Too chewy ciabatta caused by wet doughs?
Yesterday I baked Mr. Hamelman's Ciabatta with poolish (and added sourdough starter). It turned out to be fine - nice crumb but only one problem: too chewy!
It was so chewy your teeth hurt a little bit if you tore off a piece. And I've been making high hydratation baguettes with the same flour with the same result: too chewy! So I wondered whether this is "usual" for very wet doughs, or I did something wrong?
I suspect 2 things might be the (partial) cause:
- flour - it's "general purpose" flour (also "suiteable for pastry"), no protein content listed - It's difficult to get good "bread flour" here.
- underkneading - I used a lot of stretch & folds and french folding initially as I don't have a mixer and I did take on the challenge to knead it by hand. Of course this means I did not do this for a long time and I also did not bother with a windowpane test. Would this make a huge difference? Is it even possible to achieve something decent without a mixer with wet doughs?
Thanks for any input at all!
See more here: http://www.savesourdough.com/ciabatta-adventure-1/