The Fresh Loaf

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Not porous. interior holes not big enough

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BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

Not porous. interior holes not big enough

New guy here. just made some Ciabatta Polesana as outlined in "The Italian baker by Carol Field. Looks great Tastes wonder full, but holes on interior of loaf aren't as large as Pictures. Only about half thet size. Any suggestions or remedies. CooKed about 30 min at 475 with frying pan and ice for steam for 1s 10 minutes.  Came out at about 205/207, I wouldn't describe it as porous. Lots of recommendations not to fold at all..

 

Thanks,

John

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Can you give us more info about your technique? What kind of flour did you use? Did you mix by hand or mixer, and for how long? 

BTW, Carol's recipe is similar to Jason Molina's Quick Coccodrillo Ciabatta (variation 1), with a few key differences: a 75% hydration biga is used and fermented for several hours in Carol's recipe (Jason's has no biga), the hydration of Carol's dough is slightly higher (97% overall hydration, as opposed to 95% for Jason's).

Lots of recommendations not to fold at all

I'm looking at Carol's recipe and I see nowhere that suggests to fold, can you clarify?

 

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

I had made the biga and let it rise for about three hours and put it in Fridge for the evening. followed Carols ingreadents to the tee and weighted everything. I was asking about folding because I thought that may help with the holes. Used a kitchen aid mixer and followed all instructions?/

thanks,

 

John

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

I cooked it on a flat sheet with parchment paper  (just ordered a baking stone) pre heat to 500 cast iron pan with Ice for first 10 minutes then down to 475.

Sorry.

Next time I'll take pictures..

cranbo's picture
cranbo

John, what kind of flour did you use? Did you add any additional flour? 

During bulk fermentation, did you let the dough triple? 

Finally, was handling as expected? It should be virtually "pourable", and so goopy it is virtually unmanageable

 

 

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

Yes i put it all together and put it in fridge for about 13/14 hours. took it out of fridge and let it warm up for about 4 hours. Didn't seem to rise much after bringing out of fridge. used Ka Unbleached all purpose and saf instant yease that was just purchased. Measure and took temp readings for all ingreadents. Wasn't exactly pourable kinda had to pull it a little. but came out of bowl very easily. i think it had tripled in size. The largest holes on interior of bread ws maybe 3/16" in dia.

 

thanks so much for your help.

 

John

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

Are you supposed to cover tightly with plastic wrap or just loosely, when you let it ferment?

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

If it's supposed to be pourable would a Round Rattan Brotform work next time for the final proofing?/ What do i know..

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

I don't have that book, but it sounds like you're following the recipe.  KAF AP has a protein content of about 11.8-12%, does that match the flour recommended in the book?

There is a set of pictures, I think it is from Hamelman's Bread, that show the difference in baguette crumb produced solely by the method of baking.  The day I saw that picture it was so compelling that I went immediately to the computer and ordered a good pizza stone.  Bascially, the holes of the bread baked on a hearth stone with plenty of steam were larger than anything else.   Everyone's oven is different, but I cannot get good steam in my oven without a cover over the bread- I bake either in a dutch oven with lid (removing the lid after 15-20 minutes) or on a thick pizza stone with a cover (deep roasting pan) over the bread.

The other thing that can have an effect on hole size is handling- the same dough handled gently vs. vigorously at final shaping can have a pretty big effect (gentle leaves more air in the dough and gives larger holes).  

The thing about stretch-and-folds is that with the high hydration doughs it can be difficult to develop enough gluten, requiring lots of beating/kneading.  All that beating can rob the dough of flavor, so bakers substitute part of the beating with stretch and folds in an attempt to build enough structure without robbing the bread of too much flavor.  All that said, if you go too far in the other direction (too much gluten), the holes will be smaller. 

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

made another biga this morning and left it out to rise. came home to find it had come up and touched the plastic wrap that had covered the bowl and you can see where it has dropped about 2 inches and left a smal amount on bowl. What do you think will it still be OK??

cranbo's picture
cranbo

FYI, recipe can be viewed here in Google Books

Carol's recipe calls for high-gluten flour. KA All Purpose is OK for this, but a high-gluten flour (~14% gluten or higher) would be better. You could try adding some vital wheat gluten to your KA flour. You are depending on gluten to trap gasses and create big bubbles. 

I agree with FlourChild that it could be a handling issue. 

i think it had tripled in size

Be sure that it triples in size; both Carol's and Jason's recipes call for that, it is critical to success. Use a clear container with markings so you can measure the volume change. 

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

How much vital wheat do you think i need to try. i thought tht KA was hig Gluten at about 11.8 Have never seen any with 14%. what would you recomend?/ Or maybe se some european-style flour? I'll look into osme 14% flour and see waht I can come up with as well.

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

thanks just order soem 14%. Makes sense from what I've read, but didn't call for 14%.

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

I'm going ot have to get some clear bowls. I'm sure this latest one tripled before touching plastic wrap and going doen some. the bowls are plastic and don't seem to make contact with plastic wrap well. what do you use glass??

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

re: adding vital wheat gluten to create high-gluten flour, I just worked this out for another recipe, happy to share.  To mix up 500g of flour, use 481g of KAF AP (11.8% protein) and 19g of vital wheat gluten (75% protein) to create 14.2% flour.

re: your biga that tripled, ideally you want to control temps so that you will be using it at the peak, when it has tripled in volume.  A lot of people like the cambro plastic containers for rising doughs because they have straight sides and volume markings that make it easy to see when a dough has reached the correct volume.  But any container marked with the correct volume will do.  

I don't think the plastic wrap had anything to do with your biga falling, that's just what any dough does when past its peak.  Normally a yeast dough is much stronger than plastic wrap and will explode out of a too-small container covered in wrap.

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

So when biga has triples in volume, cover it and put it fridge. Has nothing to do with time. It won't fall down in Fridge?

 

that biga that I just made, it that any good after it has fallen?? i don't think so after reading you reply. thanks for all your help.

 

Boston John

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Firstly the Biga:

The Americanized term "biga" isn't quite true to the original. Although the original isn't actually that specific anyway and in fact in Italy it's just a general term a for pre-ferment. But a true Biga can be considered to be hydrated as low as possible (50% or less). Yeast is always 1% fresh or sometimes a little less and a long (18hrs), cool (16C / 60F optimum), rise.

It's not necessary to measure the volume increase of a Biga it's done when it just starts to flatten. It will be domed for many hours before it does this. It should have a very strong fruity, alcoholic aroma.

Put the Biga in a container large enough to allow for it's full expansion.

Final dough.

While stretching and folding is mainly utilised for building strength it also helps to open up the crumb, especially in wet doughs.

This dough should be fairly slack, doesn't have to be but would be best if you're after a very open crumb. Mix the dough until you get a good window-pane. Stretch and fold the dough during bulk fermentation as it rises, don't deflate (this is key) don't let it rise pass double.

The goal is to have a dough which is strong and resilient enough to hold the trapped gas. And yet extensible enough to form the final slipper shape. There should be no deflation at any point. The trapped gas is what causes the open crumb.

Forget about vital wheat gluten. Ciabatta is supposed to made with medium weak flour that's what the Biga is there for, to provide strength.

Michael

BostonJohn's picture
BostonJohn

thanks Michael, I'm working on it.