This is an excellent simple starter or supper when you have little time and don't want to sacrifice on flavour. I used a traditional ciabatta bread mix but fresh bakery bought bread will work just as well. The range of mushrooms were purchased from Sainsburys which include shiitake, oyster and a number of other Chinese named fungi which I will not even attempt to name!
for the ciabatta
- Strong white flour 500g
- Olive oil 40ml
- Yeast 10g
- Tepid water 500ml
- Flour for dusting
For the mushrooms
- Exotic mushrooms 400g
- Garlic 3 cloves
- Few Sprigs of Thyme
- 1 Scotch Bonnet Chilli
- Butter 1 Tablespoon
- Olive Oil 3 Tablespoons
For the dough add the flour, yeast, salt and olive oil to a mixer along with 4ooml of water and mix for one minute before adding the remaining 100ml. Continue mixing the dough for another 6 minutes on a medium setting. Remove the dough and place in a large oiled bowl to ensure the dough doesn't stick to the sides then cover with a tea towel for 1.5 hours. Don't be alarmed if the dough is very wet.
For the mushrooms place a pan on medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes until just slightly undercooked. Add the chopped chilli and garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the thyme leaves.
After one and a half hours the ciabatta should have proved so the next step is to delicately shape into traditional long rectangular shapes. Be careful not to be too rough as you want to try and keep the majority of the air pockets in the dough.
Pre-heat an oven to 220° and bake for 20 minutes.
To serve, cut the ciabatta horizontally, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toast lightly for 30 seconds. Add a small amount of boiling water to the pan along with the mushrooms to make a slight emulsion or if you want a bit of extra decadence, a bit of cream.
Spoon the mushrooms over the bread and garnish with some finely chopped chives.