The pay offs for getting it right are soooo darn good.

ciabatta dough proving for the second time.

ciabatta loaves proving prior to baking

two freshly baked ciabtta loaves

nothing beats fresh bread

except maybe a blue cheese and salad sandwich on freshly baked bread


from World Breads by Paul Gayler

For the Biga Starter
350g bread flour
10g yeast
200ml warm water
For the Dough
15g yeast
400ml warm water
500g bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
30ml olive oil

  1. Sift starter flour. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Gradualy mix dissolved yeast and remaining water into flour to form a soft but firmish dough. Turn on to lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes until pliable.
  3. Return to bowl, cover with cling wrap, leave in a warm place to prove for 10 – 12 hours by which time the dough will begin to collapse.
  4. For the dough, mix the yeast with 100ml of warm water, leave to stand 5 minutes then add remaining water.
  5. Add yeast mixture into biga starter and beat in with one hand. The beat in flour to form a wet mix. Finally add salt and oil. Cover with cling wrap and leave in warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C
  7. Spoon dough on to a floured baking sheet. Shape, with floured hands, into ovals, 1 inch thick. Leave to prove for another 25 minutes.
  8. Place in centre of oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden and cooked. Transfer to a cooling rack.