If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, find me here: @koekbook) you might have seen pics of my plants on my story. I’ve taken up gardening this year, as my dad wasn’t using his greenhouse. I’m growing tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, LOTS of beans, strawberries and, most notably in the context of this recipe, herbs! Okay, I’ll admit, I cheated with the herbs… I bought most of them as a plant at my local gardening store. I did raise some sage and celery myself though!
I usually add dried herbs to my dishes but fresh ones are a lot more flavorful I’ve noticed. I’ve been making homemade soups and sauces with my homegrown herbs and it’s been a very tasty experience! I saw this recipe in a bread baking book by the fabulous Levine van Doorne and couldn’t stop myself from making it. The hydration of this dough is quite high, so it is not an easy recipe, but if you follow the instructions carefully you can’t go wrong!
Ciabatta Buns with Italian Herbs and Garlic Recipe
Adapted from: Meer Brood Uit Eigen Oven (I used only white bread flour instead of a wheat/semolina mix)
Yields: 9 buns
Tools: dough scraper, large bowl, roasting pan, pizza/bread stone, baking parchment
500 grams strong white bread flour
4 grams instant yeast
9 grams salt
400 grams water
1 sprig rosemary, needles finely cut
2 sprigs thyme, leaves finely cut
1 sprig oregano, leaves finely cut
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30 grams olive oil to coat bowl with
rye flour for dusting
- Add all dough ingredients to the bowl of a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment. Make sure the salt and yeast don’t come into direct contact. Mix at low setting for 10 minutes until the dough passes the windowpane test (use wet hands to test). If necessary, stop the mixer twice during mixing and loosen the dough from the bowl with wet hands/wet dough scraper.
- Coat a large bowl with olive oil, add the dough with a dough scraper and stretch the dough over itself so that all of it is coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes. Next, stretch the dough over itself with wet hands on four sides (like this). Repeat this resting and folding 3-4 times (with wet hands!!). After you’ve folded the dough for the last time, leave it for 30-60 minutes before you continue shaping it.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C/445°F. If you have a pizza/bread stone, preheat it in the oven as well. Place the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven. You’ll need the tin to put water in for steam once you bake.
- Dust your working surface with plenty of rye flour. Carefully turn your dough out onto the working surface. Flour your dough as well. Carefully stretch and push your dough into a square shape. Don’t push all the air out of it! Trim the sides of the square with a (wet/oiled/floured) dough scraper. Divide the trimmings into 9 pieces. Now divide the square into 9 smaller squares. Add the 9 smaller pieces from the trimmings to the bottom of the smaller squares. Flour the baking parchment with plenty of rye flour. Place the buns on it, if necessary, dust more rye flour on top. Cover with some cling film. Leave to proof for another 30-45 minutes. Make sure the buns don’t start sticking to the clingfilm. Dust more rye flour on top if this is the case.
- Slide buns (with baking parchment) onto your pizza/bread stone or place baking sheet in the oven. Pour 150ml of water into the roasting tin (be very careful with this, you might want to do this with oven mitts on). Immediately close the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then take out the roasting tin and baking parchment. If the buns are very browned, turn down the temperature a bit. Bake for another 10-15 until they are a gorgeous golden brown.
- Leave buns to cool on a wire rack.