The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta, I have failed...

Bart's picture
Bart

Ciabatta, I have failed...

 

Uh, what is this? It is supposed to be Ciabatta. Well, it actually is Ciabatta, so what is the problem? I am not satisfied with the crumb! No large irregular holes, like the way it supposed to be. I am a failure!

Making and working with the super wet dough was fun! But the end result is not too funny! I don't know what went wrong, or what I did wrong. Oh well, actually I do. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I totally forgot to fold the dough after one and two hours during bulk fermentation. I did it after 3 and four hours of fermentation. Maybe that is the culprit.

Well, tomorrow is another day and after a not so great loaf will follow a good one! I am maybe too hard for myself, but I am always after the most perfect result. If anyone has tips, please leave a comment. 

maxamilliankolbe's picture
maxamilliankolbe

Hmm...  looks like a good candidate for ciabatta pizza.  Even if the ciabatta flopped, you can always slice it in half and and sauce, cheese, and pepperoni to it!  It won't be too much of a failure after that!

 

I made Jason's cocodrillo ciabatta a few weeks ago.  My scale is really a shipping scale, so it wasn't very precise with the smaller measurements.  Not to mention it doesn't register with small additions of flour, etc.  It was too wet, so the flavor was a little off.  If I  had any idea of how to help you other than to make probably some killer Ciabatta "French" bread pizza, I'd let you know.  Oh, well.  Better luck next time! 

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

have you tried the ciabatta in this link?

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2984/jasons-quick-coccodrillo-ciabatta-bread

 

it's a great ciabatta for learning.  I add starter, and try to get a little more flavor into it, but that recipe is a good one to get the texture and technique and have some ciabatta success.  I recommend the semolina variation too, you'll probably get a little more ovenspring.

 

what recipe/instructions did you use?

 

 

Bart's picture
Bart

Thanks, will try it next time I make a batch.

I did use the ciabatta with stiff starter from the 'Bread' book by Hamelman.

@maximiliankolbe : thanks for the tip! 

Rg's picture
Rg

Bart,

I also found this KAF on-line class to be useful:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/7512947c75dd4ce76f3a611041c1fe40/miscdocs/baguette-ciabatta.pdf

Maybe it will bring you insight as well.

Rachel

Bart's picture
Bart

Thanks for the info Rachel!

Bart 

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I tried a lot of different ciabatta recipes this summer, and had the most luck with craig ponsford's from Artisan Baking Across America. His formula isn't that different, I think I just "got" his instructions better for some reason. He also advocates a gloopy consistency at the start, so I wasn't afraid to make my dough a LOT wetter than I was getting with the BBA version, etc.

It's a difficult bread, so don't expect it to turn out perfect the first try (I still have good and bad batches). Good thing is, even the bad versions (without the perfect crumb) taste really darn good! So--enjoy the practice! :)

Marty's picture
Marty

We all have our favorite recipes for ciabatta and mine is from "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum. If your local library has the book, you can try it out with no investment. That's what I did.  (I bought the book)

holds99's picture
holds99

I completely concur with Marty's recommendation re: Rose Levy Beranbaum's Ciabatta Recipe in her book Bread Bible.  She uses a biga (Italian poolish/sponge) as a foundation (to develop flavor).  She takes you through the process step by step and if you carefully follow her directions you'll produce a great ciabatta.  I have made Ciabata many times using Rose's recipe and it's a great recipe and relatively easy to execute.  If you haven't had a lot of experience with wet (high hydration) doughs it's going to feel like the dough is too wet and sticky, but that's exactly what you want---wetter is better.  The main thing I would caution you about, when making this type bread, is to handle the dough very, very gently when shaping it to avoid deflating it.  Otherwise you risk losing the large air bubbles in the interior/crumb.  Also, don't forget to use steam in the oven.  She explains how to get sufficient steam using ice cubes on a preheated baking pan placed placed on the rack directly beneath the oven rack where the ciabatta is baked.  As Marty said go to the library or book store and check out her recipe.  One other suggestion would be to order the King Arthur DVD "The Bakers Forum - Artisan Breads with Michael Jubinsky from the King Arthur web site.  In the DVD Mr. Jubinsky demonstrates how to make a baguette which uses a high hydration dough---believe me his demonstration will connect the dots, so to speak, on how to develop and handle these type of high hydration doughs and is is well worth the expenditure.

Good luck,

holds99

Bart's picture
Bart

Thanks for the info! My library does not have the book (I live in Belgium.)

I will put the book on my wish list!  Thanks for the great info and I will check the pics.

 

Kind regards,

Bart

 

sabrina26's picture
sabrina26

I borrowed the DVD from the library but the recipe card was lost and i emailed KA and they were not able to provide me with the same exact recipe. Michael left KA a few years ago.

 

Do u have the recipe that you wouldnt mind posting?

I am new to this site. If you dont have the recipe, do you know where i might be able to request it?

thanks

holds99's picture
holds99

Bart,

I just posted  3 photos of ciabatta (2 bread photos and 1 photo of rolls) on the Gallery, which I made from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible. 

holds99

Lisalovestobake's picture
Lisalovestobake

I had the exact opposite happen to my ciabatta loaves.  They came out full of lovely, large holes, lots of flavor, and great texture, but they deflated in the oven, and were pretty flat.  They rose quite well beforehand, and the transfer from the peel to the baking stone didn't deflate them.  I got the recipe from Epicurious.com, since I didn't have the time to research better ones (I'd never made Ciabatta before, although I'm pretty well versed on starters and bigas).  This is the recipe I used... http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/14976

Could it be the recipe, the atmosphere (it was unseasonably warm that day) or me"?

~Lisa~

Marty's picture
Marty

I use the recipe in "The Bread Bible" but one thing I changed was the final rise. I let the loaf sit for 45 minutes and in she goes. I was getting high loaves with huge pockets near the top crust. Going to 45 minutes cured this for me.

Lisalovestobake's picture
Lisalovestobake

Thanks for your advice, Marty.  I don't have Rose's Bread Bible, but I do have her Cake Bible. LOL  However, I also let mine rise for 45, and they looked great, only to deflate in the oven which has 1) Never happened to me before and 2) Was very strange!  It couldn't have been the sprays of water on the walls of the oven, as I've used this method countless times, and it's supposed to HELP the rise by preventing a crust from forming immediately, not hinder it.  I did get a nice crust, though. *sigh*

 

~Lisa~

Bart's picture
Bart

When the loaf proofs too long you will end up with huge holes near the crust?