Help My Ciabatta! - Shelf Life, Less Chewy Crust, Par Bake?
Fresh Loaf-ers :),
Thank you all so much. Over the last year or so my baking quality has gone through the roof, in large part due to all of your suggestions, experiences, comments, etc... You are all a big part of why I have the confidence to now open my first restaurant (after 20 years of putting it off).
I finally nailed a ciabatta recipe that I really love. Light, airy, shiny crumb with great taste and mouthfeel, but the crust is a bit tough (chewy and hard), and day 2 its much much chewier and hard. I would love to learn how to make the crust a bit thinner as its going to be the primary bread for my sandwiches and dont want someone to struggle taking a bite or have their ingredients fly out the back like air from a whoopy cushion. Even better, I would love to be able to par bake this, freeze or store in a fridge and bring it to life quickly.
My questions, with my recipe below (big disclaimer, I am not using an oven with steam - cant afford it... yet).
Is there a trick to make my crust a little less chewy/hard? Possible to make it thinner? Is that a function of baking time? is it all about storage once its out of the oven and cooled? Modify the recipe for less/more hydration?
Tricks for resurrecting the ciabatta day 2? Day 4 the flavor and crumb of an unopened loaf is still awesome, but the crust is too hard. Par bake? If so, should I aim for a temp or just stop after initial oven spring? Bake thoroughly and after cooled wrap in foil, place in fridge, and then in the oven the next day when ready?
How long should a ciabatta last for good food purposes excluding crostini/croutons/breadcrumbs?
.6 gram yeast
500 grams bread flour
500 grams 73 degree water
(mix and leave overnight - leverage before it falls)
930 grams bread flour
615 grams 105 degree water
10 grams yeast
30 grams kosher salt
1000 grams pre-ferment
Mix well, bulk ferment around 76 degrees (warm temps have helped), 4-5 sets of turns depending on dough/weather, divide, light shape and stretch, couche proof ~1 hour.
Baking at 475 degrees for about 40 min (depends on size, but aiming for smell and good brown crust)