Italian Ciabatta

Great bread. Just great. I adapted recipe from Forno Bravo, but made big whole loaf (instead of 4). Maybe it’s not authentic, but sure tasty. It needs two days.

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Biga:

1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
2 oz. warm water + 6 oz. water at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the 2 oz. of warm water and let stand about 10 minutes until creamy. Then stir in the rest of the water and the flour. Tightly cover the bowl with biga with plastic wrap, and let it rise at cool room temperature for overnight.

Dough

1 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm milk
1 cup water at room temperature
1 tbsp. olive oil
All Biga (about 9 oz.)
2 1/2 – 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sea salt

Add the milk to the bowl of the mixer, and then stir in the active dry yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until creamy. Add the oil, water, salt and Biga. Add the flour and mix for 2 or 3 minutes. Switch to the dough hook. Knead until the dough is springy, moist and supple.

Oil a large bowl, place the dough in it, lightly mist the top of the dough with spray oil. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled; about 1 hour.

Very gently turn the dough out onto baking sheet, lined with oiled parchment paper, generously dusted with flour. Cover with dampened towels and proof for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until puffy but not doubled.

Preheat oven in 500F. Steam for 10 seconds (spray with water). Bake for 10 minutes, and then crack the door to let the steam escape for another 2 minutes.

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