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Karen's Bake off Challenge Week 3: Ciabatta Breadsticks

I can't say I was too excited when I saw that this week I would be making bread sticks but oh my word! It's 24 hours later and all 8 have been polished off! I have had help from various people but they were so so good and I will certainly be making them again. The salt from the olives and the creamy cheese really complimented each other.

The recipe was Paul Hollywood's ciabatta breadsticks with a tzatziki dip but I'm afraid time constraints meant I just made the bread. Also, I feel that these extras are just there so the contestants aren't just filmed sitting around waiting for bread to prove...that just wouldn't make good TV! Well, excuses over...the recipe can be found here: Paul Hollywood's Ciabatta Breadsticks - The Great British Bake Off | The Great British Bake Off

As usual, I have kept as closely to the recipe as possible, just to show that most recipes can be veganised with just a few swaps. Here I swapped only the manchego cheese for a vegan mozzarella. I also swapped the semolina flour for plain I had it in! I also cut the recipe in half but am now regretting it as I would love to still have another 8 breadsticks now!


For the breadsticks:

750g strong white bread flour

1 tbsp salt

14g fast-action dried yeast

600ml lukewarm water

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

350g pitted green queen olives, halved (I used olives in garlic)

200g manchego cheese, cut into 2cm cubes (I used a vegan mozzarella alternative)

1 red onion, finely chopped

large handful of coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped

semolina, for dusting (I didn't bother with this and just used plain flour)


This recipe needed very little tweaking so it was pretty simple to follow. I halved the recipe and made 8 bread sticks.

Tips based on my experience

-As the contestants found on the show, it was a very wet dough. I do make bread at home, usually with the bread maker but, if I hadn't watched the show, I would have assumed the dough was too wet and added more flour so I'm glad I persevered through the sticky mess involved in handling it.

-I don't have a stand mixer so I just used my bread maker and removed it after the kneading cycle.

-I took them out after 15 minutes and was suspicious of how pale they were. I decided to leave two in for a little longer and they browned a little more but on testing the paler ones were perfect!

-I used olives marinated in garlic which added to the flavour so I would recommend the same.

These were sampled by myself, my husband and my work colleagues and received much praise. As I said, I was surprised by how much I liked these. They were lovely and soft and full of flavour. If I make them again I think I will make them in ciabatta roll form rather than sticks but that would be the only change.

I hope you have enjoyed reading. I'm off for a little staycation this week but if I have a chance I will attempt the next technical challenge. I have enjoyed it so far, everything I have made I have enjoyed and it's forced me to try things I never would have considered.


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