The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta

  • Pin It
mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

Ciabatta


Hey all!  


 


This bread is turning out to be my go to bread.  I had a trip to see family on Sunday and decided to bring fresh rustic bread to a classic Italian dinner that evening.  On Thursday I made the biga pre-ferment.


 


for the Biga.


2.5 cups bread flour


teaspoon yeast


8 ounces water


this was allowed to sit at room temp to rise until doubled in size.  I put it in the refrigerator until sunday morning.


 


Sunday morning i woke up, turned on the coffee pot, removed the preferment from the refrigerator and cut it into several small pieces to help take off the chill for about an hour.  


meanwhile i started to add ingredients to my cuisanart for the final dough.


main dough


2 cups of bread flour


1 tsp of salt


2 cups of pre-ferment


about 3/4 cup of buttermilk 


no additional yeast


I realized I did not have additional yeast to add to the dough but I ran with it despite.  I mixed the dry ingredients together and then added the warmed buttermilk.  I mixed for a couple minutes and decided to increase the hydration a little bit by adding about a tsp of water at a time.  I oiled a bowl and scraped the dough into the bowl and covered with plastic wrap and allowed it to rest for a half hour.  After the first 30 minutes I uncovered and proceeded to fold the dough, covered, and repeated another 3 times in 30-minute increments.  The dough rose fine, despite no additional yeast.


 


  I pre-heated the oven to 500 F placed a iron skillet on the low shelf and then started to shape the dough.  I floured the counter and the edge of the bowl so the dough would not stick to the sides as it fell onto the counter.  I divided the dough in two with a sharp knife and liberally dusted the tops with flour.  I wanted a nice airy crumb so I was careful about degassing and working the dough as little as possible.  I shaped each portion of dough into the classic ciabatta shape and let them rest about 10 minutes.  I do not have a bakers stone so I have to make due with baking sheets.  I coated each sheet with corn meal and place one loaf on each pan, covered them with oiled plastic wrap and let them rest another 45 minutes for a final proof. 


 


The loaves went into the oven and I placed a cup of hot water into the skillet and shut the door.  For the first 1:30 I sprayed the oven walls with water in 30 second intervals and then decreased the temp to 450 F.  I baked for 10 minutes and then rotated the loaves for even baking.  The loaves remained in the oven for another 8 minutes, I turned the oven off and cracked the door while the loaves remained inside for about 5 minutes.  The loaves were allowed to cool for about 45 minutes and we had them with dinner that evening.     


My family loved the bread and it was the perfect addition to the dinner we had that evening.  Please leave any comments or suggestions you may have, cheers!



 

breadmantalking's picture
breadmantalking

Your ciabatta looks wonderful. Do you have pics of the interior? I am curious about the 'bubble' structure, if it developed enough CO2? I find it interesting that they came out so well without adding any yeast. I am definitely going to try this.


 


David from:  www.breadmantalking.blogspot.com

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I do have a picture of the crumb which I am having troubles uploading.  I will try again later tonight.  I can say that the dough trapped quite a bit of CO2 for a nice airy crumb.

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21


Here is a picture of the interior.

Cadfael's picture
Cadfael

Your ciabatta loks great!  I've also made it before (recipe from The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making).  During the Christmas season, I enjoy making loaves of Christopsomo, a festive Greek anise-flavored bread.


Happy Holidays!


Nathan Simmons (Cadfael)


4nathan41@gmail.com

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I've never made a loaf of Chrisopsomo but it sounds great with the flavor of anise, are you willing to share a recipe?


 


Happy Holidays


 


-M

Cadfael's picture
Cadfael

M!


I am very happy to share the recipe for Greek Christmas Bread!


It actually is already in the public domain and I never really


changed it during all the years I have been making it (over 30)>


It can be found in the Sunset Book of Breads (which may be out of print).


My 1973 printing is tattered, torn and stained with cooking oil (I think).


So--I will try to find your email address and send it to you--and 


anybody else who wants it. -- gixxerrider21


 


Nathan Simmons, aka Cadfael

dzolotas's picture
dzolotas

Looks great, Bravo !!! Personally I don't like very large holes, yours seems to be just fine. My ciabattas are made from sourdough by the way. Can I ask you, what is the weight of each one, and when you shape it, how thick they are? Are you pressing them down before you bake them?


Happy Holidays


Dimitris


 

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I would have to agree with you.  I do like an airy crumb but I want the bread to have some structure.  I will also be moving into sourdough country soon, my starter may have gone by the wayside recently, forcing me to start it again.  I do not have a weight for you at the moment but I will be making these loaves again for christmas eve tomorrow and will post a weight for you shortly after.  If I had to approximate a weight I would say they are about 24 oz.  I worked the dough as little as possible to keep the C02 trapped and only pressed down bubbles on the surface of the dough.  the loaves were about 1.5" before going to the oven.


Cheers,


-Matthew

jowilchek's picture
jowilchek

You said you added water 1 tsp. at a time...how many tsp. total did you add? I think your bread looks beautiful and sounds delicious...thanks for posting since I am about to tackle my first ciabatta and had not decided on which or whose formula to use until just now...yours!! thanks again.

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I suppose I should thank you after you've tasted your bread and have determined if this was the right choice.  I would make a couple amendments to the recipe I have written above, for the biga pre-ferment i would only add 1/2 tsp of yeast to the starter instead of 1 tsp, and the main dough would benefit from additional yeast 1.5 tsp.  As far as the additional water goes, for ciabatta you can increase your hydration close to 100% of your flour.  However, this being your first ciabatta, I would stay closer to the recipe with about 8 oz of buttermilk or water.  The dough has to be strong enough to withhold stretching and folding so if you decide to add additional water or buttermilk do so sparingly and use your best judgement. Feel free to ask questions if you have them and best luck! let me know how it turns out.


 


-Matthew