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This loaf is all about the air pockets that form while proofing, and it's a great fallback for when bread's needed quickly for that unscheduled BBQs or picnic.

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Makes 3 loaves


• 370g Italian style OO white flour
• 350g water (it’s a lot, but it’s needed to create the holes)
• 6g yeast
• 7.5g salt


1. Briefly combine all ingredients to form a very wet, shaggy dough. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
2. Beat the dough until it separates from the side of the bowl and passes the windowpane test. This takes me 10 minutes in a stand mixer.
3. Transfer the dough to a well oiled, shallow container for about 1½ hours until it triples in size, folding every 20 minutes.
4. When ready, dust the counter with plenty of flour and dust around the container edges to loosen the dough. Taking care not to de-gas the dough, flip it onto the counter and gently stretch it into a rectangle. Dust again with flour, divide into 3 and gently flip each onto a liberally-floured couche. Prove for about 90 minutes.
5. About 30 minutes before the loaves are proofed, pre-heat the oven as high as it will go (260c in my case and I add a pizza stone to get a really high temperature base).
6. When proved, lightly sprinkle the loaves with flour and gently upturn (to distribute holes evenly) onto parchment. Steam the oven (I use water in a plastic garden spray for this), reduce the temperature to 220c and bake for 8 minutes
7. After the first 8 minutes, open the oven door to release the steam, reduce the oven temperature to 190c and bake a further 8 minutes.
8. When baked, turn the oven off, crack open the door and bake for a final 5 minutes.

Added by: Jacky Scott

Tags: Bread Ciabatta

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