Saturday, 30 August 2014


Jon is whipping up a pasta based treat in the kitchen tonight and you can't have pasta with some dippy bread to go with it. My top choice for pasta? Ciabatta of course. Since it's just been featured on the Great British Bake Off I thought it was the perfect time to have a crack at making my own and I have to say it came out spot on and the smell in our flat of freshly baked bread is amazing that I had to share the recipe with you all. Got some time to bake some bread? These loaves should defiantly be next on your list.


500g Strong White Flour
10g Salt
10g Dried Active Yeast
5g Golden Caster Sugar
40ml Olive Oil
A Few Hand fulls Of Polenta

  1. Place the flour into a large bowl. Add in the salt, yeast and sugar but ensure that non of these ingredients touch each other. Make a well in the centre of all the ingredients and pour in the olive oil.
  2. Now take a fork or use a mixer with a dough hook and mix all the ingredients together with 400ml of lukewarm water, pouring in the water around 100ml at a time. Keep mixing until the dough becomes a smooth, slightly wet and elasticy dough that comes together into a ball in the centre of the bowl. Be patient as this will take a while but you should know it is ready as it will stop sticking to the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This will take around 2 hours tops.
  4. After one hour you can take a large piece of baking paper and sprinkle with the polenta so it is generously covered. Turn your oven on too 220 degrees (200 fan). If you have a pizza stone, place this in the oven too to warm up, it will give a great crispy base to your ciabatta.
  5. Once the dough has risen, carefully tip the dough out onto the polenta covered paper. Try not to knock any air out of the dough. Split the dough in half and shape into two rectangles. Cover again and leave the dough to rise again for 30 minutes.
  6. Once the dough has risen cut the baking paper so you can transfer the ciabatta's individually to either a baking tray or to the hot pizza stone. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray/stone for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack. If you can't resist the temptation then cut yourself a little slice and slather with butter so it goes all melty and delicious. The onside of the ciabatta should be beautifully soft and full of full of air holes and lully and crispy all around the outside. 

If you presented these loaves to Paul and Mary I'm sure you would be star baker!

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