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Classic Ciabatta - A Basic Dough

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Ingredients
  Strong white flour 9 Ounce (250 Gram)
  Dried yeast 3 1⁄2 Gram (1/2 Sachet)
  Water 9 Fluid Ounce (250 Milliliter, At Body Temperature)
  Water 10 Fluid Ounce (300 Milliliter, At Body Temperature)
  Dried yeast 3 1⁄2 Gram (1/2 Packet)
  Strong white flour 18 Ounce (500 Gram / 1 Pound Plus 2 Ounces)
  Sea salt 2 Teaspoon
  Olive oil 4 Tablespoon
Directions

1. Start with the biga. Mix the flour and yeast in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre. Add the water, then mix to slack, pancake-batter-like dough. Cover with cling film, and leave at room temperature overnight (8-12 hrs). It will rise and then fall.
2. The next day, put the water for the dough in a jug or bowl and stir in the yeast. Mix well, and then add it to the biga. Stir and squeeze it into the biga with your fingers. Work in half of the flour to make very sticky dough, then beat it with your hands for 5 mins, until feels stretched and elastic. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough to rise in a warm place until risen and bubbly; about 2 hrs.
3. Add the salt and oil to the bowl, then gradually work in the rest of the flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Tip it onto a well-floured surface, then, using a palette knife to help release the dough from the worktop and adding a little flour if needed, carry on kneading the dough until it is smooth and very elastic, about 10 mins. You will know when it's ready, as you can stretch a piece of dough and it will feel like bubblegum; smooth and elastic. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film, and leave in a warm place until doubled in size: about 1 hr. Meanwhile, heat oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas 6 and rub a little oil over a baking sheet.
4. Carefully tip the dough onto a well floured surface, then, using a floured palette knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Don't knock all of the air out of the dough. Use floured hands to gently shape the rolls into rounds, or if you like, leave the rolls in rough pieces. Dust with flour, then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 15 mins.
5. Flatten the rolls slightly with your hand, then bake for 15-20 mins or until they are golden brown and crisp.

Recipe Summary

Cuisine: 
Italian
Method: 
Baked
Restriction: 
Vegetarian
Servings: 
8

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