Since I have my sourdough starter I love to introduce it to different bread and dough recipes and see how they work together. Sourdough requires more patience than industrial yeast, but if you ask me, every success or failure is worth the effort. I wish I will be able to try this Sourdough Ciabatta with freshly prepared flour once since it makes wonders to baked goods, but till then I try to use the best organic flour available around.
Maybe because of the seasonal goods, chilled dairy or spreads we usually top with this crispy and airy bread with makes me feel: ciabatta belongs to Summer.
Ciabatta bread like many doughs in Italian baking is made using old, over-fermented dough, called biga. It adds complexity to the bread's flavour and helps to achieve light and open texture, on the other hand, biga helps to preserve bread by making it less perishable.
- Mix the ingredients.
- Let it rest for 12 hours.
- Mix the biga, starter, and water.
- Incorporate the other ingredients, except salt, rest the dough for 1 hour.
- Add the salt and mix the dough well by hand mixer with dough hooks attachment.
- The dough is ready for bulk fermentation. It will be about 3 hours long. In every 30 minutes mix the dough by your hand mixer with dough hooks. The dough is ready for shaping when it's bubbly.
- Put the dough on a generously floured countertop, do an envelope folding on the dough and stretch to get a rectangular shape. Be careful, do not push the gases out of the dough. Let it rest for 1 hour.
- Cut the dough into 2 long or 4 smaller pieces. Place each piece on parchment paper and let it rise again for about 20-30 minutes.
- In the meantime pre-heat your over to maximum heat, place a small baking tray on the bottom of the oven for hot water. We will create steam for the ciabattas, which is crucial at the beginning of bread baking since it will help the dough to rise in the oven.
- Bake the puffy ciabattas for 20 minutes.
- Let them cool on a wire rack.