This all started when I set out to make a routine ciabatta. After preparing the biga, for some reason I felt sure that something was wrong. The biga batter was not the way I remembered it. So I prepared a backup biga, this time following the recipe meticulously. Next morning, both bigas were fermenting perfectly. What to do?
I used the first, as intended, to make ciabatta with, and the second I decided to finish as if it were a focaccia. My regular focaccia is stuffed to the crust full of olive oil. This dough had no fat at all. The results were stunning. A crispness and flavour I had never before experienced, and I set it out now for your edification and pleasure.
- 2 cups flour
- 1.5 teaspoons active dried yeast
- 1 cup warm water
Mix until combined. Set aside in covered bowl at room temperature overnight.
- 1 cup Atta, or wholemeal flour
- 3 generous teaspoons gluten flour (Atta has a less than optimal gluten content)
- 2.75 cups Higrade flour.
- 2 cups warm water
- 1.5 teaspoons sea salt/rock salt
- Olive Oil
- mashed garlic to taste
- chopped rosemary leaves
- coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Combine dough ingredients in the large bowl of your electric mixer with dough hooks employed. Once mix is uniform, continue at low-medium speed in mixer for 10-15 minutes, until dough comes away from the side of the bowl, and has a satiny sheen to it.
- Place in large lightly oiled bowl and cover with a plate, or plastic film until doubled in size - usually 60-90 minutes
- Turn out onto floured board, and cut in two, then cut each piece in four.
- Lightly ball each piece and place four to a tray on lightly oiled baking sheets.
- With your fingers flatten and dimple each ball to a circle about 15cm across, and pour a little olive oil and garlic mix on each, spreading it across the surface of the dough. (Any pools of olive oil in the dimples will vanish during baking.)
- Sprinke with salt grains and rosemary and place baking sheet in oven for about twenty minutes. Repeat for second tray. If you wish, you can bake both at once, stopping part way through to reverse top and bottom trays.
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