On Queen's birthday long weekend, the family went to Melbourne for the first time.. it is there, in a tuck away little italian cafe I tasted my very first Olive Ciabatta.. I fall in love, I end up buying an entire loaf and set to polish them off in one day.. very good for my taste buds but so bad for the mid and lower section of this packaging of mine...
I am having problem finding the same product when I come back to Brisbane, so I decided to try making them myself. I play around getting a sourdough starter going and keeping it alive. Not much luck for the first 2 time, but thankfully 3rd time lucky.. I have a beautiful strong active starter without the 'off' smell.
I also went on line looking for ciabatta recipe, trying a recipe using yeast just to get an idea what to expect. After a few go, I decided to made the Ciabatta with Olive using Sourdough starter instead of yeast and I have to admit, I am very impressed with the end result.
Last night, for the sponge, I mixed 95g of my active starter with 55g of water and 130g of flour.
Mixed it together and knead slightly until it form a smooth ball.
Cling wrap and leave it on the counter overnight.
This morning, the sponge have more than double in size.
Dump the entire sponge into the food processor with 160g luke warm water, 32g luke warm milk, 15g Extra virgin olive oil, 5g of salt and 100g of flour.
Set the food processor going until all ingredient combined into a very wet dough.
Than gradually mixed in another 210g of flour with the food processor going. Let the food processor going for 10 mins (or in my case, when the smoke come out of my food processor motor). For the olive ciabatta, I added a handful of whole pitted black olive at the last 3 minutes of mixing.
Tip the dough into a large oiled bowl. The dough should be very stretchy and stringy. For me, I half the dough at this stage and let it raise in 2 separate bowls. I want to limit the handling of the dough once they are ready for the oven.
Cling wrap the bowl and let it raise for about 3 hours, the doughs should increase in size, almost double.
Prepare a baking tray and line it with baking paper and dust with flour.
Fold a divider in the middle to prevent the 2 doughs sticking together at the final proofing stage.
Scrap the dough onto each side of the prepared tray, just dump it in and use the spatula to shape the dough by stretching them to desired length, lightly dust the top with more flour. Leave them for another 40 to 45 minutes for final proofing.
Cover the dough with clean tea towel to prevent drying.
At this stage, preheat the oven with the pizza stone to 220 degree C.
For the pizza stone to fully heat up, the pre-heating should take around 40 minutes.
I used the baking paper to slide the dough onto the stone, I have no idea show to get it on the stone without the paper because the dough are just too sticky and the stone way too hot.
As you can see the doughs had puffed up slightly after 40 minutes and the divider of the baking paper leave a perfect spacing between the 2 loafs.
These bread only take 20 minutes to bake and the end result well worth all the effort.
You know the breads are ready when it is nice and brown on the top and sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Anyway, I am happy to say, this is the best I had produced so far and the first one I bake on a pizza stone. I think the stone do made a different to the end result.
And it pass all the taste test as well.
Note to self:
My food processor cannot handle this dough as it is just too stringy, I have just order a mixer with dough hook.. it should do the job and hopefully I have not kill my food processor.
My last batch of ciabatta only failed because I bake it on a weekday. Instead of raising it for only 3 hours, it raised for over 10 hours.. I think the dough over developed and turn into the starter again.. the bread turn out beautifully when I bake it that night, but OMG, it was so sour it was barely edible.
Anyway, this is a new passion, and I will continue to feed my passion with different sourdough recipe, have the desire to test as many different recipe as I can find..
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