Bake Off Bake Along #3 | Ciabatta

There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven, floating through the house on a Saturday afternoon. Or the excitement of actually being successful in said bread-making activities.

There's also nothing quite like bread week on GBBO.

So I thought I'd tackle the technical challenge of Ciabatta. I used Paul Hollywood's recipe, which seemed to me to be the one they used on the programme as they all baked four loaves from their dough mixture.

In Paul's recipe he says to use a mixer with a dough hook - cue KitchenAid wonderfulness. It's a very wet dough that needs a good mixing before you leave it to prove. So I did as I was told and once all the ingredients were in the bowl, I mixed for over 5 minutes on a medium speed until visibly smooth and stretchy.

Here you will see my dough before it was proved, I just left it on the work top in the kitchen.

And here is a picture of the dough after about an hour and a half. It rose quite quickly and I left it to prove for about two hours over all, by which point the dough had reached the top of the bowl. A successful prove.

I then smothered my kitchen work top in flour, to avoid the dough from sticking to the counter and slowly turned the dough out. As expected, the dough was wet but had lots of air bubbles in which was a really good sign.

As I had used a round bowl instead of the required square, I cut the dough in four lengthways to create four batons and using a palette knife, and yet more flour I transferred the dough onto pre-prepared baking trays.

As you will see below, the baton second from the left was the first bit of dough to be handled and therefore had the most air knocked out of it. The ugly duckling of the group.

And yes, they're not uniform and perfect looking but HEY, they look rustic. They didn't rise a whole lot in the oven but they still came out cooked and well, bready. 

For a first ever shot at ciabatta, I don't think I did too badly. And now I just want to make it all the time. I wish I'd take a picture of the actual inside of the loaves, but I was too busy dipping chunks into olive oil and balsamic vinegar #mybad.

But just for reference, the bubbles were of different sizes and dispersed well, which was one of Paul's criteria's on wednesday.

Ok so I don't think I would have come first in the technical bake, but I maintain, for a first try, it ain't half bad. And they tasted delicious too! I can't wait to try it again and get creative with toppings.

Don't Forget!!!
I'm holding a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers and to say thank you to all you lovely lot.