The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta

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varda's picture
varda

The other day I stopped into a Whole Foods store in the hope that I could find some white rye.   I couldn't, in fact the person I spoke to had no idea what white rye was.  But there on the shelf were bags of King Arthur Italian Flour.   Wow!   No shipping.   But what to make?   I decided on Ciabatta.   Specifically Hamelman's Ciabatta with Poolish (p. 107 of Bread).   Only after I had mixed everything up did I remember that the Italian Flour bag had a note recommending less water for this flour than others - and I had even accidentally put in around an extra ounce of water.   So it was wet.   I just decided to go with it instead of adding more flour.   It was too wet to take out of the bowl to stretch and fold, so I used the in the bowl method.   Then I decided it was too wet to move it around too much so after the first rise, I poured it (yes poured) into a dutch oven and let it do the second rise there.   Then  baked with the top on for 30 minutes, and the top off for 25.   What did I get?    Well it looks a bit like a three pound muffin.  



with an extremely blistery top:



and the lightest feathery texture I've ever managed to produce.



Yum!  

songwritergirl's picture
songwritergirl


I'm new to the Fresh Loaf website, and a new student of home bread-baking. I want to chronicle my journey on this blog, and I'm definitely after that ultimate taste and texture in creating bread.  


These whole wheat ciabattas aren't my first attempts at baking bread, but they are my favorite flavors and textures so far. They're made with white whole wheat flour, (hard white wheat), using the recipe formula for Whole Wheat Focaccia from "Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads:New techniques, Extraordinary Flavor."


The flavor and crust are excellent, although I was hoping for a little more open and airy crumb. I think next time I'll try using regular whole wheat, (hard red spring wheat), a better thermometer, and either a shorter or longer delayed fermentation in the fridge, depending on how the dough seems to be developing. Once I learn to create my own natural leaven, I may try that with this recipe too.


Here's short list of ingredients and tools that I use:


King Arthur Flours


baking stone


parchment paper


pizza peel


oven thermometer


I'm really enjoying this learning process, and eating the bread I bake is such an immediate and gratifying creative experience. I love the community that sharing food can create, and one of the things I love doing most is sharing an evening with great friends, food and conversation.


And great bread.


 

PeterPiper's picture

Pillow ciabatta

October 20, 2010 - 8:58am -- PeterPiper

I've been playing around with the no-knead ciabatta recipe for a while, and am finding a major problem:  my ciabatta comes out with one giant air pocket.  Last night I made three loaves all from the same 100% hydration recipe.  With the first I stirred the 18-hour proofed batter then poured out one loaf and put it right in the oven.  Here's how that one came out.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...


Sorry for the late update of this post...  This is my attempt at a no knead ciabatta a la Jim Lahey.  It's basically his same ciabatta recipe at 87.5% hydration but with a little more salt, and some improvisations with technique.  I am very happy with my result except that I should have squished them down with my fingertips during the initial stages of the final proof to prevent the cavern that you will see in one of the crumbshots.  This result though is the most aerated crumb that I have ever gotten...  Ever...  I got a 28% water loss after bake...


Recipe:


400g AP


350g Water


10g Kosher Salt


1g ADY


761g Total


Method:


9/23/10


11:07pm - Mix all ingredients in bowl, cover.


11:54pm - Stir again, cover.  Go to bed...


9/24/10


8:15am - Dump dough out onto well floured surface, turn dough, place onto well floured iinen couche, cover and let rest.



8:40am - With a bench knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise, flour more, pull up couche to separate the two loaves, cover and let proof for 1 hr.  Arrange baking stones in oven along with steam pan.  Fill pan with water and lava rocks, Preheat oven to 500F with convection.




9:40am - Turn off convection.  Turn loaves carefully onto floured peel and place them into the oven directly on the stone.  When last loaf is in, pour 1 cup water into steam pan, close door.  Bake for 10 minutes at 450F, no convection.



9:50am - Take out steam pan, close door, bake for another 30 minutes, rotating loaves half way through bake.  Loaves are done when the internal temp reaches 210F, and are about 15% lighter than their pre baked weight...


Note: Here is my kitchen set-up.  I have a gas/convection oven, which vents out.  In NYC, we don't have exhaust systems that exhaust to the outside.  Instead, they exhaust into your face...  Fortunately my stove/oven is near the window.  I have a big fan that I point towards the outside.  When I start preheating the oven, I turn the fan on full blast...



10:10am - Let loaves cool before cutting...  At least 1 hour or so...  Notice the crackly crust, and the slug like shape...



Here are a bunch of crumbshots...




Oops!  That hole is big enough to put a sausage into...



Playing with bread...




Notice the crispy crackly crust...  This was so messy...  But really yummy...



Some more parting crumbshots...  Enjoy!


Tim

Franko's picture
Franko

This past Sunday I was in the book store browsing...where else.. but through the cooking section. One of the books that interested me the most was Richard Bertinet's 'Crust', in particular for some of the unique recipes in it. It also included a DVD of Bertinet demonstrating his techniques for hand mixing and kneading brioche and levain. The book has some very good photography as well and the price was reasonable so I went for it. Mr. Bertinet has been mentioned a fair bit lately on TFL so I was curious to see what I could learn from him. While the book is not particularly technical, primarily being meant for an advanced home baker I think, his methods are that of an expert baker who has a clear and easy style of explaining a formula or procedure.

When I mentioned in a thread on Sunday http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19547/richard-bertinet-wins-major-uk-award that I'd picked up the book a couple of members replied mentioning that they had it as well and thought it was a good one to have, although they both thought the hydration for his Ciabatta formula was too low. I looked at it and didn't think it seemed out of range but decided to try it for myself and see. Now normally I'm not a real stickler for being exact when it comes to scaling water, but going more for the feel of the dough as described by the author or any included photos. This time though I weighed out all the ingredients right to the specified gram and followed his times and oven temps fairly close as well. Of the half dozen or so ciabattas I've made over the last eight months I think this is one of the better ones. It may be partially due to having used a lower protein flour (10%) for this one than I have in the past or maybe because I spent more time developing it by hand than I normally do, but whatever the reason it made a good loaf. The crust is fairly thin and splintery and the crumb while being a bit more open than I prefer, has a good chew to it for an all white bread. The flavour is just what I expect a ciabatta to taste like, wheaty, toasty, with a bit of richness from the extra virgin olive oil coming through. Very tasty!


Franko


 


tinmanfrisbie's picture

Ciabatta not browning, help

September 9, 2010 - 3:33pm -- tinmanfrisbie

So I tried making some ciabatta bread from Peter Reinhart's The Breadmaker's Apprentice.  I had to change a few things but am unsure if these were things that ultimately affected the browning.  Considering it was my first artisan bread that I've tried, it tasted pretty good.  Listed below are some of the deviations I made:


1.  Used active dry yeast instead


2.  Did not have a vegetable oil spray on hand, so I used Pam to coat


3.  Had to use the bottom of a large jelly roll pan to cook the bread on instead of a stone

marlnock's picture

Just started baking and loving it!

September 7, 2010 - 8:56pm -- marlnock

Hi guys,


I'm so glad to have found such an informative, vibrant and very much alive forum like this. 


I'm a student from Adelaide, South Australia and i love to cook in my spare time.  Recently, being a typical student living on a typical student income, i have decided to start baking my own bread.  This is for two reasons, 1. because it's loads cheaper than buying it. and 2. I love the beautiful taste and texture of proper bread that is worthy of decent toppings and that just tastes good on its own.

jcorlando's picture

Rise time for a No-Knead Ciabatta

July 24, 2010 - 12:17pm -- jcorlando

Chefs,


I making a "No Knead Ciabatta" that calls for an 18 hour rise period.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?=?v=YX_612bmvQI


 


It's summer here and I keep my condo fairly warm, about 78F - 80F


I notice that after 18 hours it seems to have risen and then fallen in the bowl about 1/2 an inch.


Any thoughts on how long it too long to lt it rise?


Do I want it to rise to the point that it doesn't start to fall?

wally's picture
wally

With a new baking job I've been overwhelmed to the point of hardly having time to enjoy posts on TFL let alone contribute.  But as the 4th has approached I found a day off to recharge my batteries, revisit some breads I love to bake, and try an experiment in dinner rolls involving ciabatta dough.


First, revisiting old friends - in this case Hamelman's mixed starter pain au levain, and, fougasse. 


Over time I've found that the subtle flavors that are imparted by a mixed starter of my everyday levain and rye levain, combined with a small introduction of whole wheat flour to the final dough, make this pain au levain my go-to bread of choice.  There is noticeable sourness in the baked loaf, yet not so overwhelming that it obscures the other flavors imparted by the mixture of grains and starters.


   


(A little crackly crust for David S here)


.          


Plus, I have to admit, it's just plain fun to be able to use both starters simultaneously in constructing one dough.  Usually I find myself grabbing one or the other starters out of the fridge (now that it's unbearable summer here in D.C.) and staring somewhat ruefully at the one which goes unused.  So Hamelman's mixed starter sourdough not only satisfies my taste buds, but assuages any sense of guilt over favoring one levain over the other.


The fougasse I haven't baked in some time, but I had promised compatriots at my favorite pub that on Saturday I would appear with snacks in hand.  And what better way to share than with a niçoise olive and sea salt fougasse! 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The beautiful leaf shape was shortly admired and much more rapidly dismantled by my fellow pub mates!  I've tried these with a variety of additions - roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and traditional anchovies.  In any incarnation, I find them quickly devoured.  And let's face it, they are a 'fun' bread because of their distinctive shape.


My third bake on Saturday was with a traditional ciabatta dough of 72% hydration.  But instead of creating the usual 1 lb. loaves I decided to cut the dough into 1.5 oz increments and bake dinner rolls with them - ciabattinis as I like to call them. 



The dough makes for a quick and easy dinner roll that can be bagged and frozen once cooled, ready to be pulled out and thawed as needed.  Most of my dinner rolls contain healthy doses of butter, so I find this very simple roll - just flour, water, salt and yeast - to be a nice change and a wonderful sop for any dish that contains oils or juices.


      


The other eventful recent occurrence was a delightful 2-day workshop at King Arthur Flour in mid-June on wood-fired oven baking, taught by Dan Wing who, with Alan Scott, wrote the 'bible' on wfo's - The Bread Builders.  It was an eye-opener for me in that my conceptions of wfo's as mainly pizza makers were thrown out the window as we not only baked wonderful breads, but cooked equally wonderful meals on them. Those who are interested in reading more about my second 'excellent adventure at KAF' can find my recounting here.


Happy baking and Happy 4th of July to all!


Larry

Blue Skies's picture

People asked, so here goes...

June 6, 2010 - 3:48pm -- Blue Skies

I posted over in the Artisan Bread discussion, and people asked that I post photos.  This seems to be the place for that.


These are photos of breads that I've made as well as a couple of photos of the results of a course I took from Carl Shavitz (namely Grissini and Bagels).  Enjoy (I certainly enjoyed eating them)...


3 Challah Buns


3 Challah Buns

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