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Brian Wraith’s Sourdough Ciabatta

March 1, 2011

I was bored, a little hungry and out of bread on a Tuesday night and noticed my Sourdough Starter was bubbling and frothing like crazy. A bit unusual as it normally just sits placidly under a layer of hooch showing precious little signs of life… not really surprising when you find out that it’s just naturally occurring yeast from my house, which I ‘caught’ with a bowl of 1:1 Water:Rye Flour rather than the professional bakers stuff. But anyway, it was perky and I am still getting through the previous lot of Reikäleipä, so I didn’t want to make any more of that, and then… I found this recipe for Sourdough Ciabatta on thefreshloaf.com.

Couple that with the fact that I had a presentation to do for the day after, and well, what else would I do but an 8 hour cooking binge!

The things I changed from the original recipe were:

  • I used a generic supermarket  ‘Strong Bread Flour’.
  • My starter is Rye not Wheat.
  • I don’t own a weighing scale, so I did a lot of estimating and using cups as a rough measure, adding more/less of an ingredient based on feel.
  • I don’t own a pastry hook, dough scraper, peel, a couche or even greaseproof paper (I should really buy a roll soon!).
  • I used two bowls, a wooden spoon, my hands, tin foil (a poor substitute, but still worked), tea towels and a pretty standard flat baking tray.
  • My oven doesn’t go up to 500f (250c), it was however on about 240c and just fine.
  • Also I didn’t proof my loaves quite as long, and maybe moved them around a bit too much due to my not owning a couche. But still excellent results, if you like baking, you should give this a try.

Enjoy!

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