The ciabatta, a traditional Italian bread, is made the authentic way with a biga, to be added the day after to the dough.
The exterior is nice and crusty, while the inside is fluffy and soft.
Perfect bread for making a sandwich, or for breakfast with butter and jam.
A bit long to prepare….but you will be satisfied by the results.
- 5 cups less 2 tbsp (625 g) strong bread flour 380W (I used 350W)
- 1 cup + 1/3 (282 g) water
- 5 g fresh yeast
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (187 g) water
- 1 tsp (5 g) barley malt powder
- 2 g fresh yeast
- 2 scant tsp (12 g) fine salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with hook attachment, pour the flour, yeast and water and knead until you get a smooth dough ( I added a 2 or 3 tbsp of water more).
Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit, room temperature, for 20 hours.
When the time has passed, place the preferment in the bowl of the stand mixer, add the yeast and malt powder.
Add very gradually the water (see notes) and knead for at least 10 minutes (do not worry if at the beginning the dough is difficult to shape).
The dough has to be very very soft, but it has to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Add then the salt and knead for a few minutes more until well combined.
Grease a baking sheet (10x14 inches - 25x35 cm) and with well oiled hands, place the dough on the baking sheet.
Sprinkle with oil the surface of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 60 minutes.
Slip the dough on very well floured counter.
With a bread scaper, shape the small ciabatta breads (different in sizes) and place them to rise on a floured baking sheet for 20 minutes (85-90F - 28-30°C).
Heat fan ovet to 428F-220°C.
When the time has passed, dust the small ciabatta breads with flour and with your hands,
stretch them a little.
Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack before serving.
I used only ¾ cup (162 g) in the dough, instead of ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (187 g) water.