The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta with large air pocket

jaws's picture

Ciabatta with large air pocket

I just made two loaves of 75% hydration ciabatta ('King Arthur Flour Rustic Italian Ciabatta' recipe). One came out nicely. The other looked like pita bread, with a giant air pocked under the crust and no inner crumb. These were part of the same batch, so everything should be the same, with the exception of the bad (pita) loaf proofed an additional 25min while the first was baking. Could this additional proofing time cause this (over proofed)? I had read some other posts about lack of gluten development causing similar issues, but that didn't seem to apply here, as the first loaf was fine. Photos of the 'good' and 'bad' loaves. Any suggestions?

ciabatta's picture

My guess is over proofed.  Either case is poor gluten. Either lack of proper gluten development or breakdown of gluten can cause big pockets.  But the spreading out shape suggests over proofed to me. 

Benito's picture

I agree with Ciabatta, they are overproofed with the disconnected upper crust one much more so.  The gluten became broken down and weakened and no longer able to hold in the gases as the proteolytic enzymes broke down the gluten network causing the expanding air pockets to coalesce.  If you have two to bake and can only do one at a time, I would keep the second one in the fridge while the first bakes so it doesn’t continue fermenting and become overproofed.