I'm doing a study for fun and my own education, testing recipes for Italian bread like ciabatta and other fluffy white breads of European tradition, like French bread or baguettes. I hope it will give me a grounding in baking and that is why I've chosen the most classical home made wheat bread styles.
I wish I'd made a video because the sound of the crisp but fragile crust yielding and crackling under the serrated bread knife was exquisite.
The previous recipe to work well has been published, also ciabatta style, and the less shining history which preceded it was reported on in that previous article. Suffice it to say, baking fluffy white bread turned out to be really easy compared to sourdough, or working with alternative flours like cassava and sorghum.
So this is another easy bread recipe. Compared to the last there is a pre-ferment in the fridge, the rising stage is shorter and the dough was a little dryer, less than 1:1 with water, and there was steam in the oven. The result had much better lift, a fabulous crunchy crust and a nicer, fuller shape. The quantities have been halved to avoid waste on recipes that do not work. Thus far its been ciabatta recipes, so next I'm moving on to French bread. I've been watching the charming and one of a kind Julia Child to prepare myself and it looks a bit less easy.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: at least 35 minutes
Resting time: 15 hours
Total time needed: at least 16 hours
Grade of Difficulty: very easy
The pre ferment
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