The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA Ciabatta (poolish version) hydration off?

venkitac's picture

BBA Ciabatta (poolish version) hydration off?

Hi, I have a question about the BBA poolish version of ciabatta: it appears to me that the water ratio is quite off in the poolish version. The poolish recipe calls for 107 water (to 100 flour) (page 106),  and final recipe calls for 169 poolish, 100 flour, and 33.3 water. If I do all the math, it turns out that the hydration is just about 66%, which seem far too low. The biga ciabatta version seems much more reasonable at a hydration of like 75-80% or so, which is what I've seen previously.

Is the recipe off? Could it be that the poolish itself needs more than 107% hydration?



flournwater's picture

I found the same problem with PR's BBA Ciabatta.  It turned out "OK", but the dough was not hydrated nearly as much as my usual Ciabatta breads and the crumb was disappointing. 

When I do the math you listed I come up with 70% hydration (200 grams flour to 140 grams water total) but that still is far below what I normally use.

Nevertheless, the bread in his book makes a nice sandwich.

raidar's picture

I baked the poolish version today and found the dough quite dry. I added the 'max' amount of recipe water just to get my dough sticky. I'm no ciabatta expert by any stretch, but the few times I've attempted ciabatta's they seem quite a bit 'wetter'.

flournwater's picture

Raidar, how was the crumb?  Got any images?

pattycakes's picture

Hydration has been off in every one of the BBA recipes I have tried. I still get good bread because I add water, but if I remember correctly (and I'm too lazy to go into the kitchen and look it up), I added 50% more water to the poolish recipe you're referring to...