Ciabatta...A high hydration challenge for new bakers
So let's talk ciabatta. The wonderful "Italian Slipper" as it is known. Characterized by large holes and a soft, airy crumb. The high hydration dough can make it extremely difficult to work with and shape. Ciabatta is one of the ultimate challenges for a new baker like me. Yet I was persistent. My first loaf came out of the oven looking AMAZING but had a crumb like store bought sandwich bread and tasted....well...like cardboard. Attempt number two resulted in a decently open crumb and much improved taste, but still lacked what I was searching...no...questing for. Fast forward to when college lets me try for a third time. SUCCESS!!!! Taste was spot on, the holes were almost too big. There is still significant progress to make, but I feel like I'm finally on the right track.
200g bread flour
2tsp instant yeast
500g bread flour
2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. 3 hour autolyse with sponge
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix, let rest for one hour
3. 5 stretch and folds, 30 mins apart
4. Divide and shape
5. Let proof on a baking sheet for 30 mins
6. Preheat oven to 450 with a tray of water on the bottom shelf
7. Bake until golden and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap the bottom (took me about 35 minutes for 3 loaves at the same time).
Let me know if you try this recipe, I'd love to know how it turns out! And see photos below!