The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

9/24/10 - No Knead Ciabatta Slugs...

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

9/24/10 - No Knead Ciabatta Slugs...

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...


400g AP

350g Water

10g Kosher Salt

1g ADY

761g Total



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

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


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!



breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Just wanted to let you all know that I have completed this blog entry with text, photos, and crumbshots!



Chris23's picture

Hi Tim


Love the shots of your beautiful crumb = )

I'm new to bread making and live in Hong Kong. I've been searching for linen couche but to no avail.


May I know where you got yours and how much were they ?

Thank you and Blessings


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks!  You could use the dish towels at Ikea HK... 

I like these ones:


Mebake's picture

Chris, You could use any Rice-dusted kitchen towel, and will work just fine.


Mebake's picture

Tim, i have a question for you. your oven is gas type, right? when you bake with it, where does the primary heat source come from? Top elements or lower? care to explain.?  And for that matter, how does a gas oven contain a convection fan? doesn't that cause the element to flame out?


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

The primary heat source comes from the bottom.  The convection fan is in back.  I only use the convection function to preheat the oven.  I turn it off before I put the loaves in.  I find that convection heats up the stone/oven faster and hotter than without...