A Random Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge:
Over the last few weeks, I have attempted to make the technical challenge from the Great British Bake Off every week, but with the onset of a late Indian summer and friends and family visiting over the last few weeks, that project has been unavoidably dropped by the wayside……until last week, when I discovered a recipe whilst randomly browsing through my cookbooks, for ciabatta. My random recipe for Ciabatta was discovered one Sunday when I decided to look at some baking books, ones that had been languishing at the back of my bookcase for many a month, and as part of Dom’s (Belleau Kitchen) Random Recipes challenge, where he encourages us all to……”randomly select any book from your collection, take that book and open it at a totally random page and create the exact recipe on this page and don’t cheat”…….. It’s one of my favourite challenges as I discover long-lost books that I have not used for a while. This month my random recipe came from a fabulous book called Traditional Bread Making by Eve Parker – the tag line says it all…….”Discover the art of creating classic and speciality breads with this book, which contains a collection of recipes for all-year-round comfort food”……
I have used the book in the past, in fact the my recipe for Tiger Bread came from the book, What’s in a Name? Tiger Bread, Giraffe Bread or Dutch Crunch – Tiger Bread Recipe. The book is my “to go to” book for bread, and it comprises some wonderful recipes such as Bara Brith, Roti, Rye Crispbreads, Mexican Tortillas, Classic French Stick, Cheese and Potato Rolls, Beer Bread with Honey, Parmesan and Courgette Bread, Chelsea Buns, Waffles, Lardy Cake, Bannocks and Sticky Malt Loaf. There is a handy “Getting Started” section that gives valuable advice about ingredients and equipment as well as a section about techniques and troubleshooting problems. It’s a fabulous book and having “lost” it for a few months, I was delighted to find it at the back of my bookcase! A random page shuffle took me to page 92 and a classic ciabatta recipe, which I was happy to make as it also fulfilled my Great British Bake Off technical challenge project. I cannot recommend this book enough – plus it’s a handy size to have in the kitchen too.
I served my freshly made ciabbata loaf with some mature Cheddar cheese one lunch time, and then used the bread the next day to make some cheeky little grilled cheese croutons which I served with some home-made cider and onion soup. Did my recipe yield the desired holes? Well yes, I did have holes in my bread and the texture was sufficiently chewy to have pleased Paul Hollywood I am sure! His recipe for Ciabatta bread is here: Paul Hollywood’s Ciabatta Bread, and I am tempted to try his recipe next time, although the recipe that I used turned out very well. This bread is just as delicious when toasted, in fact, I think it makes super toast, and especially for cheese on toast or for a Welsh Rarebit. I decided to make my ciabatta in my Kenwood mixer, as Paul suggests in his recipe, as ciabatta dough is very runny and messy to handle!
If you want to make a classic ciabatta bread, then do try my adapted recipe – I decided not to use the special starter and just started half of the dough off the night before…..this recipe makes a lovely chewy loaf with an open texture and HOLES! That’s all for today, I will be back with a couple of reviews, a new 5:2 diet recipe as well as some new recipes! Have a great week, Karen
As this is an Italian bread and therefore Mediterranean, I am also entering this into Tea Time Treats for September – Jane from The Hedgecombers is hosting it this month and her theme is Mediterranean food!
Links to my other Great British Bake Off posts: