Hi everyone BBC2 here. We hope all is well in your part of the blogosphere! As some of you may recall I cooked Double Sausage And Chicken Pasta for our friend Liz who came over for a sleep-over on Saturday. In that post I said about eating the meal with a good bread, well the bread I made on that occasion was some Ciabatta bread, it is a quick and easy bread to make in just over a couple of hours you get the smell of fresh baking bread that fills the house. So when people turn up to eat they all think that you have been working so hard cooking and baking for them, well they should think that, but like all things in life what should happen can be so different from what does happen,
If you cut the bread in half lengthways, rub with a clove of garlic and drizzle with olive oil, pop it under a hot grill for a minute or so, put on a warm plate so people can help themselves I think it adds to the meal. As I say it is so easy to make I hope you give it a try, I look forward to your feedback/comments. Also BBC2 told me I had to do this post!
500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour, extra for dusting
10g/1 ½ teaspoons dried instant yeast
40ml olive oil
400ml warm water
Semolina for dusting (optional)
Electric mixer with a dough hook
Lightly oiled square 2 to 3 litre plastic container, you need the dough to keep it square shape while proving
2 baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper
Put the flour, yeast and salt into the mixer bowl making sure that the yeast and the salt are on opposite sides of the bowl; now add the oil and three quarters of the water and begin mixing on low speed and the dough will slowly come together now add the rest of the water and put the mixer on medium speed for 5 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Tip the dough into a lightly oiled square container and lightly using your fingers push the dough to the sides and corners off the container, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Give the work surface a good dusting of flour mixed with semolina (if using) and carefully turnout the dough, I find the best way is to hold the container low over the floured surface and turn the container over in one movement, the dough will be wet but should fall away, but if it does stick in some places just use your fingers dusted with the flour to stop it sticking to you but handle it gently trying to keep the shape and not lose any of the air. Now dust the top of the dough with semolina or flour and cut the dough in half lengthways and cut each half again lengthways so you now have 4 strips of dough, stretch each piece a little and place on the baking sheet and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220c/210c fan then bake for 25 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.