Home Bread-Bakers v104.n031.1

Ciabatta, olive bread mix

Haack Carolyn <haacknjack@sbcglobal.net>
Sat, 3 Jul 2004 10:01:38 -0700 (PDT)
Here's a Ciabatta recipe that I make regularly, it's probably originally 
from Bon Appetit.  I make it for my son's piano teacher's recitals; 
everyone else brings brownies, but this bread disappears first!

As for the Kalamata bread, two suggestions:
(1)  Chop up the olives and add some fresh herb (rosemary is nice) and just 
work it into a 'rustic' style bread ...
(2)  King Arthur has an olive "mix in" which works very nicely and it 
doesn't get any easier!


17 Tablespoons warm water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
3 1/3 cups bread flour

1 cup warm water
1 pinch active dry yeast
11 Tablespoons semolina flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt

coarse salt and/or seeds for topping, if desired

For biga:  sprinkle yeast over warm water, let stand until proofed (about 8 
minutes).  Add 1 cup flour, stir until blended.  Scrape sides of bowl; add 
another cup of flour.  Repeat blending & scraping.  Add remaining 1-1/3 
cups flour; cut in until small, moist clumps form.  (Preceding steps can be 
completed in food processor if desired.)  Gather dough into a ball (dought 
will be firm); place in large bowl.  Cover; chill overnight.  Biga will 
soften, resembling thick oatmeal in texture.

For dough:  Pull biga into walnut-sized pieces; place in a clean large bowl 
(actually, if your original bowl was large enough just keep using 
it!).  Add warm water, yeast, and 11 Tblsp semolina.  Using one hand, 
squeeze ingredients together for 2 minutes.  Work douth for four minutes by 
scooping sections from the sides of the bowl and pressing them into the 
center, blending into a very soft, shaggy mass.  (A plastic dough scraper 
works well for this step.)  Using a dough scraper or spatula, clean the 
sides of the bowl so all dough is in the center.  Let the dough rest in the 
bowl, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough.  Using one hand, knead dough by rotating 
the bowl 1/4 turn at a time, scooping the dough from teh sides and folding 
down into the center until the dought starts to come away from the sides of 
the bowl, about 5 minutes.  Scrape dough from your hand and the sides of 
the bowl.  Cover bowl with towel; let dough rest in bowl 20 minutes.

Preheat over to 425 F.  Sprinkle work surface with additional semolina 
(LOTS).  Turn dough out onto semolina.  Using dough scraper or large knife, 
cut dough in half; keep halves separated (easier said than done, this dough 
is VERY soft...have LOTS of semolina on the board and move the halves apart 
as you cut them).  Let stand, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Sprinkle 2 large baking sheets with additional semolina (or Silpat or 
similar sheet works fine).  Flip each dough half, semolina side up, onto 
one sheet (using a peel or other large flat surface to slide under the very 
slack dough).  Stretch each dough half to approximately a 16" x 4" 
rectangle (no point in aiming for precision here though!).  Press 
fingertips into dough in several places to dimple the surface.  (Add salt 
and/or seeds now if desired.)

Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Cool on rack, enjoy!