I feel that this made it not quite as bubbly inside as the ciabatta I buy.  The next time I make this loaf I will be much more gentle- I even wrote a note in my book so I don't forget to be lighter handed!

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