Learn to make your own ciabatta – the Italian white bread that can be used for anything from toasties and garlic bread to bruschetta – with our easy guide
- Serves: 2 persons
- ¼tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 180g strong white bread flour
- 275g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
Step 1Make the overnight biga by mixing the yeast with 120ml of warm water and setting aside for 5 minutes. Tip the flour into a bowl, then pour in the yeast mixture and mix until you have an even, very wet dough. Cover and leave overnight.
Step 2Tip all the dough ingredients, plus 1 tsp of fine sea salt, into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, along with the biga and 250ml of water. Mix for 10 minutes until you have an even, elastic dough. Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl. Rest for 30 minutes, then use clean, wet hands to perform a 'stretch and fold' by picking up a corner of the dough, stretching it up and folding it over the dough in the bowl. Do this three times, turning the bowl a quarter each time, then cover again. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for another 1 hour 30 minutes, then leave the dough to prove for another hour, undisturbed.
Step 3Lightly flour a piece of baking paper, then carefully turn out the dough onto it, flouring the top of the dough, too. Gently form the dough into a roughly 25cm x 25cm square, then use a serrated or bench knife to cut it equally in half, so you have two rectangles. Leave to rest for 1 hour.
Step 4Heat the oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9 with a heavy baking sheet inside to heat up. Carefully slide the dough rectangles, on their baking paper, onto the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.