The baker is living in my ciabatta... :(
I think it's called the "Baker's Bedroom" or the "Baker's Pantry" or some such thing when your loaf has a large open cavity under the top crust, right? Well, I made the biggest, baddest, bedroom (or pantry) you've ever seen today! I made Jason's Cocodrillo Ciabatta ("Quick Ciabatta") last week and 2 of 3 loaves had a good distribution of holes in the crumb, and a nice pattern of large and small holes. One of the three had the "baker's bedroom" syndrome however. This weekend, I made Reinhardt's first Ciabatta recipe, the one without mushrooms, and got the HUGE "baker's bedroom" ...on all three loaves. This was also the first time that I baked on a baking stone, my new fibrament. I got GREAT oven spring too. In the Reinhardt version, the crumb below the big cavity did not have a large number of larger holes and had a more even pattern (of smaller) holes instead. I find this to be more typical of breads made with higher levels of gluten, e.g. bread flour.
Jason's ciabatta was made with all-purpose flour, and the loaves were turned over when shaped (to allow bubbles in the dough to distribute more evenly.) Reinhardt's recipe is made with bread flour, and the loaves are not turned over at any time. From what I understand, the large cavities are created by lots of oven spring combined with the dough not being extensible enough to rise with the spring, and the crust tears away from the rest of the dough as the gases expand. As adjustments for next weekend's attempt, I'm thinking of the following: Shorter proof time, use all-purpose flour rather than bread flour, whole bake at 450 F rather than 5 minutes at 500 F followed by (yeah right) 30 minutes at 450 F, and maybe mist the loave during the final ferment followed by dusting with flour just prior to baking rather than dusting with flour prior to the final ferment. My oven measures accurate temperatures, as verified by a electronic thermometer (with 5 degrees or so) and the bread baked twice as fast as Paul thought it should, and the internal temperature when I thought it looked done was 205 F ...exactly as it should be.
What do all of you think? What might be the problem? What might be the cure? Are my adjustments a good idea?
PS: I thought that the 'quick ciabatta' ala Jason also tasted better than the 2-3 day poolish-based ciabatta out of the Reinhardt book (Crust & Crumb.) BTW, if you request it quick ...I can take photos if you like. Bread doesn't last long around here.