The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Eric Kayser Ciabatta

Provence Breads's picture
Provence Breads

Eric Kayser Ciabatta

Hi All,

Test baking a ciabatta formula that is consistently producing Ciabatta that has an excellent crust, flavor and appearance.

My problem is that I am consistently producing a large air pocket that runs the length of the loaf and is so huge that it's not allowing the crumb to develop properly.  My gut tells me that it's got to be in the proofing but I can't seem to figure out where and why.  Could my dough temp be an issue?  My kitchen runs around 65F and I worry sometimes that my dough my be a tad cold.

The dough feels wonderful at every point in the formula, I can't figure out why the final bake phase is producing this air pocket.

TIA for any advice

Terry

jcking's picture
jcking

Is the loaf flipped over before placing in oven?

Jim

Provence Breads's picture
Provence Breads

The dough is flipped and proofed for an additional 45 mins before loading into the oven.  I considered flipping the loaf after the final proof and loading immediately...please let me know if you think that might solve this problem.

Thanks!

Terry

jcking's picture
jcking

Flip prior to baking makes a difference for me and is recommended by Reinhart and others; very gently.

Jim

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hi Terry,

There may be a dry skin forming on the loaf that can't stretch to accomodate more CO2 during oven spring.  That's the cause of most tunneling (the condition you describe) in my opinion.  When the skin can't stretch, it just gets hard during baking and contracts upon itself during expansion and separates from the crumb.

I keep loaves in a banneton or on a couche AND place them inside a closed plastic bag during proofing when I bake at home.  A dry skin is less likely to form that way.

Also -- during the loading process, I would make certain you hurry and get the steam generated in your oven right after you invert the loaves onto the stone, closing the door immediately.  Anything more than a few seconds in a dry oven can form the same dry skin that's a concern during proofing, and once formed, the dry skin cannot stretch.

If you try what I'm suggesting and that doesn't work, let me know.  There's one other more remote possibility that I've run into before, but I've gotta run right now.

Hope all is well in Nashville,

-- Dan DiMuzio

Provence Breads's picture
Provence Breads

Thanks Dan!

I'm pretty good at keeping the plastic on the loaf until right before loading into the oven.  I've considered slashing the loaf prior to loading as I don't think that will affect the look of the loaf much and might allow the top crust to "exhaust" the heat/steam that is forming inside the loaf. What do you think?

I will test bake again early next week and report my findings.

Thanks and hope you are doing well!

Terry

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Terry,

If you take the proof level too far then the dough structure becomes weakened to the point that it the loaf will collapse internally, and all the air will gather in that one spot as you describe.

You may be better to prove for less time and seek more spring when you load to the oven.

Best wishes

Andy

rjerden's picture
rjerden

I have run into this problem occasionally and find that it occurs most often when I use a high gluten flour and very high hydration (I actually end up with an almost cylindrical ciabatta) or else when I forget to dimple the loaf adequately before the final proof.

Provence Breads's picture
Provence Breads

A ha!  I think that's part of the problem.  I'm using high gluten flour and very high hydration.  Will the dimpling counter act the effects of the high gluten flour?

Thanks!

Terry

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Hi jerden, 

I've never seen/heard of any dimpling of a ciabatta loaf before...it's a flat loaf to start with.  

 

Ray

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

if the loaf has domed "too high" while proofing.  "Too high" isn't described, but he does state that the dimpling serves to level the surface of the loaf so that the loaf thickness is uniform.

Paul

nycbaker11's picture
nycbaker11

Hi Paul, 

 

is this needed prior to proofing or post proofing just before loading the loaves into the oven?  thank you, 

 

Ray

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Just before baking, nycbaker11.  And probably v-e-r-y gently, I would guess.

Paul