The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fun with Italian Flour

varda's picture
varda

Fun with Italian Flour

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!  

Comments

rayel's picture
rayel

Nice bread Varda, I am going to read that recipe to get some ideas. I have been preocupied with another no knead ciabatta, one that requires up to 18 hr. ist rise.. I have been wondering how 00 flour would work with that really long ferment. You might have answered my question. I bake mine under a stainless wok cover, with similar results, using all purpose, and have used bread flour. Thanks for the post and nice pictures. I like those blisters. What did you think of the crunchy light texture with that flour? Ray

varda's picture
varda

This formula uses a poolish which is made around 15 hours before mixing the dough.  So that might be a good indicator of how 00 would do in your ciabatta.    As you say the crust comes out thin and crisp and the crumb is light and yet dense enough for a lot of flavor to come through.   It is such a different texture from just about every bread that I've ever made (including the same formula using King Arthur AP) that it seems like a different animal altogether.   But extremely tasty.   The evening I made it, we just gave up on dinner, and went around snacking on bread with creamcheese and bread with honey and bread with bread and so forth.  Anyhow, thanks for your comments. -Varda

rayel's picture
rayel

Hi Varda, you are quite welcome. I just sneaked a peak at your recipe and saw that it is much more complicated than my no knead bread. I should give it a try or I'll never know how much improved the bread might be. The reason I thought 00 flour might not work in long fermentation, is the minimal handling of the flour given by King Arthur on their bag. I think it was for Foccacia. It mentioned how little the flour required in terms of rise time and mixing. Did you cut the recipe down at all? It just seems like nearly 7 1/2 cups flour would have made a monster loaf. I have finished the three lb. bag quite a while ago, Pizza mostly. I am currently waiting for a local store to get it back in stock. They said it was on order last time I checked. I am forwarned regarding cutting back on the water when using it. Thanks for that heads up.  Ray

rayel's picture
rayel

I couldn't resist sending along this try with ciabatta using all purpose. Following are loaf and crumb. Ray

varda's picture
varda

Yours looks like a real ciabatta.   But anyhow, maybe try Hamelman's ciabatta with AP flour, just to get accustomed to his methods.   And then move on to this strange creature 00 flour. 

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Your description of the dough and loaf were delightfully amusing!


Thanks for the grins!


Jay

varda's picture
varda

Well i think baking can be funny.   Especially for someone like me who always gets the urge to hack around, despite my better judgment.  

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Be careful with the Italian flour. It wants to make pizza!


More seriously, I like the KA Italian. It isn't Caputo but I found it is nice and fun to work with.


If you want to really get into batter, try making a 100% hydration focaccia (I use BF)! It has the most amazing crumb I have ever had. The crumb looks about like a pork rind. All air!


Thanks!


Jay

varda's picture
varda

My husband, who is the pizza maker around here, has his eye on my Italian flour, so I suspect that will be the last of it.   Do you have a formula for the 100% focaccia?   Hamelman says to use the ciabatta dough (same one I used) for focaccia, which is 73% hydration (without the extra ounce of water that I threw in which brought it up to 76%).   And this was wet as it was.   So you would just go higher on the water, but use a higher protein flour?  

longhorn's picture
longhorn

I actually used the Reinhart recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice which uses high gluten flour. All I did is increase the water and the mixing time a bit to compensate for the wetter dough. When you pour it in the sheet pan you will think it is a batter (and be sure to have plenty of oil in the pan. You will think it will run to the corners but it doesn't. You still have to poke and shape to get it to fill the corners of the pan. To be honest I prefer 85% range focaccia for its more substantial bite. However, the 100% is worth doing for fun and to see how airy dough can get! It is amazing!


Good luck!


Jay

varda's picture
varda

I will try it.   Thanks!   -Varda

rayel's picture
rayel

I agree, it is a strange mixture of flour, whatever else it is, it hasn't been replicated by me. I purchased a small book that suggested 00 flour for various foccacia recipes, or cake flour. I thought cake flour was a bit extreme, so I mixed King Arthur AP with some King Arthur unbleached cake flour, more of the AP than cake flour, and it wasn't close to 00 flour. I will bite the bullet and purchase some of the 00. One question, do your pictures represent the full Hamelman recipe? It is hard to determine how large the loaf is. Thanks  Ray

varda's picture
varda

I did make the full home recipe for 3.5 pounds.   The previous time I made the ciabatta with poolish, I  cut it up into 4 rectangular loaves and cooked on sheet pans.   But this time, since it was so very wet, and I only have one dutch oven, I just poured the whole thing into the pot and got one huge loaf, which despite how liquid it was still rose and was around 5 inches tall coming out of the oven.