The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first ciabatta

denimdemon's picture
denimdemon

My first ciabatta

Hello all,


I made my first ciabatta bread yesterday and I'll be honest I don't know if it was made correctly. I have had ciabatta before and as I understand it there are different kinds. The one I made was a biga ciabatta made from a poolish. It just tasted like pizza dough. It had very small pockets of air inside unlike the ciabatta I got at Whole Foods which had larger air pockets. It's reasonably soft, but dense and just not too pleasant to eat by itself. Is this wrong or how it should be? Should I maybe try a different type of ciabatta? I mainly want to use this bread for sandwiches. Thanks.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I've made the recipe Jason's Quick Coccodrillo Ciabatta and it's always good. Big holes and flavourful..makes wonderful sandwiches...

denimdemon's picture
denimdemon

Thanks. I'll try this after I power through my loaf :/

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I agree with jackie. Jason's ciabatta is da bomb! Like a billowy cloud of fresh baked goodness.


Its a little difficult to work with as it is such a high hydration dough but if you get the hang of it it will become one of your favorites.


allan

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

It's not difficult to work with.. I never touch mine!  I saw a great video posted on You Tube - a woman named Jen who made this bread and it's an awesome video.  She uses nothing but two dough scrapers the whole time. 


If you haven't seen this video, it's definitely worth watching.  I just love her Minnesota accent.  I keep thinking she's that cop in Fargo.  LOL


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v24OBsYsR-A

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Just to make a note here - a biga is different than a poolish.  I'm not sure there is anything that exists that is called a Biga Ciabatta made with a poolish.  They are two terms with different meanings and are pre-ferments.  But the biga is made generally without salt and for the express purpose of the formula.  By leaving out the salt you don't have to use as much yeast.  It is usually thicker and there is more flour than water.  You'd have to cut it into chunks to mix into your dough.


A poolish, on the other hand, is made with equal parts flour and water, contains no salt and 25% yeast to flour and less than a biga.  It really is a wet sponge and works will with a Ciabatta recipe, It's quite gloppy and sloppy.  Works nicely with a Ciabatta formula.


One of the main reasons bakers use pre-ferments is for flavor - there are others, but to me, that's the main reason I'd use one.  You don't have to use one if you don't want and you can get a darned good bread without one.  At some stage though, your bread begins to taste a bit bland and I think that naturally we all begin to experiment with pre-ferments just to bring out every nuance of the wheat.


Jason's Ciabatta recipe (found here on TFL) does not use a pre-ferment, but I have used a poolish with it before and found no discernable taste difference.  It's just a really good no knead mix for a ciabatta and a ton of fun to make.  The only thing I don't care for is mine seems a bit too salty, so I cut my salt down to half in my recipe for Jason's ciabatta.


BTW, I never fail to get nice holes and structure to my ciabatta.  I hope you try it, I think you'll have a good time baking it!