I've always wanted to give ciabatta making a go, so I am not quite sure why it has taken me this long to try it. Ciabatta dough is super wet and sticky, which is what gives it it's lovely holey texture. Known as 'the slipper' in Italy, this loaf makes a great sandwhich, or just simply served dipped in some olive oil.
Makes 3 large ciabatta rolls.
For the ciabattas:
250g strong white flour (or 00 flour)
7g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
I would use a large free standing mixer for this, with a dough hook.
Place the flour into the bowl of your mixer and rub in the yeast.
Add the salt and 150ml of the water and mix on a medium speed to form a dough.
Add the rest of the water and carry on mixing for around 10 minutes, or until the dough looks smooth and elastic.
Grease a large rectangle or square lunch box (you want one that holds at least 1.5 litres) with some olive oil.
Slowly tip the dough into the lunchbox and put the lid on.
Leave the dough to rise, at an ambient temperature, for around 2 hours.
When the dough has risen, gently tip it out onto a heavily floured surface and cut into three long rectangles, with an oiled knife.
Place each of the rectangles onto a lined baking tray and sprinkle with some semolina.
Cover the ciabattas with a tea-towel and leave to rest for around 45 minutes, or until they have noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the ciabattas have risen, bake them for around 20 minutes, or until the base of each roll sounds hollow when tapped.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.