The Fresh Loaf

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First Ciabatta Attempt

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rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

First Ciabatta Attempt

Well I made my first ciabatta loaf and it turned out just okay. I got great browning, which I suspect came from the long 24 hour room temp bulk fermentation where it tripled in size, but I didn't get great oven spring and the bread was a bit gummy even after baking it to an internal temp of 209 degrees and allowing to cool completely before slicing. 

The recipe I came up with used 500g KABF, 400 grams of water, 70 grams of Ischia starter, and around two teaspoons of salt. I almost just made this loaf by eye, but knew that if I was going to work with a higher hydration dough than I ever have that I better get everything a bit more precise. After shaping it I allowed it to proof for around 2 1/2 hours and slid it on my stone at 525 on the sheet of parchment that is proofed on. 

Any tips on getting great oven spring though? I loved the color I got, but I will say that I suspect that it may have over fermented and that was why I didn't get great spring in the oven. I guess my yeasties were in the end of their useful like cycle. I also didn't get near as much rise during the 2 1/2 hour proof, and the dough wanted to spread really badly since it was 80% hydration so I propped the sides of the parchment up using two boxes of rice. I do not have a couche or I would've used that.

Maybe it was just my dough though and the kneading method, which was Bertinet's sweet dough technique that he lays forth in that internet video. It took around 5 mins for the dough to come together using that method, and after it had mostly came together it went through 3 SnF every 45 minutes before it was left alone to ferment. The level of gluten looks sufficient, but maybe it wasn't and that resulted in poor spring and spreading, although I thought long fermentation did a lot for gluten development with higher protein flours.

Do you think that the gumminess could have come from the long fermentation or possibly not baked long enough? I didn't time it and I usually dont/ I just keep an eye on the browning and take its temp when it looks right. I am pretty good at estimating when it is done. 

By the way, the flavor was very sour which I like very much in a naturally risen bread. I like to know that I'm not eating a bread made from commercial yeast. Here is a picture of the finished loaf. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

like you did with a 24 ferment in my AZ kitchen, even in the fall, I suspect there would be nothing left to proof except goo.  You might try fermenting it for an hour and half and chuck it in the fridge for 22.5 hours and then bring it out of the fridge and let it sit for 1.5 hours to come to room temp before shaping and final proof.

Sure looks great on the outside though

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

If you want to make a ciabatta using your sourdough starter it would be better to start with a tried and true formula. Go to Wild Yeast Blog and in her list of formulas is one for sourdough ciabatta. It is perfect and the directions are easy to follow. It is best to use other's formulas and ideas for a long time until you have the experience to venture out on your own. Good Luck !  c

rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

Thank you so much, I didn't know that over fermenting could lead to gumminess in a bread, I only thought it was make the loaf denser since it didn't rise much during the proof. 

Thank you for the compliment on the outside of the loaf, if the inside looked as good it would have been great. I do suppose that I need to stick to tried and true formulas. I will say though that my starter absolutely hates being refrigerated. I've only had good luck before with doing room temp ferments, but it has always been with higher amounts of starter. I don't know if the Ischia is inherently poor at cold fermentation or if it's just my starter or fridge, but I can't ever get any rise hardly at all during the proof. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I keep my 80 g of starter in the fridge all the time and refrigerating fgermenting dough for 24 hours and allowing it to final proof at room temperature is a tried and true method for making fine bread that tastes good.  Give it a try and you will see for yourself - always the best way.  Sometime you should leave a loaf in the fridge for 48 hours to ferment - just to see how much better it will be :-)

Happy Baking

rcbaughn's picture
rcbaughn

I've done lots of long fermented doughs using IDY and ADY, as long as 5 days and have had wonderful results on browning and flavor, along with the skin being very extensible and EXTREMELY easy to open. Not slack at all, and no tearing even when stretched so thin as to let light through the middle. 

That said, I have never been able to do so with a starter raised dough. I've always used my Ischia, the only starter I've ever had, and it always comes out slack with no proofing or oven spring. It is frustrating and has proven to be troublesome with both pizza dough and bread. Even with lots of attempts at different proven recipes on pizza, country breads, wheat, and semolina loafs, nothing that has been produced that is stellar. It makes me wonder if my starter has evolved from the original Ischia, or if my fridge is not set right for it. It stays at a constant 38-39 degrees usually, but it will get as high as 40 sometimes if the door is opened multiple times during a meal cooking session. 

That said, can't long room temp ferments with very low amounts of starter create bread that rivals, or exceeds, higher starter percentage cold rise doughs? One of the best home pizza bakers I know, and many of you would probably agree, is Txcraig over at pizzamaking.com with his Acunto WFO. He uses room temp ferments that go for around 24 hours if I'm not wrong and his pizza crusts always come out light, airey, and beautifully leopard spotting. That said, I know pizza crusts don't share the same qualities with most loafs of bread, but it proves that great results can be achieved with room temp ferments. He too has expressed that his Ischia doesn't behave as well at cold ferment temps and that it seems to go against the use of starter in the first place. That kind of makes sense to me, as starter was used in a time when refrigeration wasn't available and ambient room temperature was the only thing available for the rise. Also makes me wonder whether the Ischia strain is not as viable at cold temps, and if others share the same issue. 

Any advice, knowledge, formulas, or tips would be great though. The ability to make cold fermented dough would be great just in the sense of finally being able to pull it off successfully in my kitchen. I may not always use the cold rise method, but I think that a good baker should be able to adapt to any surrounding and have a multitude of abilities at their disposal. But maybe that is my OCD nature kicking in. :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

ADY, flour and water do you use for one of your 5 day room temp ferments?

It sounds like an interesting experiment to do for SD starter.   I can use up to 20g of stater making 200 g of 80% hydration levain over 12 hours in the winter time and kitchen temperatures around 60-65 F.  That 200 g levain would normally go into 800 g of flour and 600 g of water and then developed over a couple of hours.  In the winter time it could possibly ferment and proof 6-8 hours on the counter before needing to go in the oven.  Yeast Water I have gone 12 hours. 

I suppose that if one would us 1 g of SD starter and mix it withe the entire 900 g of flour and 675 g of water and 2% salt (no levain build)  it would take a while for it to be ready to bake,  How long we will have to find out - unless someone has already done this test.

I'm not sure, perhaps someone here knows this too, but yeast only lives about 6 days or so before croaking.  I will take 1 g of starter and try it out on 100 g of flour and 75 g of water, 2 g of salt and see what happens.  Started at 9 AM, 68.2 F kitchen temp and level marked with a rubber band.  Lets see how long it takes to double and make a couple knotted rolls out of it :-)  Here is a pix

 

Exactly 24 hours later the levain had nearly tripled but has not collaped.  Amazing ofr 1 g of starter and 100 g of flour. here is a picture of the top of the levain too.

 I've decided to eventually make some bagels out of this and a lower hydration will slow this train down some too.  Also want to get some whole grains in the mix too.  So we will divide the dough in half and add another 100 g of flour but only 45 g of water to get the hydration down to 60% from 75%.  This should perhaps get us from 24 to 48 hours on the counter.  The temp fell to 70 F this morning from a high yesterday of 81 F in the kitchen yesterday afternoon.

I'm taking this to another separate thread so I don't take over this one and get RC mad at my apprentice:-)  Here is where you can fond it. 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30755/sd-starter-experiment-how-long-can-it-ferment-counter-goo-overtakes-it

 

 

loukas's picture
loukas

When i make ciabatta, i work with a Biga thatstays in a frigde at least 14 hours...I bake them prox. 20 minutes in a woodheated stone oven..