Recipe of the Week: Ciabbata Bread

By Marzia Rizvi

bread

 

The history of bread goes back at least 30,000 years. The first bread produced was probably cooked versions of a grain-paste, made from roasted and ground cereal grains and water, and may have been developed by accidental cooking or deliberate experimentation with water and grain flour. Descendants of these early flatbreads are still commonly made from various grains in many parts of the world, including Armenian lavashs and Iranian sangaks, taboons, Mexican tortilla, Indian bread chapati, roti and naan, Scottish oatcake, North American johnnycake, Jewish Matzo, Middle Eastern pita, and Ethiopian injera. Flat bread of these types also formed a staple in the diet of many early civilizations with the Sumerians eating a type of barley flat cake, and the 12th century BC Egyptians being able to purchase a flat bread called ta from stalls in the village streets.

Today I’d like to share a recipe of one of my favorite bread the ciabatta bread that originates from Italy. This recipe is super easy to make and the best part about making your own bread is that you know what is going in it. If followed exactly the same way as the quantities given. It will turn out to be the best .If you are in a rush and you don’t have enough time for proofing (Wait for it to raise) I’d like to share a little trick with you all. Try to keep the dough at a stable temperature. We sometimes put a bowl of dough on top of the oven covered with a tea towel and on top of a folded towel. Also a preheated and switched off oven to about 30ºC (use a thermometer to measure the inside temperature as your dial on the oven will probably not be very helpful) will work great. Some people build their own proofing cabinet, using an old refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. With the help of a 40W or 100W light bulb on the bottom of the cabinet (warm air rises from bottom to top!) you can easily heat the inside of your cabinet. You can use a simple mechanical thermostat to switch the bulb on and off to control the temperature. Hope you’d enjoy this recipe as much as I do making & eating both. This bread makes amazing sandwiches or can be eaten on its own with simply butter.

Ingredients

Bread Flour   2 1/2 Cups

Fresh yeast     2 Tsp

Salt                  1 Tsp

Olive Oil       3/4 cup

Water             1 1/2 Cups

 

Procedures

Mixing

1-Warm the water to about 37 C. Dissolve the yeast in it.

2-Add the yeast to 1/2  cup of flour(At this point you only add yeast in 1/2 cups out of the 2 1/2 cups of flour and leave the remaining to be added later.

3-Mix the 1/2 cup of dough into a soft dough adding the entire water into the mix until the dough gets smooth.

4-Cover and leave at room temperature until it doubles it size

5-Stir down and add the rest of the ingredients for the dough. Beat for a few minutes to form a smooth dough, which will be very soft and sticky.

6-Cover and allow to ferment at room temperature until doubled in size

 Baking

1-Lightly oil your baking tray. Portion into 550 grams portion, shape into rough ovals, trying to avoid over handling the dough

2-Dust the top with extra flour. Proof at room temperature until the dough doubles in volume. Bake at 200 C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

About the Author

Mirzia Rizvi is a single mother of two beautiful children. Lived in UAE for 25 years . Her passion  has been cooking since the age of 12. A graduate in Corporate Laws but decided to convert & become a chef . She is  now  a certified Chef from the School Of Culinary & Finishing Arts in Dubai along with a certification in food & safety from City & Guilds in the UK. Her dream is to own her own restaurant.