The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Second attempt at ciabatta

Jaleister's picture

Second attempt at ciabatta


I've decided to bake a batch of ciabatta each weekend for practice. I've just recently started baking (2 batches of ciabatta, 1 pain a'la ancienne, a portugese sweet bread (and years of the occasional, discouraging brick-like sandwich loaf before I found this site) I got a copy of BBA if you couldn't tell)

Anyway, here is weekend 2. I thought I'd share because I think it's going fairly well, and this site and it's contributors are as much responsible as the copy of BBA I'm quickly filling with bookmarks, flour and dried dough.

Ciabatta (second attempt)

The crumb was quite variable throughout the loaves; this was one of the nicer sections. The irregular sections seemed for the most part to be isolated up towards the top. I think next time I might flip them over when I transfer it to the couche(sp?) to see if it evens them out a bit.

This site has been a great help, I appreciate it a ton!

weavershouse's picture

Those are very nice breads, great job.                                   weavershouse

abatardi's picture

what was the hydration % of the dough? 

- aba

BROTKUNST's picture

Ciabatta is one of my favourites , especially with an Olive Oil & Herbs dip (and a bottle of Chianti or Valpolicella).


The version from the BBA, one of the very good bread baking publications, is not a formula I tried more than twice though. Personally I was not able to produce the crumb I was looking for with this formula. Other members in this forum reported similar results.


If you like, you may try also M. Glezer's formula and procedure. It turns out quite reliably like shown here:


M.Glezer's 'Artisan Baking Across America' is a rather inexpensive paperback with excellent formulas, presented in a manner that I think is close to perfect. As of today Amazon has three copies available: click here


I think the Ciabatta benefits from an as-open-as-possible crumb, which is mainly obtained by high hydration, slower fermentation and gluten development by folding, folding and more folding. Especially 'lower' ciabatta hdration in combination with a strong Bread Flour like King Arthur's may lead to a crumb that tends to appear finer than you may wish.