I enjoy Paul Hollywood’s cookbooks. I have the one that came out before the above mentioned one and even thought it is quite good, the newest one explains everything in much more detail and will lots of great photos. I made the Ciabatta a second time yesterday and it came out perfectly with his improved description.
I have decided it would be fun to try to make every recipe in the Bread Book, sort of like the movie Julie and Julia, but a lot less recipes. Baking makes me happy. Today I made the first recipe in the book – Bloomer Bread.
He called it the bread to learn the technique of baking bread. It is simple and straight forward and if you see the piece missing, you know I tried it. I like it a lot. It crusty and wonderful, while light and airy. I would make this for a dinner party. He has great videos online and easy to find.
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl, taking care not to have the salt and yeast touching. Add the oil and 240ml/9fl oz of water.
Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Gradually add the remaining water (you may not need it all), until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, rough dough.
Pour a little oil onto a clean work surface. Sit the dough on the oil and begin to knead. Do this for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and silky. Once the correct consistency is achieved, place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until tripled in size.
Once risen, place the dough onto a floured surface. Knock the dough back by folding it in on itself repeatedly. Do this until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth.
To shape into the bloomer, flatten the dough into a rectangle. With the long side facing you fold each end into the middle then roll like a Swiss roll so that you have a smooth top with a seam along the base. Very gently roll with the heel of your hands.
Place on a tray lined with parchment paper, cover and leave to prove for 1-2 hours at room temperature, or until doubled in size.
Lightly spray with water and dust with a little flour. Make four diagonal slashes using a sharp knife across the top.
Preheat the oven to 220/425F/Gas 7 and place a baking tray filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven – this will create steam when the loaf is baking. Place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes. After this time lower the heat to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Paul Hollywood Ciabatta
– 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
– 10g salt
– 10g instant yeast
– 40ml olive oil
– 400 ml tepid water
– Fine semolina for dusting (optional)
Prep 2 hours
Bake 25 minutes
This straightforward ciabatta recipe is relatively easy and satisfying to make To get that classic ciabatta shape and open texture, you need a very wet and sloppy dough, so you really have to make it in an electric mixer. Serve this thin-crusted, light-textured bread warm for breakfast, with soups or salads, or split, toasted and filled with salami, prosciutto or cheese for an Italian-style sandwich.
1.Lightly oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container. (It’s important to use a square tub as it helps shape the dough).
2. Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add the olive oil and three-quarters of the water and begin mixing on a slow speed. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water. Then mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
3. Tip the dough into the prepared tub, cover with a tea towel and leave until at least doubled, even trebled in size – 1-2 hours or longer.
4. Heat your oven to 220°C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.
5. Dust your work surface heavily with flour – add some semolina too, if you have some. Carefully tip out the dough (it will be very wet) onto the work surface, trying to retain a rough square shape. Rather than knocking it back, handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough as possible. Coat the top of the dough with more flour and/or semolina. Cut the dough in half lengthways and divide each half lengthways into 2 strips. You should now have 4 pieces of dough. Stretch each piece of dough lengthways a little and place on prepared baking trays.
6. Leave the ciabatta dough to rest for a further 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.