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Wholewheat Ciabatta

B

iga (prefermenter)

1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp instant yeast

Method
In a large bowl, mix together until it forms a shaggy dough.
Cover with cling wrap and leave overnight if possible. It will rise and have lots of air bubbles.

For the Ciabatta dough
1 Biga
2 cups plus 2 tsps water
2 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
11/2 cups white strong bakers flour
2 tsps salt
1 tsp instant yeast

Method

Preheat the oven to 230°C
Scrape the biga into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Pour in the water and break up the biga with a spatula, it will be stringy blobs but that’s fine, add the flour, yeast and salt and stir to form a soft dough.
Leave to sit for 20 minutes so the flour absorbs the water.
Mix with a dough hook for 15 minutes until the dough comes away from the bowl, it should be smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap lightly oiled to stop the dough from sticking.
Leave to rise at room temperature for 3 hours.
Once risen, use a scraper to drop the dough onto a heavily floured surface, taking care not to lose the air bubbles.
Cut into two loaves and place on wax paper on a baking tray.
Leave to rise uncovered for 30 minutes.
Once risen, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Tap the base and it will sound hollow when cooked.
Leave on a rack to cool.
Slice and enjoy.

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