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Easy Spicy black olive and chilli ciabatta loaves

Easiest way to make these are by making what is known as the "biga" when you have 5 mins the night before.


250 grams of white bread flour, can be ciabatta flour or 00 flour

250 mls of room temperature water

3 grams of dry yeast (mine was from a sachet)

Mix the 3 simple ingredients together (try to get a smooth paste)and cover with clingfilm and leave overnight in fridge.

The next day you get a large plastic square or rectangular 2.5 to 3 litre or slightly larger container with lid (large ice cream tub fine) and oil all around the inside.

now add

400 grams of white bread flour, again ciabatta flour or 00 if you have any or whatever you can get hold of!

250 ml of water

8 grams of dry yeast

8 grams of salt

25 grams of olive oil

Dry chilli flakes added to whatever heat you prefer

Throw in some black or green olives depending on taste

Make a well and add the biga you have taken out of the fridge and mix well, cover and leave to stand for around 30 mins with lid on loosely

Either use a dough scraper or spatula that has been slightly oiled first to avoid sticking and lift the dough from one edge and fold into the middle repeating until you have turned it over all around trying not to knock out all air

Repeat this around 3-4 times and dont worry if you pop out for an hour or so, just turn when you return and you will notice the dough rises and is lovely and airy.

When you are happy that your dough looks to have doubled roughly from original size its now time to shape!

Turn your oven to highest 230 fan (mine is 250c)as not fan assisted around for 30-40 mins before next stage of dividing

Flour your surface and turn out of the container the large lump of dough and gently divide into 4 rectangular shaped blobs not worrying too much about the 'rustic' shape!!

Line with parchment two baking trays and gently lift two of the loaves onto each one and leave to rest/rise for 30 mins.

Your oven is now hot so quickly add the loaves to the oven adding half a cup of hot water to a baking tray below shelves to help rise and keep the loaves from taking on too much colour, alternatively throw a couple of ice cubes in the oven before closing.

I used a baking steel for 2 loaves and a tray for the other 2. The ones baked on the steel rose and cooked much better, they are the ones on the left in the picture

Bake for 5 mins on the high setting and reduce to 180 fan, 220 conventional for another 15 - 20 mins.

Remove the bread to cool and enjoy!