Ciabatta with olives and sun dried tomato

Ciabatta can be quite difficult to make, not least because it is a very wet dough.  This recipe takes all of the hard work out of the kneading and, whilst it takes a bit of time, it’s well worth making it! I stuffed mine with olives and some sun dried tomatoes, but you can leave it plain, or perhaps use some onions. 

I hope you try this recipe out, the finished bread is light and airy. Mine wasn’t as ‘bubbly’ inside as some I’ve made but this is because of the addition of the filling. It tasted amazing though and also toasted really well to make some panini sandwiches. I’ve popped some step by step images below, but if you don’t want to see the pictures you can just  Skip to the printable recipe.

What could be better than a really tasty ciabatta to mop up a lovely pasta or soup? This bread really does go very well with pretty much anything!

I based this recipe on one from one I found in Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s book ‘How to make Bread‘. The recipe in the book was for plain ciabatta and actually would have made about 4 large loaves, which is way more than I needed!  So I paired the recipe back and added my own twist. I still ended up with two small ciabattas, but the good news is that this bread freezes really well.

If you do freeze one then you don’t need to defrost, simply cook from frozen in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes, make sure the bread is piping hot all the way through before eating!

I do hope you make this bread, if you do, why not post a comment with your finished bread.

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Step 1 – Make the dough and let it rise

  • Time = A few minutes to mix then 3 hours to rise
  • Ingredients = 187g of ciabatta flour or strong white bread flour, 60g of superfine semolina (or 60 of 00 flour), 5g of dried yeast (or 10g of fresh), 6g of fine salt, ½ teaspoon of sugar, 45g of olives chopped, 4 large sun-dried tomatoes chopped (no need to reconstitute in water), extra virgin olive oil, 200ml of warm water.
  1. If you are using fresh yeast, mix it with a bit of sugar and stir until it becomes liquid again. If you are using dried yeast, pour about 50ml of the warm water into a bowl, dissolve the sugar then pour over the yeast. Don’t stir, just let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy, then stir to distribute the yeast.
  2. Mix the flours, salt, olives and tomatoes in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the centre and the rest of the warm water , a tablespoon of the olive oil and the yeast mixture.
  4. Now really beat the mixture together with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until it’s well combined. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes. It is really wet and that’s normal. You basically just want to ensure that everything is really well mixed together.
  5. When everything is combined and you’ve what looks like a very wet dough, pour over another tablespoon of olive oil, cover and leave the bowl for half an hour.
  6. After half an hour remove the cover, pour another table spoon of oil over the top and then pull out a piece of the dough and fold it into the middle of the bowl, turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until you’ve pulled and lifted all of the dough. Cover and leave for another half an hour and repeat.  You will do this for the next 3 hours, so that’s 6 turns in all. You may find that as you go you won’t need to add so much olive oil. Also, each time you turn the dough will become stretchier and stretchier.
  7. Image 1 = Mixing the ingredients. Image 2 = A dough whisk. Image 3 = The mixed dough. Image 4 = The dough after it’s first rest. Image 5 = The dough the first time it’s stretched. Image 6 = The dough after the fourth stretch. Image 7 = The dough on the final stretch (see how smooth it is now)?

Step 2 – Shape, rest and bake 

  • Time = 5 minutes shape, 30 minutes – 1 hour to rise, 25 minutes to bake.
  • Ingredients = 100g of fine semolina (to stop it sticking) or 100g of 00 flour.
  • Equipment = 1 large lined baking tray or a pizza stone, bakers cloth (if using a pizza stone) and a pizza peel to transfer to the oven.
  • Oven temp = 220 conventional or 200 fan.
  1. After your dough has had it’s final pull and rest dust your work surface very liberally with flour and have a pile of the semolina ready.
  2. Very gently tip out the dough onto the floured work surface taking care to handle it really gently – you don’t want to knock out all of those lovely bubbles at this point!
  3. Divide into two roughly equal pieces.
  4. Gently flatten each piece a little so that you get a rough rectangle then roll each piece to make a sausage shape. Flatten the seam, flip over the dough so the seam is at the bottom and then place onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with the semolina flour. Cover very gently with a cloth and leave to rise for about half an hour, or until almost doubled in size. If you are using a pizza stone then liberally dust your bakers cloth with semolina, place your shaped dough onto the cloth cover over and leave to rise.
  5. Whilst the dough is resting pre-heat  your oven to 220 degrees (or 200 fan) and if using the pizza stone, pop that into the oven to heat up too.
  6. When the dough is ready, pop into the pre-heated oven on quite a high shelf. If you are using a pizza stone you will need to do this very gently by lifting the risen loaves onto a pizza peel that’s been dusted with semolina. Leave for 10 minutes at the high temperature then turn down to 200 (or 180 fan) and bake for a further 15 minutes until it’s lovely and crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a little more olive oil, enjoy! By the way, if you’ve any semolina left on your work surface, don’t waste it, put it into an airtight container and use another time.

Image 1 = Dusting the work surface with semolina. Image 2 = The dough before it was divided. Image 3 = Flattening the dough. Image 4 = Rolling into a rough sausage shape. Image 5 = Placing onto the cloth to rise. Image 6 = The dough on the pizza peel ready to transfer to the oven. Image 7 = The dough once baked and drizzled.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this bread, it’s great with soup or pasta – or just straight from the oven!
Below is the printable recipe for this lovely ciabatta.

For other recipes on my site please follow this link.

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Ciabatta with olives and sun-dried tomato

  • Servings: 2 small loaves
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Lovely light and airy - a real treat.

Although I made this with olives and sun-dried tomatoes you don’t have to. It’s equally lovely plain. Now I know this is a longer recipe, but it’s well worth it. It’s actually very easy to make and there’s no heavy kneading. Just time and a little love.

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 187g of ciabatta flour or strong white bread flour
  • 60g of superfine semolina (or 60 of 00 flour)
  • 5g of dried yeast (or 10g of fresh)
  • 6g of fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 45g of olives chopped
  • 4 large sun-dried tomatoes chopped (no need to reconstitute in water)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml of warm water
  • 100g of semolina flour or 00 flour (this is not for the dough but for dusting at the shaping stage)

Directions

  1. If you are using fresh yeast, mix it with a bit of sugar and stir until it becomes liquid again. If you are using dried yeast, pour about 50ml of the warm water into a bowl, dissolve the sugar then pour over the yeast. Don’t stir, just let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy, then stir to distribute the yeast.
  2. Mix the flours, salt, olives and tomatoes in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and the rest of the warm water , a tablespoon of the olive oil and the yeast mixture.
  3. Now really beat the mixture together with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until it’s well combined. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes. It is really wet and that’s normal. You basically just want to ensure that everything is really well mixed together. When everything is combined and you’ve what looks like a very wet dough, pour over another tablespoon of olive oil, cover and leave the bowl for half an hour.
  4. After half an hour remove the cover, pour another table spoon of oil over the top and then pull out a piece of the dough and fold it into the middle of the bowl, turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until you’ve pulled and lifted all of the dough. Cover and leave for another half an hour and repeat.  You will do this for the next 3 hours, so that’s 6 turns in all. You may find that as you go you won’t need to add so much olive oil. Also, each time you turn the dough will become stretchier and stretchier.
  5. After your dough has had it’s final pull and rest dust your work surface very liberally with flour and have a pile of the semolina ready.
  6. Very gently tip out the dough onto the floured work surface taking care to handle it really gently – you don’t want to knock out all of those lovely bubbles at this point!
  7. Divide into two roughly equal pieces. Gently flatten each piece a little so that you get a rough rectangle then roll each piece to make a sausage shape. Flatten the seam, flip over the dough so the seam is at the bottom and then place onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with the semolina flour. Cover very gently with a cloth and leave to rise for about half an hour, or until almost doubled in size. If you are using a pizza stone then liberally dust your bakers cloth with semolina, place your shaped dough onto the cloth cover over and leave to rise.
  8. Whilst the dough is resting pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees (or 200 fan) and if using the pizza stone, pop that into the oven to heat up too.
  9. When the dough is ready, pop into the pre-heated oven on quite a high shelf. If you are using a pizza stone you will need to do this very gently by lifting the risen loaves onto a pizza peel that’s been dusted with semolina. Leave to bake for 10 minutes at the high temperature then turn down to 200 (or 180 fan) and bake for a further 15 minutes until it’s lovely and crisp.
  10. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a little more olive oil, enjoy! By the way, if you’ve any semolina left on your work surface, don’t waste it, put it into an airtight container and use another time. Also, once baked this can be frozen, when you want to eat it you can cook from frozen in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes making sure it’s piping hot all the way through before eating.

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Bread, Baking and More

Lover of bread, baking and growing my own veg.

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