Ciabatta -with sponge

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I feel I am returning to the blog after ages though it has been only about two weeks. But I did a vacation to Udaipur and the mandatory Chennai Diwali trip and so it feels I have been away for quite a while.

My theme this week

This week’s theme for the Blogging Marathon is ‘Global Cuisine’ and like always I find a way to make it about breads. I need to pick a country and do three dishes originating from it. So I picked Italy, whose breads are almost as fabulous as the French and so I will have three Italian dishes breads this week. The first of this series will be the classic Ciabatta.

Why I like this bread

I have another Ciabatta bread recipe on the blog. But this one is made with a sponge. Of late, I am totally falling for breads made with sponge. I love the whole process of making a sponge and letting it sit overnight and baking the Ciabatta the next day. The texture of the bread is elevated significantly as also it gets deeper flavours which I love. So the plan is to make all my breads with a sponge now. Sounds like fun, right? A quick word of caution though – if you are making this Ciabatta in India or similar tropical climate, be warned that leaving the sponge overnight can give it a sour taste. So if you do not want that, make the sponge during the daytime and leave it for 2-3 hours and it should work fine.

For other Italian breads, check out Focaccia and Potato Pizza.

Also check out this Italian Lunch spread and Baked eggplant Parmigiana

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes a 10″ Ciabatta loaf

WHAT WE NEED

For the sponge

75 gms All purpose flour

1/4 cup Water

a pinch of instant yeast

For the dough

140 gms All purpose flour

3/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Instant yeast

5 tbsp Warm water

2 tbsp Milk at room temperature

 

WHAT TO DO

For the sponge

  • In a large bowl, mix the all purpose flour, yeast and water for the sponge
  • Mix well to ensure no dry flour is left
  • Cover the bowl and set aside overnight or for 4 hours in a warm climate
  • In the morning, the sponge should be alive and bubbly and almost doubled in volume

For the dough

  • Add the all purpose flour, yeast, salt, water and milk to the sponge
  • Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to mix and knead the dough
  • Knead the dough till it comes together and does not stick to the bowl
  • This should take around 20-25 minutes at medium speed on a hand mixer
  • Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place till it doubles in volume, around 1 hour
  • Grease a silicon spatula or dough scraper with oil
  • Use it to fold the dough over itself.
  • Folding the dough is taking the dough at the bottom of the bowl and putting it on top of the dough at the top without tearing the dough
  • Fold the dough on one side. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and fold the dough again. Turn the bowl and fold the dough 2 more times so that it is folded on all 4 sides
  • Cover and set aside
  • Repeat the folding after 30 minutes and set aside
  • Repeat the folding after another 30 minutes and set aside till the dough doubles, around 30 minutes
  • Transfer the dough to a greased baking tray
  • Flour it liberally and shape it into a rectangular loaf by folding it like an envelope
  • Set aside for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven at 225C with an empty tray at the lower rack
  • Pour 1 cup of hot water on the empty tray
  • Bake the loaf for 28-30 minutes
  • The top of the loaf would have a nice golden brown colour
  • Cool it for an hour
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Global Cuisine’.
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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharmila says:

    Ciabatta is looking so good!! That’s a different technique and I have to try it..

  2. usha says:

    For a novice bread baker, it went over my head. Nonetheless, ciabatta with sponge does have a great texture and can understand why you prefer baking breads with sponge from now on.

  3. Ciabatta looks so good. Perfectly done.

  4. Pavani says:

    Wow, you baked ciabatta — that is awesome. You got the perfect crust – bread looks airy, chewy and yummy!!

  5. harini says:

    I am not an expert bread baker but the texture speaks for itself. Good one, Sowmya.

  6. Padmajha PJ says:

    I have been admiring that side pic for the past 5 minutes! Such a beautiful bread and I really wish I could taste it now.Send me some when you bake the next time 🙂

  7. Priya Suresh says:

    How porous and spongy those ciabatta looks, feel like having with some salted butter and jam. Such an incredible bread Sowmya, you have nailed it prefectly.

  8. Though I have baked variety of breads, I never tried ciabatta. The procedure is quite interesting with the addition of sponge. It is so true that sponge gives a really flavourful bread because of the proving. Your ciabatta has turned out perfect Sowmya. You are mastering the art of bread baking.

  9. Srivalli Jetti says:

    Sowmya, I have read about ciabatta but sponge I thought was something else..lol..sorry but love that crumb and the texture of your bread. too good..

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