First Time Pain à l'Ancienne Ciabatta (ABE Recipe) Challenges
Last night, I baked a loaf of Ciabatta for the first time. I am using Peter Reinhardt's "Artisan Bread Every Day", and I am fairly new to baking (two three months now, and probably 15 loaves). For those not familiar with the book, it uses a method of mixing the entire dough and retarding, rather than a two stage process.
I made the dough two days ago, and proofed it yesterday on a sheet plan lined with Parchment, and baked it in the convection setting at 425 degrees. The bread came out very tasty, but still needs a lot of improvement.
- The dough was very wet. PR says that this is the highest hydration dough in the book, but I don't know enough by feel yet to know if it was a bit too wet. It was quite difficult to handle. When proofing, it looked like a "blob" rather than a loaf.
- The seam under the loaf was still visible after baking. I guess the seam didn't really pinch. I have not had that issue on any of the other breads I've made.
- I had trouble dividing the dough (I need to get a pastry scraper, I only have a silicone one and that didn't do a good job cutting the dough.)
- I did the "poke" test for proofing, and it seemed to spring back fine
The final loaf ended up looking rather flat, and although it had some air bubbles, didn't look that great. I think that I didn't do the final proofing/handling quite right. I have half the dough still sitting in the fridge, and would like to try and bake it tonight.
Any tips on things I could do better with this very wet dough, especially in shaping and proofing the loaf?
Thanks in advance.