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Homemade Ciabatta Bread

What you need:

3 Cups Bread Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Sachet Activated Dry Yeast (7 grams)
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil (Extra Virgin is best)
2 - 2 1/2 Cups Warm Water

What to do:

1. Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and give a good dry mix to blend ingredients.

2. Add the oil and water. Hold some of the water in reserve and add later if needed. You are aiming for a very soft sticky dough. Mix for about 10 minutes if mixing by hand, 5 minutes is plenty if using a mixer.

3. Place the dough in a large plastic container with a lid. Any container that will hold the dough is fine, you can cover with cling wrap instead of a lid if needed. Just make sure the dough has room to double in size. Dust the container very well with lots of flour. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Simply pour/scrape the dough, placing half in each side of your container. Dust the dough and shape into a rectangular form. This will help with folding later.

4. Cover the dough and let it stand (prove) for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.

5. Now uncover and dust the dough pieces. Make sure you have some flour on your hands as well for the next step. Fold the top and bottom of the dough piece into the middle. Now fold each side into the middle. Gently flatten the dough and shape into rectangular form again. Do the same for both dough pieces. Now cover, and let stand until the dough doubles in size again, about 1 hour.

6. Repeat the folding again for each dough piece, remember to use plenty of flour. Flatten, cover and let it prove one more time, until again it doubles in size.

7. Pre-heat your oven to 450 F. Grease a large baking tray. Now lift each dough piece and stretch to the length of the baking tray. Place the dough on the tray.

8. Bake in your hot oven for around 30 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.


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