Time really does fly when you’re having fun! Before long, my holiday is soon coming to an end and busy life will once again take over. It’s funny though that for my last weekend, I don’t feel as proactive in going outside as much as I thought I would, and rather I seem to prefer spending more time chilling at home. (Though it was great last night drinking with some old uni friends in Soho and then wandered into a late-night restaurant in Chinatown whilst tipsy. 😂😂)
With work looming around the corner, I have been trying my best to put the stress at the back of my mind by doing what I love most– and that’s baking of course! If you had somehow read my posts earlier this month, you would see that I went on a bread-making spree. Continuing this, I decided to make ciabatta for the first time yesterday. I find that there is something very unique about bread that is very stress-relieving. Unlike cake and pastry, bread needs time to be good. Whilst the impatient side of me may sometimes find that unbearable, I also found that oddly relaxing. Sitting around and lying down whilst waiting for the bread to slowly prove and rise… it’s like telling me, ‘What’s the point of rushing in life? Let’s just take the time to savour every moment that comes along…’ And that’s what I am going to do now, it’s sit and relax, and enjoy the now. 🙂
This recipe is found in ‘How To Make Bread’ by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou. (I also added some dried herbs in it to spice things up! 😉)
Quantity: 2 ciabatta
200g / 1½ cups white strong/bread flour
4g / ¾ tsp salt
1g / ¼ tsp dried/active dry yeast
150g / ⅔ cup warm water
50g / 3 tbsp olive oil
1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add to the flour mixture.
3. Mix the mixtures together with a wooden spoon to form a fairly sticky dough.
4. Place about one third of the olive oil in a separate mixing bowl. Transfer the dough over.
5. Cover and let the dough rest for 1 hour. After the 1 hour, gently fold the dough twice and cover again.
6. Repeat step 5 for three more times. Add a little olive oil before resting each time so that the dough does not stick too much to the bottom of the bowl. By the end, the dough should be well-risen and bubbly.
7. Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Be gentle to avoid damaging the air bubbles. Divide it into two equal portions.
8. Shape the dough into a rough, slipper shape. Roll in flour and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
9. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 9.
10. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and it makes a hollow sound when tapped at the bottom. (You do not need a cupful of water to create steam in the oven as the ciabatta dough is moist enough to create steam on its own.) When ready, set on a wire rack to cool.