The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta loaves made from Rose Levy Beranbaums Bread Bible and Bread Board

holds99's picture
holds99

Ciabatta loaves made from Rose Levy Beranbaums Bread Bible and Bread Board

These are ciabatta loaves I made using Rose Levy's Bread Bible recipe.  She doesn't call for "stretch and fold" in her recipe but I did 3 very gentle stretch and folds during proofing, then divided the dough into 4 equal pieces and it seemed to give the loaves better rise and crumb.  The dough is very wet so I very lightly floured the work surface and top of the dough when doing "stretch and fold" (be careful with the amount of flour used to dust the dough or it will leave tell tale lines embedded in the interior of final loaf).  I very lightly dusted with flour before each of the 3 "stretch and fold" procedures (at 30 minute intervals).  Some folks use water on the counter and water on their hands but I found this dough to be so wet that if you use water you destroy some of the air bubbles that is so important for the light airy texture you're trying to achieve.  Anyway, after final proofing I divided and shaped them (her recipe is for 1 loaf, I made 4 loaves) for final proofing on parchment lined baking pans placed, coveded with a large clear rectangular plastic storage bin that accomodates two baking pans containing the 4 loaves.  I think the "stretch and fold" technique helped produce a better, more open crumb in the ciabatta loaves and gave them better oven spring.

 

Ciabatta Loaves No 1Ciabatta Loaves No 1

 

 

Ciabatta Loaves No 2Ciabatta Loaves No 2

I had mentioned previously, in a response to a question re: getting the ciabatta loaves off the work surface and onto a parchment lined pan or baking stone, that I made a bread board using a legal size clip board with the clip hardware removed.  My wife purchased a pair of panty hose for the project and here's a photo of the front side of the bread board with the panty hose stretched over the surface.  It works well with wet dough, as the dough doesn't stick to the nylon.  I moved the loaves from the work surface onto the nylon covered bread board and then onto parchment lined bread pans for final proofing.  This photo below (Bread Board No 1) is the work side of the board, where the loaf is placed on the board.  It is hard to see but the board is covered with the nylon hose.  If you wanted to make a longer bread board (and have an oven that will accomodate longer loaves) you could use thin plywood cut to the size you need and sanded to take of the rough edges after cutting the shape.

 

Bread Board No 1Bread Board No 1

 

The photo below is the back side of the bread board, with the nylon hose tightly pulled across the front side of the board and tied on the back side.  You could, if you wish, tape the back side with packing tape.  I didn't bother and it works fine.  I also use the board for baguettes (up to 18 inches long) and batards, when removing them from the couche and placing them onto parchment lined pans.  During the final 10 minutes of baking they can be removed from the parchment line baking pan(s) and placed directly on the baking stone to finish out the baking phase, if one wishes to use the stone as the preferred method.  After use I let the board dry completely at room temperature, dust off the excess flour and store it in a plastic bag for the next use.

Bread Board No 2Bread Board No 2

Comments

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I find ciabatta one of life's biggest bread challenges and it looks like you've mastered it! Very clever - that nylon covered "bread board". Good job!

Trish

holds99's picture
holds99

Trish,

Thank's for your kind words. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Eli's picture
Eli

Howard,

Those are beautiful!!! I have yet to try Ciabatta; been trying to get the one sourdough recipe down first. Thanks for the helpful tips and those are beautiful loaves.

Eli

holds99's picture
holds99

You're doing it the right way, sticking with one recipe until you "own" the process/recipe.  I've found that that's what works best for me re: learning a particular process/formula; repetition and correcting previous mistakes until you're satified with the results. 

If and when you try Rose Levy's recipe be sure to follow it to the letter.  She really knows what she's doing when it come to making ciabatta.  The only change I made (afer baking it her way for at least a half dozen times) was adding the 3 stretch and folds.  In fact all her recipes, that I've baked, are really great.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Howard. 

I'm going clipboard shopping! I gather you don't have to flour the panty hose or specially treat it in any way. And a wet dough doesn't stick to it at all? Coooool!

 David

holds99's picture
holds99

No, you don't have to dust the nylon covered board or treat it in anyway.  It's particle board, so I took a damp sponge and wiped it good with the sponge (dipped in and squeezed out) with a tiny bit of heavily diluted Dawn liquid soap, very diluted.  Then dried it throughly with a clean, dry dish towel and let it dry completely before putting on the panty hose :-).

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Perfect loaves that look so tasty. Great job. I don't have Rose Levy's books and I'm on a book diet so don't tempt me Howard :)                              weavershouse

holds99's picture
holds99

Don't know if you have Reinhart's BBA but if you do I believe I saw a ciabatta recipe in his book. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Darkstar's picture
Darkstar

I understand the part about the slack dough not sticking to the nylon.  I'm not understanding the way you'd use it to transfer the dough from the work surface to parchment. 

 

Do you slide it under the formed loaves or do you let the dough do the final proof on the nylon?

 

I've got a SuperPeel.  I'm not terribly pleased with how it stretches my formed loaves and pizzas out a tad.  If the nylon works in the same manner without the stretching I'm interested in trying it out.....that is provided I'm understanding how you used the clip-board/nylon piece. 

holds99's picture
holds99

I don't know if this will make complete sense  but here goes...After bulk fermentation the ciabatta dough is empied out of the container onto a heavily foured work surface (see Rose Levy's Bread Bible recipe).  It is then divided and shaped.  After each piece is shaped, the long edge of the board (with the smooth side of nylon surface up) is placed next to the loaf and gently, lifting the loaf up a little off the floured counter, slide the board under the loaf.  When you transfer it to the parchement carefully turn it over/roll it off so that the heavily floured side of the loaf is up.  This is done to keep the heavily floured side up during final proofing to eliminate any flour veins from forming under the loaf.  With Rose Levy's recipe you gently shape the loaf by pressing both sides of the loaf inward when shaping it and that's the reason you want the side that was on the bottom,when it was on the counter, on top when it goes onto the parchment for final proofing. 

I use the board for baguettes and batards.  Just place your board (smooth side up)lengthwise next to loaf where is sits in the couche and flip it onto the board then transfer it to the parchment lined pans, gently rolling it onto the pan, score it and put it into the oven.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Looks great Howard! I have that book and haven't tried many recipes, yet. I really like your board idea.

Jane 

holds99's picture
holds99

Appreciate your kind words.  The board works pretty well for me, especially with high hydration doughs but I also use it for baguettes and batards.  I call them baguettes but they're really not long enough to be true baguettes.  My oven will only handle a half size 18-20 inch "baguette".  I've been keeping up with your and David's exchange re: various techiques and flour.  Very interesting exchange.  I'm learning things from the two of you.  Thanks.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Howard. 

Well, on my way home from the office this evening, I went and bought two legal size clipboards at Office Depot. $3.95 for the pair!  

Things were looking good until I asked the roving salesgeek what aisle the pantyhose were on. After he sputtered for a few seconds, I realized I might didn't look like the pantyhose type to him. I tried to explain that the pantyhose were for my clipboards. He did stop sputtering. I think he stopped breathing.  

Figuring further explanation regarding why my request made perfect sense was not likely going to help matters any, I just paid for the clipboards and left the place. 

I can't wait to try my new flipping board! 

David

holds99's picture
holds99

David,

You got a good price on the clipboards.  Now you know why I had my wife make the pantyhose purchase.  Hope it works for you. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Suntan, Beige..?

Just kidding, Howard! Your Ciabatta looks great! Intrigued by your peel, but first I have to by some cloth for a couche! Thanks

holds99's picture
holds99

I selected biege to subtly accentuate the dazzling brown shade of the Staples clip board...without overpowering it---and beige also tends lend a touch of class and stand out nicely for evening baking activites when friends and guest gather in the kitchen :-) 

Serously, I appreciate your complement, thanks, and good luck with your couche.  As for the couche, Hmmm...I think Yves St. Laurent suggests Windsor Blue or white, depending on the color of the countertop or work surface :-).

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

fraisefatale's picture
fraisefatale

Hi!


I just made this ciabatta recipe for the first time. While the loaf did come out beautifully, I don't have those quintessential holes in the center -- any idea why? Any pointers you can give me would be great!


 


Thanks!