Ciabatta challenge - BBA recipe
There has been some discussion about problems with the BBA ciabatta recipe and not being able to achieve an open crumb. I have tried this recipe 3 times with varying results based on changes I made but was still not able to get the crumb correct. I'm a very new bread baker but this was the first recipe I made about two months ago. Each time it had a very good flavor and I think its worthy of trying to find out if it is a flawed recipe or if those of us who've tried it are making some error.
The first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly, using the poolish version, and the bread looked beautiful but I when I cut into it my heart sank. Very dense crumb. I decided to make it the second time and add a bit more water to see if that was the problem. Nope. It did have slightly more open crumb but still very dense at least for ciabatta. I went on an Internet search and found many posts on various websites noting the same problem. So it must be the recipe, right?
Next, since I'd just purchased the wonderful Maggie Glezer book, Artisan Baking Across America for the Craig Ponsford ciabatta I made that recipe. Great success, gorgeous bread and incredible open crumb. The technique of folding the dough and the general handling of the dough throughout the fermentation was very different and I fell in love with those methods. Ok, so next, not to be stumped, I decided to make the Reinhart recipe again (BBA) but this time using the handling of the dough instructions as in the Glezer/Ponsford ciabatta. I was able to achieve a much more open crumb but only around the outside area of the bread while the interior was still too dense for ciabatta.
So if anyone is interested to try this recipe and see what results are produced it might be fun. I'd love to see if someone can actually solve the puzzle. I am new to this forum and don't see a lot of recipes posted here so I'm not sure how to handle that part. I do have the recipe typed so could someone let me know if I can post it here? If someone has already made this successfully please let me know or if you've made it and also had the same problems, I'd like to know.