It might not be fair to call these mini ciabattas. They’re not very small. But compared to the ciabattas I made before, they’re at least half the size. It would make more sense to call them small ciabattas. Or smaller ciabattas. But mini got stuck in my head. Maybe I should have called them ciabatta petite. But I feel like I just butchered the French language (which I probably did). So I’ll stick with mini. If I make even smaller ones, they might have to go under the name tiny ciabattas. Or micro ciabattas. Hm, I’ll have to think about that one.
See where the crust has split? That’s the result of folding the dough in thirds. If you put the dough seam side up in the oven, it will split right where the seam is.
But, but, but, but! These mini ciabattas have air bubbles in them! I feel like that fishy thing in Finding Nemo who goes: “Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!“ all the time. But I just love it when a bread comes out of the oven full of air. Full of beautiful, airy little bubbles. It makes me happy.
The bubbles might not add anything tastewise, but they call for a less denser bread, which in the case of a ciabatta is exactly what you want (or what I want at least). With these ones, you still have the chewiness of a bakery-bought ciabatta, but with the taste of a lovely rye sourdough. It’s the best combination. Believe me. And I really advise you not to skip out on rolling them in wheat bran. It’s a nice twist and makes them even more interesting.
Sourdough mini ciabattas
Total time: 12 hours to let the dough rise. Then another 3-4 days to let the dough ferment in the fridge. Finally 3-4 hours to shape and bake the bread. Makes 8 mini ciabattas.
- 100 g (3.5 oz) rye starter
- 425 g (15 oz, not fluid!) filtered water
- ¾ tbsp sea salt
- 567 g (20 oz )bread flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Mix starter, water, sea salt and bread flour in a bowl. Let the dough rest 5 minutes, then mix in the olive oil and work the dough for about 1 minute. Put the dough in a new, lightly oiled bowl and let it rest 10 minutes. Take out the dough on a lightly oiled surface. Give it one stretch and fold treatment (fold the top of the dough over the bottom, the bottom over the top, left over right, right over left). Put the dough back in the bowl, seamside down. Let it rest 10 minutes and then repeat the process three times, for a total of four stretch and fold treatments. Let the dough rest 10 minutes in between each treatment. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in room temperature for about 12 hours until it has started to show yeast activity. Then put the bowl in the fridge and let the dough ferment for 2-4 days.
Take out the bowl from the fridge and leave it in room temperature for 3 hours. You can leave the plastic wrap on. Tip out the dough on a lightly oiled surface. Cut it in eight pieces. Carefully stretch them into rectangles, then fold them in thirds (like I did here (step 5-7) with the dough for the croissants). Place them on a lightly oiled parchment paper and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest 1 hour. Gently stretch and fold them again, and put the plastic wrap back on. Let rest 1 hour. Fold them in thirds one more time (put the plastic wrap back on), then let them rest until the oven is warm.
Preheat the oven to 500 °F. Roll the bread in wheat bran and place them on a greased oven tray. Put the bread in the oven and throw in ½ cup of water on the bottom. Quickly shut the oven so the steam can’t escape. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 450°F and bake another 15-20 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!