The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Community Bake - Ciabatta!!!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Ciabatta!!!

Our latest Community Bake (CB) featured Baguettes and was a hit. Those that actively participated learned to bake baguettes of Artisan Quality. It seems the natural progression from there would be Ciabatta, the Italians answer to the French Baguette. 

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia -
"Ciabatta was first produced in 1982 by Arnaldo Cavallari, who called the bread ciabatta polesana after Polesine, the area he lived in. The recipe was subsequently licensed by Cavallari's company, Molini Adriesi, to bakers in 11 countries by 1999. Cavallari and other bakers in Italy were concerned by the popularity of sandwiches made from baguettes imported from France, which were endangering their businesses, and so set about trying to create an Italian alternative with which to make sandwiches. The recipe for ciabatta came about after several weeks trying variations of traditional bread recipes and consists of a soft, wet dough made with high gluten flour."

IAll bakers of every skill level are invited to participate. Novice bakers are especially welcomed and plenty of assistance will be available for the asking. The Community Bakes are non-competitive events that are designed around the idea of sharing kitchens with like minded bakers around the world, "cyber style". To participate, simply photograph and document your Ciabatta bakes. You are free to use any formula and process you wish. Commercial Yeast, sourdough, or a combination of both are completely acceptable. Once the participants gets active, many bakers will post their formulas and methods. There will be many variations to choose from.

Here is a list of our past CBs. They remain active and are monitored by numerous users that are ready, willing, and able to help if assistance is needed. A quick browse of past CBs will provide an accurate picture of what these events are all about.

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SOMETHING NEW - Since many of the CBs grow quite large, it can become difficult to follow the progress of each individual baker. Things get very spread out. In an attempt to alleviate congestion and consolidate individual baker’s bread post, the following is suggested.

  • Post all bakes in the CB
  • Copy and paste each bake into a dedicated BLOG post
  • Paste all bakes into a single BLOG
  • You may copy and paste the link to your BLOG post in the individual bake post as a reference for those that want to view your progess and evolution.

All participating bakers that consolidate their bakes the a BLO.g post will be linked in the original post for all to see.

 

Links to baker’s BLOGs that have posted a compiled list of bakes for this CB

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If you haven't eaten Ciabatta, you are in for a major surprise. The flavor, texture, and ultra thin crust make any sandwich special. Please join us and post your good, bad, and ugly bakes. Many old timers are probably tired of reading this (It is a personal mantra of mine), BUT... "we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes".

The following formula and process comes from Jeffrey Hamelman's book, " Bread - a baker's book of techniques and recipes". It is also available in Kindle version on Amazon.

NOTE - since the Total Dough Weight in the spreadsheet below was scaled to 1000 grams you can easily change the dough weight by multiplying each ingredient.

For example you decide to bake a 500 gram loaf.
Simply multiply the flour(570) by .5 to get 285. Water 371x.5=185.5 (round to 186).

Let's say you want 1500 grams of Total Dough Weight.
Flour - 570x1.5=855 and Water - 556.5

Does this with each and every ingredient to resize the formula to fit your needs.


*********************************************************

Below is a formula from Michael Wilson.

In Italy Ciabatta is mostly a CY leavened bread and the standard formula as per Giorilli is as follows:

Biga with 80% of the flour:400g bread flour180g water
1.3g Instant Dry Yeast OR 4g fresh cake yeast Rise at 61-64F (16-18C) for 16-18 hrs Final dough:All of the biga
100g flour
220g water5g diastatic malt
10g salt
  • Mix using the bassinage method until silky smooth.
  • Rise in bulk until double, cut pieces, shape dust with plenty of flour and let leaven until ready.

********************************************************************************************

Ciabatta con pasta madre biga *** SEE THIS LINK ***
(SD biga) submitted by Michael Wilson

Biga: 16.5hrs @ ~18°C

300g flour
125g water
30g LM (50% hydration), refreshed twice

Main dough:

75g flour
3.5g diastatic malt
7.5g salt
200g water
15g olive oil 

84.8% total hydration
81% PFF

********************************************************************************************

 

 While that is basically the standard approach, I am conscious that these authentic formulas don't necessarily translate all that well using American flours. With that in mind perhaps Craig Ponsford's formula is most appropriate. I'll see if I can track it down..********************************************************

******* PLEASE READ *******
Some of the Community Bakes get very large with many post. If a user replies to ANY post in the CB they will (by default) receive email notifications for all new replies. If you post a reply and later you find that the notifications to that Topic are more than you would like you can either (1) opt out or (2) recieve replies to your post only. See image below.

Danny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Danny, this will be a good CB I'm sure!

Exciting to see a new one..

I hope you'll post a formula that is Italian in origin, perhaps from Giorilli for example. He is after all responsible for developing what is commonly accepted as the standard formula.

At least tell me there is a biga involved, don't wanna see no poolish haha

Failing that Craig Ponsford's is a worthy American interpretation.


Michael

mwilson's picture
mwilson

?‍♂️

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You rascal, I emailed you a few days ago looking for the 'real deal'. I'd appreciate it if you would either post a formula and process on the CB or email it to me and I'll post it in the original post.

Glad to get input from you. Maybe we can get you to do a Levito Madre version. I am interested to try something of the sort.

UPDATE -
Michael's Biga version is now on the original post above.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I missed that email. I don't get notifications for that address. PM'ing me would have got my attention. I'll reply to your email...

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Wow I was actually thinking I would like this!!! Have tried ciabatta recipe from Maurizio 3 times with varying level of success, and definitely need help figuring it out.

Would appreciate a sourdough recipe tested by the bakers here, or could keep working from Maurizio's formula, but maybe omit Kamut not to waste this flour that is a little more difficult to find.

Surprised this style of bread is so new!

Benito's picture
Benito

Count me in, I’ve always wondered what making a ciabatta would be like so I guess I’ll find out.  But will it be as addictive to make as the baguettes?

Benny

mwilson's picture
mwilson
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Michael, the Giorilla formula specifies, "00 - W 380 P/L 0.55 (in absence of Manitoba) for the preferred flour.

For the Americans, would you pick a flour from this Amazon link? I'd like to be as accurate as possible. If found THIS ONE, but want to be sure before ordering.

You gotta' love the name for the Giorilla formula, "Giorilla Slippers"!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

The "Manitaly Manitoba" flour you linked to is a little weaker according to the W values stated and is not as refined as the one specified in Giorilli's formula. The protein content is worryingly low, however we know from previous discussions that these number are calculated differently compared to UK and EU products. At the end of the day a white flour with good strength should do the trick. Try not to let these very specific technical details, which are more relevant to larger scale production baking, get in the way of making some good bread.

00 is not critical, W indicates overall strength and P/L indicates glutens tenacity vs extensibility ratio.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

It was January 2020 when I last made a ciabatta (first attempt). This CB is timely as I was looking for something challenging. Hamelman also has a formula that uses a stiff biga, so I'll opt for that given Michael's comment :). 

I'm intrigued by the formula's pointed out by Michael and will give one a go in a second bake.

Cheers,

Gavin

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

That the Italian recipe has a 100% hydration. I realize you have been getting some excess water in your part of the world Danny but some may have spilled into this recipe. Hammelman says to lock the back door of the bakery to keep the bakers from from fleeing at a measly 80% hydration. He would need bars on the widows for this one!

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Ciabatta: HGW, 0.1% IDY in cold overnight autolyse @ 60% hydration,  45% BF,  3 x 600g  ciabatta
 PFF       levain hydration       dough hydration      salt      total batch size

27.6%            60%                        79.8%              2.0%    1830 (includes 30g for aliquot jar)

designed for 

462g levain (28g seed + 159g H2O + 275g HGW -5 losses)  +  432g H2O + 200g H2O for bassinage   +    714g HGW + 10g diastatic malt + 1.0g IDY +    20g salt

Process:
 Combine the 714 High gluten flour, 10g diastatic malt, 0.1% IDY (1g)  and 432g cold water and mix for 8 min at speed 0.  Knead a few turns until it is fully smooth and place in a bowl, cover with StretchTite and refrigerate overnight. [60% hydration cold autolyse]

Mix 60% hydration levain from 28g seed, 159g H2O, 275g HGW, ferment 14 hrs overnight in a warm place; should yield 462g levain (planned on 450g after losses - but actually got only 441g because it rose up and stuck to the plastic wrap and at 60% hydration did not come clean from the bowl).  It did lose a little over 2% of the weight of the 275g added flour before it was used which defines a mature starter.

Combine autolysed flour and levain and mix at speed 0 (100 RPM) for (5 + 5 =10) min, adding 20g salt in the last 2 minutes.

Increase speed to 4 (200 RPM) and mix in 2 min increments until gluten is developed,
Then bassinage in 200g of water at ~25g/minute (4 x 2minutes)

Autolysed dough  1151g@~40°F
Add  441g levain mix @0 for 5 min
Incorporate the salt during the last 2 min at speed 0.
59.6° after 5 min at speed 0
65.0° 10 min @0  This just mixes the levain with the autolysed flour/water/yeast/DM, salt
Switch to speed 4
68.8° 2min@4 (+3.8°F/2 min = 1.9°F/min @ speed 4 initially before bassinage)
70.1° 4min@4  started bassinage of 200g H2O
71.1° 6min@4
72.3° 8 min@4  (including bassinage)
73.3° 10 min@4 (finish bassinage of 200 of H2O)
74.4° 12 min@4
75.4° 14 min@4 (+2.1°F in 4 minutes = ~0.5°F/min since it was pretty soupy by then)

Transfer to a bulk fermentation container taking a 30g sample for the aliquot jar and ferment for about 3:15 hrs to a volume increase of ~45%, (55ml on aliquot jar) folding once at 20 min to improve the structure.

Divide into 3 x  ~600g parts, (4” x 16” long and about 1½” thick)
and proof ~2 hr (aliquot jar rose to ~80 ml [133% vol increase]
Flip and finger poke at 2” intervals; transfer to perforated Teflon-coated 1/2-sheets
At 5:30 from start of mix - Bake w/ steam for 10 min @ 500°F, then reverse pans and bake an additional 13 min@430°F w/o steam

Assessment:
At 80% hydration this was a wet dough but handled well.  Needed a few folds at the beginning of BF and one fold at 20 minutes to give it a little more structure. It was probably a little over-proofed, but stood up well to being flipped over and finger stapled before going to the oven.  Probably should reduce the oven temperature and bake for another 7-10 min to get a little thicker crust and dry out the crumb a little bit.  Crust color was good, flavor was good, crust was a little leathery rather than being crisp.

I will be looking for techniques that enable increased hydration and a better metric for terminating bulk fermentation.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, hot out of the gate Doc.  That looks incredible to me.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

This does look great.  Other pictures, please!

Dan gave me a heads up the other day, and so I'm already in prep for my Scott MeGee based version, also as a levain.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

   

mwilson's picture
mwilson

The baked ciabatte look really good Doc!

I see you opted for the finger jabbing prior to baking. I think this is mentioned in Carol Field's book.

I know that it is done to prevent too much height developing during the oven spring.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I first learned about stitching the top and the bottom of the ciabatta together with finger pokes from Nancy Silverton's Breads of La Brea Bakery in 1997.  And it seems like every time I go back to making ciabatta, I quickly re-learn that it is a good thing to do for any loaf above some minimum size.  The Italian restaurant chain Il Fornaio used to bake a ciabatta with a pattern of stitches made with an array of rods that is pressed into the top of the loaf just before oven entry that makes the loaf come out with a relatively flat top.  I don't know if they still do it or not - I always had them include a ciabatta when I would order catered lunches from them.  The technique lets you see the stitches when you slice the loaf.   I suspect that it also helps with uniformity of the end product, and it is a nice visual too.

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Man, even the CRUST has an open structure!!

Good grief, man, you can do that with a sourdough??

Gee, that's something... something else again!... A long bread with a beautiful crumb from a sourdough starter!

I love it... just love it!

Good job!

Murph

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, have I calculated correctly? Are you mixing your dough for 78 minutes?

Your crumb looks luxuriously soft. The texture must be outstanding.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

but my last name today is Buttinski.  I had to take a look for myself, because that just can't be true.  I believe your error was adding up all of the minutes, when the list was just a progression of minute markers - i.e. how many minutes into the entire mix the Doc was at that point in time.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

10 min @ speed 0 in 2 x 5 min intervals

plus

14 min @ speed 4 in 7 x 2 min intervals

xabiermirandona's picture
xabiermirandona

Hi Doc I love how you ciabatta looks and would love to try your recipe let me ask you a few questions about your nomenclature to understand it better my comments are on bold and cursive. If finish all my questions and before you read it I am sorry for so many. I am newbie using all this therminology. I have been baking for more than a year but all this therms I don't know what they are:

 

Ciabatta: HGW (this is high gluten flour?), 0.1% IDY in cold overnight autolyse @ 60% hydration,  45% BF (¿What is BF?),  3 x 600g  ciabatta

 PFF (Whats PFF means?)       levain hydration       dough hydration      salt      total batch size


27.6%                                                60%                        79.8%                 2.0%     1830 (includes 30g for aliquot jar)

Designed for 462g levain (28g seed (¿When you said seed is mother  or sourdoguh levain 100% hydration?)

+ 159g H2O + 275g HGW -5 losses) 

+  432g H2O + 200g H2O for bassinage (¿What is bassinage?) 

+    714g HGW + 10g diastatic malt + 1.0g IDY +    20g salt

Process:
 Combine the 714 High gluten flour, 10g diastatic malt, 0.1% IDY (1g)  and 432g cold water and mix for 8 min at speed 0.  (In a Kitchen aid mixer would be the speed stir?
 

Knead a few turns until it is fully smooth and place in a bowl, cover with StretchTite and refrigerate overnight. [60% hydration cold autolyse] (I usually start at 2:00pm so after all that would be around 2:30 2:45pm, it's ok to bring it out next morningun at 5:00am? around 14:00 hours?)

Mix 60% hydration levain from 28g seed, 159g H2O, 275g HGW, ferment 14 hrs overnight in a warm place; should yield 462g levain (planned on 450g after losses - but actually got only 441g because it rose up and stuck to the plastic wrap and at 60% hydration did not come clean from the bowl).  It did lose a little over 2% of the weight of the 275g added flour before it was used which defines a mature starter. 

(¿So this I should make it also at 2:30pm but let it our of the fridge and use it at 5:00 am when I get my autolyse dough out of the fridge?) Just a note I live in El Salvador, Central America, here temprature are tropical we got high temperatures, so at 2:30 at the kitchen we could be at 28 to 26º Celsius at getting down one degree every hour until 21 around 12:00am and also our hummidity is aound 50 to 60%. I have a wine cooler where I could get 17ºC celcius constantly ¿I don't know if this would match better with your current temps for the levain?)

Combine autolysed flour and levain and mix at speed 0 (100 RPM) for (5 + 5 =10) min, adding 20g salt in the last 2 minutes (¿Why 5+5 and not said only 10 minutes?)

Increase speed to 4 (200 RPM) and mix in 2 min increments until gluten is developed,

 

Then bassinage in 200g of water at ~25g/minute (4 x 2minutes) (¿This is at 0 speed? and also why if I add 25 every minute is 4x2? it should be 4x1?)

 

Thank you in advance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

The bread I am currently making had some commonality with ciabatta. I posted a video to show what I believe a ciabatta should look like at the point of shaping. Keyword; "jiggly".

I shaped it in the letter-fold style typical of a ciabatta and I had to burst many large and persistent bubbles that came to the surface. Keeping them is optional - If I were actually making a ciabatta then I would have.

Bulk, not measured but probably just under double.

Thought I'd share a quick demonstration of what I believe is characteristic of a good ciabatta.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

That is a great demo to set the expectation.  With a ~90% volume increase during bulk, and a jello-like shaped loaf, how much longer can you proof before it is too fragile to transfer to a peel and thence to the oven?  And would you attempt to load it seam down or just leave it as shaped?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Doc.

Due to the way I do things, I never really have to worry about reaching that stage. My lievito madre starter allows me to ferment far beyond where most would dare to go. On top of that I also typically work my doughs to full gluten development, which means my doughs have a lot of strength.

On one occasion when it was too late in the day to bake, my proving dough had reached triple volume. I neglected it and left it there at room temp for another 15hrs before I actually baked it. It was still holding its volume after all that time, still strong! Amazing hey?!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Michael, when you highly develop your dough in the mixer, do you find the flavor of the bread somewhat bland compared to a dough that is less developed?

I am interested to learn.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Yes and no.

It really seems to depend on how I get to that stage of full development.

If I'm lazy and I mix hard and fast, then I definitely lose something, that natural wheat flavour. However, if I take the time to incorporate an autolyse stage (reductive phase) and mix slowly but for a longer time the flavour is clearly superior.

Also, lately I was thinking if there are sufficient yeast cell numbers present then this may help to prevent oxidation of carotenoid pigments since yeast will happily grab up that oxygen.

I have long been aware of this situation and have given much thought to if there can be a positive reconciliation. Full gluten development gives me the texture and importantly the volume I desire, but can I still obtain that while simultaneously retaining the natural wheat colour and flavour? I do think both worlds are possible with minor degrees of give and take.

That's why I like to work with durum wheat because then you really can see with your own eyes the effects of oxidation.

PS. I am saying that a autolysed dough acts as an anti-oxidant in some sense.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mike, is see the dough is resting on a parchment paper. Are you going to invert it or will you bake it with the seam up?

That's one airy dough!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I mean you wouldn't wear your slippers inverted would you?! You must be flipping mad! ??

Sabina's picture
Sabina

For me, these turned out okay. I didn't end up adding all the water, and I think I would leave out even more next time. Also I would proof them right on the pan I was going to bake them on. Moving them around at all was extremely hard for me because they were so goopy. I might bake them longer at a lower temperature too because yeah, I burnt them. They taste pretty good, but they're also too crusty.

Sorry for the poor quality pictures. I should also have proofed them a bit longer, I think, based on the big holes only near the top of the loaf.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Ciabatta can benefit by flipping them over when loading. It helps prevent big holes at the top. A little stretching at same time if necessary. Interesting that you got all of the colors of the rainbow in your bake.

Sabina's picture
Sabina

 I was under the apparently mistaken impression that I was supposed to leave them "face-up", and took great pains to keep them that way. Actually, the one on the left was flipped because I couldn't for the life of me get it onto the pan any other way, and you can tell it has fewer giant bubbles at the top, and is consequently not as over-browned (in my opinion) as the others. It's the bubbles that burnt.

The two loaves on the right were baked after the other two, and I probably baked them longer. So that explains all the different colours!

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

What was the hydration when you quit adding water?  And what kind of flour are you using?

While you can say they are burned, they look just fine.  With a very thin crust and big bubbles, the surface can get overly brown before the crumb is fuly cooked.  And flavor counts (a lot of which comes from crust browning). Looks like they might have been baked in multiple batches since the color seems different from loaf to loaf. Or maybe the oven setup does not expose them all to uniform heating.

Sabina's picture
Sabina

I'm really cheap and I used store-brand unbleached all-purpose flour. (I can't even tell you which store because I don't have the bag anymore, but it would be Walmart or Sobeys.)  Looks like my hydration was 69%, but I didn't measure. I just know I used about half the bassinage water amount (Hamelman formula from the first post). I might have used a bit more. I know that's not really all that high, but I have a really hard time mixing wet dough. I don't have a mixer.

Yes, different bakes. The two loaves on the left were baked first. I'm not good at taking pictures, but all the black parts of the bread are bubbles with air underneath. I'll definitely flip them next time like MTloaf says. The left loaf which was flipped looks much better to me than the others.

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

A lower protein flour such as a generic AP probably won't hold as much water as a stronger bread flour or high gluten flour but that should only effect the upper limit.  Even with hand mixing and AP flour you should be able to fully develop the gluten by mixing it fairly stiff and then adding the additional water slowly via bassinage.

You may have stopped at just the right place but maybe started the bassinage early or did not get to complete gluten development.  Perhaps Michael will teach us how to determine when the gluten is fully developed and how to know the limits of the flour.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

From the archives, one of my earliest blog posts..

Sun-dried Tomato Ciabatta | The Fresh Loaf

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

A very nice blog page too! While searching the Italian master bakers, I Was lured by some nice looking chocolate panettone. Could you recommend a nice recipe for a novice, fly by the seat of his pants baker? 

 Micheal, I am curious as to what draws you to Italian bread? Are you of Italian heritage, or is it the techniques that you are indeared to?

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Will.

A sourdough (lievito madre) recipe? or a yeasted one?

My interest in all things Italian has grown and grown over many years. My grandfather, god rest his soul, was not Italian but he certainly looked Italian. He was short and olive skinned. His mother was not really spoken of so we don't know where she came from originally...

Here he is...

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

As close to the  Olivieri formula as you know. He certainly does look Italian! My Italian influence starts in the Italian catholic schools' mom and dad went to in Tripoli Libya. Then with the start of WW2 The Italian concentration camps in North Italy. Because my family is Maltese (British subjects) they were labeled enemy aliens by the Fascists. Not unlike what the USA did to the Japanese. More than one of my Sicilian friend mothers in Canarsie Brooklyn would tell me how Beautifully my mom spoke Italian! 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

A nearby neighbour of mine grew up in Malta. I have considered going there for a holiday on several occasions. 

In searching for a recipe from Olivieri I found two.., one, an apricot panettone-esque enriched bread and the other, a colomba Pasquale. They are essentially the same and will work for a panettone bake.

Both assume prior knowledge of how to prepare the LM however. From the video you linked we can see that he keeps his LM in water. Let me know if you need some pointers on how to do this...

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

LM fascinates me as I have never used it.  Would love to see your process.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

As many (all) fresh loafers know, Jason makes a way good ciabatta!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I guess the subject says it all.  A second try at the 3 hr. autolyse and some significant improvements in process, as detailed below.  These are a little bigger than my typical ciabatta loaves, and probably could have used a few more minutes in the oven, but they had darkened to the point where I wasn't willing to trade of a burnt crust for any further baking time.

This is a melding of learned methods employed here.  The formula is based on the Scott MeGee ciabatta.  However his version is a direct dough with IDY, pretty much a no-no for me except when making a baguette de tradition.  I've made these before with biga, with varying degrees of hydration, with and without olive oil and even used some of my remaining precious tritordeum flour as well.

What I present is a levain version employing 1) Mr. MeGee's formula framework and 2) his folding method, which I really like.  3) Ciril Hitz' folding over of the dough onto itself before divide, and 4) Brofkraft's 3 hour autolyse as the most recent addition to my toolbox.  There is no olive oil used, rather I reworked the formula to add the oil's 3% hydration to the water.

Correction to the spreadsheet below: now that my mixing method has both improved and decreased in time, there is no need for cold water in the mix. 

 

 

 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

This look amazing. Beautiful colour.

Do you think this would work equally well without the IDY? And do you have fine scales to measure such small amount of IDY? My scale only measures in whole grams... I've been thinking to get some IDY and mix them with some flour to be able to measure small IDY amounts.

Why do you use cold levain?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I have a milligram scale and IDY weighed 0.69g, 0.76g and 0.82g for 1/4t (scraped off, not heaping) for three different 1/4t measuring spoons.  So great justification for getting a small scale to measure small quantities.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you Doc! I understand that a precision scale is required for such small quantities, even for few-gram measurements (I am even slightly wary of measuring 10-20 g amounts of salt for the bread, but haven't actually had any problems). But I actually never needed such small quantities, and only seeing some yeasted recipes thought that there is no way I could actually follow them... I guess that's an advantage of fresh yeast (is it smth like 4x more in weight then? much more measurable), but I am yet to find them here in the UK.

Benito's picture
Benito

I purchased a second scale last year when I found that I wanted to be more precise with measuring diastatic malt and salt.  Now I’m not sure I could live without it especially when baking any IDY recipes.  Go for it Ilya, I picked one up from Amazon and it was quite reasonable.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Benny, I might do that!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I do enjoy a good high precision scale in the lab with 0.0001 g precision :)

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

This scale (300g x/ 0.001g) used to sell for $50 but at $100 is still a very good deal.  I didn't check the UK Amazon site, but it is from China so should be widely available.  It does drift a little over time and temperature, but for instant weights it is excellent (and it comes with a 200g cal weight).  And with a 300g capacity you are not always looking for a lightweight pan.  I usually use a 5.5 oz polypropylene food service cup as a pan.  It will hold 120g of liquid and weighs about 7g dry.

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Ilya i have picked up jewelers scales on ebay for under $20 Australian 

ralphyo's picture
ralphyo

Been reading the entries here and the abbreviations have me puzzled.  Have no idea what IDY, HGW, etc. mean.  Doc's recipe above is unintelligible to me.  Can someone help with the abbreviations please?

meb21's picture
meb21

IDY = Instant dry yeast; BF = bread flour; HGW= high gluten wheat (I'm assuming); PFF = prefermented flour...these are my assumptions. It can get pretty technical for sure. but additive! 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

FF = French Folds same as S&F = Slap & Fold

LF = Letter Fold= same as S&F = Stretch & Fold!

VWG = Vital Wheat Gluten

someone pick it up from here...

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

In the earlier iterations from the formula when it would take a few minutes longer to mix.  If the water and levain weren't cold, the mixing friction on my mixer would rate the temperature to the low 80s dF.  Starting off with a cold levain and cold water alleviated that.  With my current method as in the notes below the formula, the temperature of the mix remains much cooler.

It probably would work well without the IDY, but perhaps boost the levain percentage up to 25% pre fermented flour.  In all iterations of this formula, I've always added that pinch of IDY to ensure that the dough will rise within my anticipated 2 hour BF window.

I bought a scale on Amazon for ~ US$10 that reads down the the hundredths of a gram (0.00)g.  It seems pretty accurate and have been using it for years to scale out the salt and DY.  Of course this isn't the main scale as it only reads up to maybe 500g.

Late Edit.  You can also get away with using measuring spoons in lieu of a scale.  It won't be accurate but should be close.  Conversion table can be found here

thanks, alan

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow another stunner early in the CB.  I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get my first bake in but its great seeing a recipe from you Alan that uses some levain.  I was hoping to make a sourdough ciabatta and have been looking for a recipe, this might be a good way to start.  Thanks for posting your detailed formula as you always do Alan.

Benny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Maurizio has a pure sourdough ciabatta recipe, but I've had varying levels of success with it, never producing a perfect ciabatta... So I am also on a lookout for another sourdough version.

Benito's picture
Benito

I considered his recipe but after your less than stellar review I’m still looking.  Alan’s hybrid might be a good compromise.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

It could just be me. But last time I even tried to retard shaped ciabattas, which seemed to have revolutionized my baguettes, but the results were only OK, I'd say. And one our of four of them inflated like a balloon! Which is quite convenient to stuff for sandwiches, but not what I was looking for :) if someone else tried it, I'd be curious how it worked for them... Reviews on his website seem a little mixed too.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

in modified ways for the past 2-3 years since happening across the Scott MeGee video.  Eventually converting it to levain, which seems to be the only way I do it these days.  Once I got the hang of the shaping there was good consistency to the loaves.

thanks, alan

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Alan -  Well done!  What is your convention for mixing a levain?  I don't find your seed starter quantity or your fermentation time/temp.  And how wide is that piece of flooring that you are using as a transfer peel/bread board? Looks like somewhere between 4 and 5 inches but there is nothing in the photo to use as a reference and there are no standards for the product.

Really nice color and not too much flour on the loaf when it was baked (which I find all too easy to do).  I think I may run a batch using AP flour and see how it turns out.  Will be interesting to see how much temperature rise I get with the spiral mixer and AP flour in a batch of ciabatta.  I like to develop the gluten at a fairly low hydration and put whatever water is left over into the bassinage (which is why I built my levain at 60% instead of 100%).

alfanso's picture
alfanso

in the past I've been capable of a lesser amount.  As in this biga version from 2019...

 

I also neglected to mention that I use King Arthur AP flour.

The hand peel is indeed a piece of cheap-as-they-come laminate flooring, now in service since this journey began about 6 years  ago.  5 1/2 inches wide and cut down from the original strip.

You may not be happy with my levain maintenance and build pattern, as it is all over the board and undisciplined.  I recently refreshed this 100% hydration AP levain from its 4 week old hiatus, so this morning I took 200g straight from the refrigerator and then added 100g each water and flour.  I used the warmest tap water we had to begin warming up the levain.  It came in just short of doubling in ~4 hours.

And that is pretty typical of how I treat my levain, which I've used without a build after as much as 5 weeks unloved against the back wall of my refrigerator, although these days I try to get in 2 or 3 builds just to try and get into the habit.  As the levain had so recently been refreshed, I dispensed with the staged builds and went for the singular instead.

thanks, alan

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I love the look and crumb of these. Interesting process and formula. I'm giving Daniel Leader's version a try tomorrow that uses a cold biga (one hour bench rest then refrigerate overnight). 80% overall dough hydration that has a room BF for 3 to 4 hours. New territory for me. I'll post the results. I noticed you didn't dimple the loaves before final proof..

Cheers,

Gavin.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

a docked (dimpled) version of this bread.  So that is a new concept to me.  I've had more open crumbs before by taking the hydration up a few clicks, but this version is still quite light and airy, so I really don't see the point of trying when this nicely suits the bill.  

My biga version of this is at 40% pre fermented flour. And a sample of it can be seen in my reply to Doc just above this, although that one does have the olive oil as well.

thanks, alan

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I have a quick question for you. This will be the first bread baked in my new oven. I plan on using the standard bake mode. I was wondering if you ever use convection in your bread baking. If so, how would that procedure look? Thanks for your help. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I've never used convection bake mode.

Benito's picture
Benito

I actually use convection quite often as I find it does help promote more even browning.

When I bake in a dutch oven, I always have convection on.

When baking with steam, for example for baguettes, when steam needed convection off.  Once I remove the steaming gear, convection gets turned back on.

Benny

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

well, for certain there is no arguing with your results. Thanks for the tip, I will take it under advisement. For this first bread bake, I think I will stick to normal bake mode. 

 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I do the same. I don't think I get more even browning this way, but it happens quicker. Occasionally I even turn on the grill for a minute or two in the end for properly dark crust!

isand66's picture
isand66

I’m surprised you are counting the oil in your hydration for your formula.  I’ve always been under the impression that oil is not to be counted towards the hydration level of the bread and my BreadStorm program also doesn’t count it towards he hydration.  Not sure it really matters that much anyway.  Potato ?...patato?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ian, I always assumed that oil increased the hydration. But if that is incorrect, I’d like to learn. Always assumed that anything that made the dough more wet should be considered in the hydration.

Can someone clarify and elaborate on this?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Ian,

His text reads that oils at room temperature are "liquifiers", and "as such their weight is included with that of the water when computing dough hydration".  

Other bakers may have their own take on this, pro or con, but this is what the Bread book states.

isand66's picture
isand66

I’m pretty sure The Bakers Guild of America stated that oil should not be considered a liquid.  I will have to see if I can find the article as it was from several years ago.  I know this is an often disputed topic.  I have never found the small amount of oil to impact the hydration either way.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

My last 3 bakes used 3.8% oil. It makes a huge difference in the suppleness of the dough. It is a joy to handle, even at high hydrations.

But does oil make a dough feel wetter? When I consider hydration that is what I consider. It seems probable that even though the oil makes the dough more slack, it is also much less sticky. Therefore, ease of handling.

isand66's picture
isand66

I find adding oil which is a fat does make a more supple and silky dough.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Hello, friends.

I am very happy to be able to join you all in another community bake. My first order of business is to thank Danny and Michael (M.Wilson) for supplying the starting point formulas. I am taking the liberty and sharing the Giorilli formula in the format I like to use. As many of you know from my semolina bread bakes, authentic Italian is right up my alley! Now I am not saying I am an expert all I am saying is, this is an area I like to explore. In addition to the transcribed formula, I have attached a video of chef Giorilli in action. Now back to my pre-bake research. Smile...

Bassinage: is a method that first develops a dough to a rather high gluten-development and then slowly incorporates more water into it. This greatly improves the fresh-keeping and softness of the crumb while not significantly prolonging mixing.

 

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Abel Sierra posted his 45% hydration, 90% biga bake here.  It isn't a ciabatta, but based on the same biga.  If this interests you for reference, then don't overlook Abel's comments below the post.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Panettiere Ezio Marinato!

maestro Ezio Marinato.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Will for taking the time to put Giorilli's formula into an easier to read format and for the added details. This will really help others.

I'm aware this formula may be difficult for a US audience to follow. I'm not sure what flour(s) I should be recommending and depending on that choice increasing the final hydration may be appropriate. The video is a good way to see what one should be aiming for with the final dough.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hi Michael,

Not my place to state what type of flour should shouldn't be used by anyone else, but I've always used AP for ciabatta.  Whether off the supermarket shelf (Gold Medal/Pillsbury) or King Arthur AP with 11.7% protein.  I've also used the KA AP in combination with Tritordeum flour at 50/50 percentages with consistent results. 

If one wants to remain true to the formula as written by Signore Giorilli, no issues by me of course.  

I did want to state that I find plain old AP flour is my go-to flour for ciabatta.  Therefore, it should't be a necessity for one to seek out a high gluten flour to produce a good ciabatta loaf.

alan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Michael recommended Caputo “00” Americana flour to me. It handles long fermentation and high hydrations very well. My breads (using this flour) turned out great, although I have much to learn about shaping the Ciabatta.

It is available in the US through Amazon and is sold by Stan of Brick Oven Baker.

Colin2's picture
Colin2

Thanks very much for posting this method!  I've made a couple of batches, using Graincraft Morbread, and the results are excellent.  Some of the lightest ciabatta I've ever made.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I don't quite get this. The video clearly shows Panettiere Ponsford, adding a low hydration biga to his mix. Yet the formula below the video calls for poolish? 

Panettiere Ponsford-ciabatta

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

This formula uses a rather interesting technique I have never seen before, (I know I should get out more.) The 24hr. biga stats with mixing 1/2 cup water with 1/8th teaspoon of IDY. Then only 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast mixture is used in the biga build. Very interesting indeed! 

Eureka

mwilson's picture
mwilson

That's the one I'm familiar with. Before you found that link I took some snaps from Maggie's book.

Despite what it says the hydration of the pre-ferment (biga) is actually 56%

 

suave's picture
suave

That was a common way to measure very small amounts before 0.01 g range scales became widely avaialble.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Another formula from Italia. Whole grain Ciabatta, with a kick-ass sandwich at the end! 

Ciabatta con Farina Integra

gavinc's picture
gavinc

This Daniel Leader’s recipe from “Local Breads”.

This ciabatta is 80% hydration and was very sticky and a challenge to knead without mixing in too much additional flour. My bench scraper got a real work-out. The biga was prepared the day before and refrigerated after a 1-hour bench rest until the next morning. The biga had doubled in volume and smelled mildly acidic.

I mixed the dough to incorporate the ingredients, then turned out onto the counter to knead for about 15 minutes. The dough was glistening, creamy and extremely elastic. Place on a Couche covered and fermented at 21 to 24 C until inflates x 3, 3 to 4 hours.

At 3 ½ hours dough looked ready and was extremely light and fluffy. I turned the dough out onto the floured countertop. I lifted and stretched the dough onto my peal covered with parchment paper. As I docked the dough with my fingertips, the dough flattened out more than expected and I wondered if I was too aggressive. The loaves were proofed at room temperature for 30 – 40 minutes.

The loaves were baked in a pre-steamed oven at 246 C. I used the parchment to manoeuvre the dough as it was so fragile. Steam for first 10 minutes and baked for about 30 minutes, until light and golden crust.

Lesson learned: I will reduce the BF to 2 1/1 to 3 hours as I felt the dough was a little over-proofed

and caused the partial deflation (I think?). I was also surprised at the amount of IDY and may tinker this down.

Taste test: A very nice nutty-sweet taste with an outer crisp, yet chewy crust. The crumb as not as open as I expected but still nice with irregular small holes. I can't believe that white flour could deliver such a beautiful flavour.

Cheers,

Gavin.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I forgot to include the formula. I recalculated for a 556 g single dough to test the formula. I used a white flour of 12.5% protein. There is 16.5% flour pre-fermented in the biga.

Book Recipe

 

 

Overall Formula

Baker's %

g

White Flour

100

303

Instant Yeast

2

6.05

Water

 

80

242

Salt

 

1.7

5.15

Total Yield

183.7

556

    

Biga

 

 

 

White Flour

100

50

Water

 

65

32

Instant Yeast

2

1.00

Total Yield

167

83

    

Final Dough

 

 

White Flour

 

253

Biga

 

 

83

Water

 

 

210

Salt

 

 

5.15

Instant Yeast

 

5.05

Total

 

 

556

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Gavin, you’re probably right that it was a bit overproofed.  It sounds like the flavour was great so just a bit of tinkering on the yeast and bulk/proof might do the trick.  Seems like a very successful bake though overall.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I've been thinking about the over proofing, especially since I was expecting better volume. I rechecked Leader's formula in the book and his ingredient said "instant yeast". Misleadingly, I assumed that meant instant dry yeast. I thought it was a lot at the time, but not having made this before I just with that amount that I think resulted in a much faster proof that I was prepared. I have never seen fresh yeast referred to as instant yeast before. I will bake this again to confirm my suspicion.  

Cheers,

Gavin.

Benito's picture
Benito

I’ve never heard fresh yeast being called instant yeast either Gavin, but that would make sense as to why your dough got overproofed.  Your next iteration will be better for sure with that adjustment.

Benny

gerhard's picture
gerhard

heard of being called fresh or compressed but never instant. There is something to be said for standardization of terms.

albacore's picture
albacore

I recently was given Leader's "Living Bread" book. I've only tried one recipe so far which is a 41% Emmer recipe. He uses an LM starter, but tops it up with 0.6% IDY. It did not make a good bread; I think the LM was probably "drowned out" by the IDY and the bread lacked flavour and had a dry crumb.

So I will be very careful with his recipes in future; I believe he has modified the so-called "authentic" recipes he has collected, often by increasing the yeast amount because he thinks this will work better for amateur bakers (it could also be for IP reasons!)

As another example, his latest book has a ciabatta with a rye starter, but he also adds 1% IDY to the final dough. This is equivalent to a massive 3% fresh yeast!!!

And to clarify, he refers to the yeast he uses as "dry instant yeast" - no confusion there.

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

See THIS LINK for compilation of all of my Ciabatta bakes.

Bakes 1 & 2 used Hamelman’s Poolish formula listed in the original post. I haven’t baked Ciabatta in a long time and the results bare this out. The breads had a super thin crust and a super soft interior. That suited me to the max. The taste was ok, but I would have liked a much more complex flavor.


The black specks in the image below are black olives. 5% was used but the increase in flavor was disappointing. Chopped green olives, maybe as much as 10%, might have been a better choice. 5% olive oil was added to the second bake. It softened the crumb and enhanced the bread, IMO.

Bake 3 - After the previous two bakes I started exploring the possibilities of using much less CY with an increase in flavor in mind. This lead me to John Kirkwood’s formula that used a small amount of CY in the Poolish only and none in the Final Dough. His Poolish ferment temp & timing didn’t work at all for me. After following his directions to refrigerate the Poolish for 12-14 hours it had not risen at all, so it was left on the counter to mature before mixing into the Final Dough. The bread produced the typical Ciabatta crumb and the flavor had more character, but improvements were needed. To tell you the truth! I like Allan’s crumb better than the typical holey version. See Alan’s crumb shot below.

Bake 3 Images 

Bake 4 - As a former fan of Ciabatta with Poolish, my recent studies revealed that the original Ciabatta used a Biga. It is my understanding that the Poolish is French and the Biga is Italian. With this new knowledge the Biga version became the focus...

A response by Debra on a recent and timely post concerning “ How to make a starter maximized for yeast” taught me that white flour, low hydration, frequent builds, and moderate temps would move my starter in that direction. And so it was, 50% hydration, all white flour, temps in the low 70’s (F), and 3 feeds a day for several days. Not a Lievito Madre, but inching closer. I’ll be leaning on Michael as LM evolution evolves :-)

Michael tells me that a Biga can be either SD or CY, but must be low hydration.  SD was chosen because flavor was the main focus. I had a mature SD Biga and hadn’t found the perfect formula, so Abel’s 90% Biga was adopted and tweaked. The SD Biga used 76% Pre-fermented flour, 75% hydration, and 2.2% salt. The flavor was much more complex and ramped up noticeably (slightest hint of acetic), crust was nice, but not as thin as CY, and the crumb required a little more chew but not much more. IMO, it was a definite hit and will be further refined in the near future.


It is interesting to note that of the 4 bakes this one was the only one that got the “finger polk” treatment. All others rec’d no deflation at all.

Here is the spreadsheet for Bake #4 - Note, the original Giorilli (CY version) was tweaked. See video link for original version.

OH! I also like Alan’s floured “stretch marks” on the crust, so I copied him.

Danny

Doc suggested Ciabatta for the Community Bake. Good Call.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, lot’s of interesting discoveries already.  Dan I too like the look of the stretch marks on the crust in Alan’s and your 4th bake.  They look like bark from a tree trunk and is a really good look.

So did you think that the finger poke (docking) did anything in particular to the crumb?

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Finger Polk - definitely! It seems to hvae more evenly distributed the holes. The dough quickly sprang in the oven and filled in the indents.

The flavor of Bake #4 is special. It is probably my best tasting Ciabatta ever.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

my ciabatta protocol have all been listed in my post above.  

  1. the three S&Fs in the BF tub, decreasingly going from aggressive to gentle, the first immediately after the dough being poured into the BF tub.  Then leaving the BF untouched for the final 40-60 min.  
  2. folding the (un-floured top side of the ) dough over onto itself when first dropped out of tub onto the well floured bench and then squaring it away.  
  3. creating the barrel shape as Scott MeGee does to provide a uniform less amorphous final shape. #s 2&3 ensure that when the loaves are divided, they will shape short enough for #4.
  4. roll the loaves over off the couche and stretch when moving from couche to baking peel.

Your sliced loaves for bakes 3&4, are the best looking and have the final appearance that I strive to achieve.  Rolling the dough over before placing it onto the oven peel, regardless of how the shaping is achieved, seems to ensure that any larger gaping holes typically found at the top of the loaf, are reduced in size and the overall crumb is more uniform.

To us, it is clear that a direct dough without pre-ferment is fairly insipid tasting, and although certainly quick, not worth the personal effort.  I understand that folks love the Jason ciabatta formula because it's easy and does the job, but it holds no interest for me.  The preferment is the key to flavor, and I've latched onto a levain version although I also like the biga version as well.

Nice going and I like seeing the 4 bakes stacked on top of each other for easy visual comparison.  Up up and away! 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Bake 4 looks great and I'm glad you enjoyed the SD Biga version. That's an excellent result considering some bakers struggle with this formula.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mike, “I’ve seen the light”!
Ciabatta cries out for biga...

The flavor is iconic. Nothing (as far as Ciabatta) that I know of compares with the flavor.

Thanks for educating us to “Italian Ciabatta”. Up until now, I was making French Ciabatta <LOL>

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Wow the last bake looks perfect to me! And thank you for sharing the whole story of improvements.

I'd like to replicate the last one as a starting point for pure sourdough ciabatta, could you clarify the formula? Was it 90% prefermented flour in the final dough like in Abel's formula, but the biga itself had 76% of its flour prefermented? Or did you mean 76% flour prefermented in the biga?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, here is the formula.

Total Dough
100% strong flour
75% water
2.2% salt

The biga used 76% of the total flour and the hydration was 50%. The biga was leavened with sourdough only. Commercial yeast was not used in this formula.

I will be setting up a spreadsheet the more closely adheres to Abel’s formula linked above. It will be posted soon.

Let me know if I can help.

Danny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Perfect, thank you Dan! Does this look right, for 1000 g flour? https://fgbc.dk/vhl I like foodgeek's calculator, has useful functions. But doesn't allow 50% hydrated starter, so had to do 51% :)

The only variable you didn't mention was inoculation for the biga, I think.

(edit: fixed hydration to 75%)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, your calculations look correct. Good Luck. Hope you like the bread as much as I do.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Great, thank you, I'll try to set up the biga tomorrow night I think. Just converted the starter to low hydration this evening, and will give another feed tomorrow.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, if low hydration starters are new for you, THIS LINK may provide some useful information.

Actually, the entire post is pertinent for this bread.

I noticed you are making a pretty large batch. I think you’ll find that the keeping qualities of a sd Biga will be much better than CY. And as the breads ages the flavor increases...

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you, I've seen that thread but haven't read in detail yet, will check it out.

I just set it to 1000 g flour total for easier comparison, I wouldn't make such a huge batch when experimenting :) I'll probably make 800 g total for two 400 g ciabattas. But sourdough bread keeps very well, I agree - although I think adding whole grain helps a lot in this regard as well.

texas_loafer's picture
texas_loafer

poolish and 72% overall hydration. 100% bread flour.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ciabatta, cheese, flavored oil, pasta, and wine. I’m hungry...

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Red wine, ciabatta and cheese. Perfect affinities.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Ciabatta with its high hydration allows for the making of some very light weight loaves. I think low density is characteristic of ciabatta. Above 4 cm3/g should be ideal.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

After Will posted Signore Giorilli's formula, I knew it was next up for me.  

Last night I created the 45% hydration biga.  It was a lot of work by hand.  I split up the workload by whisking the water and IDY together then I began adding in the flour a rounded soupspoon full at a time, continuing to whisk until I had to switch to hand mixing on the counter.  When that became too difficult and dry I just covered the work up for an hour to allow the flour to hydrate and then added the remaining 1/3 of the flour.  It was hard to do.  

Into the wine cooler overnight (too warm in the apartment here), which is set for the mid-50dF range, and then out on the counter this morning.  It looks a world different than others I've seen.  Much smoother here than elsewhere.

For the final mix, in went the water and flour, holding back 10% of the water for bassinage.  I cut up the biga into small chunks and began adding them to my Kitchen Aid mix with the dough hook, one at a time.  The biga did not want to play nice!  I had to squish the dough with my hand quite a bit to get it begin to incorporate.  After that it was smooth sailing to get the customary slapping and lifting and dropping of the dough to indicate completion of the mix.

Mixing difference between the levain and biga versions: Levain - room temperature water straight from the faucet and the dough temped at 75.5dF upon completion.  Biga - refrigerator water at ~38dF and the dough temped at 79dF.  This version took much more effort and mixing friction to complete the mix.  Cold water was a necessity.

From here I followed my standard M.O.  By the third fold, 80 min into the 2 hr BF, the dough was really soft and billowy. After the divide and shaping into short barrels, onto the couche to await their fate.  How to keep them shaped without spreading out?  Here's the secret...Press the barrel of a wine bottle against the couche to maintain their shape.

 

A 45 min proof.  These had an extensibility issue.  I couldn't easily extend their shape on the way from couche to peel as I otherwise do. The dough resisted and I wasn't going to get into an argument with it.  So these three ciabattas are shorter than my typical length.  They were also resistant to browning any darker, so I began the final 2 minute venting at the 30 min bake mark.

incredible crust with a soft and light crumb, although looking a little tight.  I can't tell you whether this was more flavorful than the last, as they are both really tasty and clean to the tongue.

Comparing the crumb from levain bake

330g x 3 ciabatta

I'm unsure whether all the work that went into building the biga was worth it, other than to experiment.  Maybe I'll change the biga hydration to something like 65% from 45% to see how that works out.  Regardless, I at least got to experiment with the "original" version.

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Wow Alfonso great minds think alike i just worked out my dough for 1000g and got the biga started this morning and lo and behold turned on the TFL and its exactly what you have done. i too found the Biga resisting quite a bit and settled on leaving it for an hour and then giving it a little more work , which is the stage im at now. I've used some Caputo Classico and some multi grain mix in the biga and will need to go out for another bag of the Caputo later today.

Regards Derek 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I just watched the video link below in Ilya's comment, and it seems like I did it all wrong and why my finished biga looks so different from the others I've seen.  Completely overworked - both the biga ingredients as well as my hands.  As the vide states, the idea is to not create a gluten structure in the biga.  In that case, it is worth another try, and then see how the mixing step goes.

Well, isn't that part of the purpose of the CB?  To gather together a lot of disparate information to better understand a process?

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for sharing your tip of using wine bottles to support the couche on the ends, great tip.

Benny

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Why is the bigga so stiff?  I thought the instructions were to not have any gluten development in the bigga and I don't understand why that should be true either.  My impression is that the bassinage water is held back because if it is incorporated into the dough before the gluten is fully developed, then the gluten does not get developed without a lot more mixing. But I get acceptable results with a 60% hydration levain/bigga that is only 28% of the flour.  There is clearly an upper limit on how much of the flour can be in the bigga and that would appear to be around 80%. And why is that true?  I just do not do well when I am asked to follow instructions that are insufficiently rationalized. I am sure there is a reason, I just don't know what it is.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

After watching Ilya's link below, what you state does seem to be a key factor - avoiding the gluten development.  Apparently all we are looking for in the biga is the long slow development, and to avoid the type of development that I did.  In which case, I am sure to revisit the 45% hydration formula again.

As far as any rationalizations.  My first instinct is to follow a formula without trying to rationalize.  I don't need to always understand the underlying reasons behind something in order to proceed.  Personally I'm okay with that approach - for me.

Now, this may be the authentic biga or ciabatta biga, but that does not mean that I'm stuck on doing it this way going forward.  If that were the case, I'd have to throw out a large part of my baking repertoire.  I bake more for my pleasure and the craft itself, but by no means need I adhere to an original formula - which I almost never do anyway.

And here, as I just stated in the prior comment, is the strength of the CB.  Where we can all gather together to attempt to understand a process and foster improvements with our "herd mentality".

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Some nice looking ciabatte there alan. I commend your efforts wrestling with this but as you are coming to realise this formula can be pulled off more effortlessly with further bakes I am sure.

Danny asked me to contribute an authentic formula but I knew from day one this could present some challenges. Firstly Giorilli's formula is designed with Italian flours in mind. North American (NA) wheat differs to European and Italian wheat in a number of ways, not just protein %. The Biga pre-ferment is often used to gain more strength something NA wheat flour really doesn't need more of. Specifically a biga will help to increase tenacity and allow for elevated hydration in the final dough. And apart from the differences in raw materials there will be I presume a certain unfamiliarity with this formula and process.

I hope you're not too disheartened and will attempt this again soon. A good result nonetheless!


Michael

albacore's picture
albacore

Michael, what you say makes sense, but the thought occurs to me that Italian bakers often recommend Manitoba flour for biga. As I understand it, Manitoba flour normally comes from grain grown in the USA. So aren't we Europeans actually using US flour, at least partially, in our ciabattas?

And maybe if our American baking friends can find the "right" homegrown flour, it could be just perfect for a biga, no?

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

Lance, Manitoba is actually a Canadian province so Manitoba flour should be from Manitoba Canada, unless the name is being used differently than I had always assumed.  However, your point is still true, it should be quite a strong flour with typically high protein like most flour grown here.

albacore's picture
albacore

Although Manitoba is in Canada, I have read that most grain for Manitoba flour is grown in the USA. It's a strange world, isn't it?

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

OK that’s just wrong LOL.

Benny

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

has a picture of the US flag on the front of the package.

http://www.mulinocaputo.it/en/flour/la-linea-professionale/manitoba

I suppose they are using the word as a category or type of flour, not as a place of origin.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Quite right my friend. The Italians simply use the word "Manitoba" to describe flours that are what we might describe as "strong". I don't think there are any regulations on this but I believe the flour must be W350 or higher to be classed as "Manitoba", regardless of what blends or origins of wheat are in the mix.

Italians have long looked up to, and probably dreamed about the wheat that was grown in North America (the continent). Historically, the wheats grown in Italy were very weak, due in-part to overuse of the land causing nutrient depletion.

"Manitoba" symbolises that yearn for strong flour because huge yields of high quality wheat have been and still are grown there.

albacore's picture
albacore

It's interesting to compare the Italians' use of strong flour when available with the situation in France, where the flour is also generally weak, but back in the day the government decreed that all flour had to be made from homegrown wheat.

Lance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Interesting indeed. Our approach here in the UK was to cross-breed English cultivars with Canadian ones, while still importing from Canada for specialist flours, and so it is the case unto to this day.

Can't do much about the climate here though!

albacore's picture
albacore

Pre WW1, the other highly sought after strong flour for British bakers was that made from Hungarian wheat.

Lance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I forgot to mention that another solution to weak flours in France was the wide and accepted use of ascorbic acid.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Indeed the stronger wheat flours available in Italy are cut with North American wheats. And those that are very strong may be wholly North American in origin. The same applies here in the UK. My staple white flour of choice from Marriage's (Essex, UK) is their "superfines", which is a blend of traditional English varieties and some Canadian wheat. It is refined, somewhere between 00 and 0 and strong but balanced, perfect for my purposes.

I digress, to my point, Italian millers produce flours to meet very exact specifications. For nearly all white flours, particularly from common wheat, it is important that they achieve a good balance of tenacity vs extensibility, i.e. P/L = 0.55, or there abouts. During milling they can control flour particles size and pay much attention to the formulation to create a product that meets the spec.

Manitoba flours are often type 0 and use the heart of the grain.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

about a thing or two (close to a R. DeNiro line - This Boy's Life) in the past 6 hours.  Ilya posted a link below for a 45% hydr. biga in the making.  Already mixed it and it will be awaiting a full ciabatta mix tomorrow.  Without this guidance, I'd still be thinking I did it correctly.  

I use King Arthur AP flour at 11.7% protein, and in general as stated somewhere earlier in this CB, I've made consistent ciabatte as above, with supermarket brands, tritordeum, higher hydration. biga, now this 45% version, and my usual go-to - 100% hydr. AP levain.  So the task at hand doesn't faze me, nor does the idea that I might not have the correct flour, I seem to usually make-do with what I have ;-) .  This was a learning lesson, well experienced and now learned!

I like having the experience of making the Giorilli formula, why wouldn't I?  Although as mentioned I will usually go off the rails and take formulae in my own direction anyway.  And as can be well evidenced in both the baguette CB and already developing in this one, there is a lot of group-think and support going on around here.

Thanks for your kind words and support, alan

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Biga video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IzCbv97Tn8

No way my flour would get hydrated so easily! I should have tried it with Italian 00 maybe.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for sharing that video, he makes it look easy.

I haven’t made a biga for my ciabatta, I wanted to see how a 100% hydration levain recipe would work.  I should be baking it later today the dough is in cold retard en bulk and will need some bench final proofing today.

I decided to try Joy Ride Coffee’s formula with a few changes making it all AP flour except for the levain.

Benny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I made a biga yesterday and just mixed the dough. I'll report later how it goes. I find it very tricky to monitor fermentation in 50% hydration starter that I used for more authenticiy, and same for the biga - not much happens over a very long time...

alfanso's picture
alfanso

A demonstration of my own misunderstanding of what a mature 45% hydration biga process is and what the result should be.  Back to the drawing board, or at least the mixing bowl.

alan

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I found it nearly impossible to avoid some gluten development when making a biga with bread flour yesterday. I don't think it's possible with non-Italian flour, maybe only 00 would work like that. Let's hope we figure it out here!

Benito's picture
Benito

That being the case, would making a biga be better by using a lower protein flour?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

That would be my uneducated guess - but also it should withstand a very long fermentation time...

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

That's why I was thinking 00 flour. It can be still relatively high protein, but it works well with lower hydration, and finer particles get hydrated easier. My hypothesis, at least...

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I love Vito Iacopelli - he is fearless about giving you the secrets of how to do whatever he is teaching. And he has tons of useful, interesting YouTube videos that you can watch.  He usually does them in both English and Italian.

The point that Vito makes is that you don't want to develop any gluten in the process of making the biga, and one way to do that is to make sure that there is no "dough" produced in the process.  But 45% hydration does not seem to be part of that spec, just not enough water to make a dough.  And the way he does it is by pouring the water over the flour and just shaking them together until the water is absorbed.  But depending on the flour you are using that might be 43% or 35% or 48% or 55%, just use what it takes.  The remainder of the water needed to make it up to (in his case) 65% hydration is worked in after the biga has fermented (1 hr at room temp then 24 hr @ 4°C).  And the salt is dissolved into the water before the water is bassinaged into the biga, and then a little bit of additional reserved water is added at the end to finish.  And you can mix in the water in by hand or by machine.

The lesson I take away is that you want to preferment all of the flour (at least partially) without developing any gluten when you make the biga.  And then you develop the gluten as you add the salted water to raise the hydration from 45% to 65% (or from wherever you start, up to wherever you finish - 80% in the case of ciabatta).

My suspicion is that 55% might be fine if you are careful not to develop any gluten (which means you have no unabsorbed water when you make the biga - which is probably a fairly wide margin depending on your specific flour).

He uses 0.15% IDY to make the biga and then adds another 0.15% IDY when he adds the salt and bassinages in the remaining water and develops the gluten. And then he ferments it for another hour before dividing.  After dividing and shaping he then lets it ferment for another two hours before he makes pizza out of it.  If he was making ciabatta it would then go to the oven, but the process might be to just shape the ciabatta instead of making pizza balls which would mean perhaps three hours of final fermentation (probably until it is ready depending on the temperature and the yeast and all of the other process steps that determine how long it takes to be ready for the oven).

The same method could no doubt be used to make baguettes [think 100% hydration levain, and a 10hr cold autolyse at 60% hydration with a little IDY (or none)].  There would be almost no gluten developed until you combine the autolysed flour and the levain, then you develop the gluten, ferment the mixed dough for a couple of hours before dividing then 35 min rest before shaping then another hour or so before baking.  Sound familiar? Adjust for the flour you have.

albacore's picture
albacore

I'm probably being picky, but Vito's biga looks farinosa (floury) to me (I'm learning all the Italian jargon!). One of the biga sins, apparently.

More biga resources here and here.

 

Lance

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

See here for all of my Ciabatta CB bakes

I've tried Maurizio's ciabatta recipe before the CB 3 times, and was never satisfied with the result. So was quite keen to sort it out.

I followed Dan's 4th bake recipe. Here is the formula: https://fgbc.dk/vi6

Over two feeds I converted my 100% hydration rye starter into a 50% hydration BF starter. I found it tricky to monitor fermentation in it, since the growth was with such low hydration is not that obvious... So if i am being honest, I couldn't be sure in the strength of the starter, bit just went ahead hoping for the best. I made a ~50% hydration biga in the evening and let it ferment for 13 hours at RT (which is higher than recommended 14-16°C, but overnight it probably got close to that). Here is what it looked like:

Here is what it looked like in the morning when I was about to use it (the whiter parts is where I poked it a bit to see what was going on):

It certainly got much softer, but didn't have a particularly strong smell, slight acidity.

Did some slap&folds, left for 30 min. Did more slap&folds with wet hands/surface, so increased the hydration a bit addiitonally. Left for 30 min.

4x stretch&folds each 30 min mark.

Then 1.5 hrs bulk after that. Dough felt light and puffy, but not bubbly.

Divided in two and shaped into rough tubes, similar to what was shown in a video above.

Here they are on the couche:

Proofed in the fridge for a bit due to life, then took out and proofed for a bit more, until (I think) it was mostly done, and preheated the oven.

Stretched them out when moving to the peel, dimpled with fingers and baked with steam at 250°C on steel. Here made one of the stupidest mistakes and pushed one ciabatta too far and it partially slid off the steel... So the end was hanging off, stretching with heating and eventually burning off, very sad.

Baked for 20 min with steam and further 17 min without.

And here is what I got, not very exciting - you can see the burned end on one of them:

And here is the crumb from the one that I pushed too far:

I'll share if the other one, or the other end of this one, looks different.

Taste is quite nice, the crust is thin and somewhat crispy. But is it even ciabatta? Not very open at all!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Some areas are really quite dense. Maybe I didn't properly mix the biga into the final dough? Or underproofed?

The taste is good though, can taste the sourness. And my girlfriend liked it, actually.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hi Ilya,

Not too surprised that the crumb didn't open.  My understanding is that ciabatta dough must be intensively mixed, creating a very strong gluten network.  The resultant dough coming out of my mixer is very stretchy, wet looking and glistens.  I don't think just a set or two of French Folds will cut it.

Also, and I don't know whether you did this, but the stretch and folds should be increasingly soft and gentle.  By the time that BF terminates, the dough in the container should be quite delicate and for the most part, very different than any other dough we work with.  

I think that 250dC is too hot, maybe drop down to 240 or 235dC.Looking forward to the next bake.  Troopers like you and Benny catch on really quickly.

alan 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks for the comments Alan!

I don't have a mixer, so have to make do with what I can! Should I do like 150x2 Slap & Folds? This dough wasn't super high hydration either, it felt quite developed to me, but maybe ciabatta requires a different level of gluten than usually?

I felt the dough getting more supple, so was more gentle later on. But again, if everything should be really special, maybe I didn't do it right either, I don't know.

OK, I'll drop the temp down a notch next time! With the steel especially, it get a lot of heat into the dough very quickly.

I'll keep working on this. Baguettes got mostly solved after one round of comments from the knowledgeable gurus here, I'm sure the ciabattas will give up eventually!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

about how to do this without a mixer, perhaps a search around TFL and elsewhere will lead you to an answer.  It may be hard to do as it is next to impossible to over-mix a dough with French Folds, but that is pretty close to what (my understanding) we are looking for with a ciabatta.  

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mixing+ciabatta+dough+by+hand

Also Mukgling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BjMBavA4g0 .  She's fabulous and used to post on TFL once in a while.

Benito's picture
Benito

Based on what you know of ciabattas then Alan, do you think that my ciabattas were underdeveloped?  I hand mixed using slap and folds, then lamination and coil folds.  I didn’t feel that the dough was underdeveloped.

I do have a mixer, but I worry about wearing the mechanism prematurely by mixing bread dough intensively, it is only a KA and I’ve read that the plastic gears will wear quickly if using it for bread dough and even moderate speeds.  So I’ve been hesitant to do formulas that seem to require mechanical mixing.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

which may, in reality, not be reality! - 

Underproofed doughs will have weak(er) gluten structure where the overly active yeast, now in a death spiral feeding frenzy will burst through the gluten network and create large caverns throughout the bread while still supporting the outer dimensions of the crust.  

Overproofed dough will have yeast that no longer has food to support its gas producing qualities and the dough may somewhat or completely collapse as the crust gelatinizes, or the crust sets and then there are gaps immediately under it as the dough settles while it bakes.

At least that is my belief as of now.  Here's our "sourdough journey" guy with visuals of under & overproofed loaves explaining it at paint-drying speeds.

My Kitchen Aid mixer is the better part of 40 years old, and likely has metal gears.  The only bread dough I mix in it is for a ciabatta or pan de cristal, so the hydration is pretty high.  I've never had that problem of the more recent KAs having their geas stripped.  So I can't recommend that anyone else necessarily try this, only reporting on what my mixer can do.

Look at Mukgling's process.  PS I think Mukgling is a him and not a her.

Benito's picture
Benito

Prior to the many posting here about biga I had already decided I’d try a non biga ciabatta recipe.  One of the people I follow on YouTube, Joy Ride Coffee has a formula up that I decided to give a go.  I decided to make the ciabatta with a 12% white flour I have left over from an early baguette bake and only used whole grain in the levain.  The levain itself is my usual 100% hydration.

Flour and water mixed and autolyse x 1 hour.

Levain added (8% pre-fermented flour) and given 30 min rest.

Bassinage adding salt and enough water to bring hydration up to 80% and then olive oil added followed by slap and folds x 250. Followed by 1 hour rest

one Lamination then 3 sets of coil folds at 45 min intervals.

Unsure how far to take bulk fermentation I ended it at 25% (probably a mistake) and the dough went into cold retard until the following day.

RT bench rest x 1 hour then divide and shape.  I snapped into a log, uncertain if that is appropriate for a ciabatta.  Rested in the couche seam side up for 1.5 hours until finger poke left a small dent only popping back up slowly and partially.

Baked at 480ºF with steam for 13 mins and then 420ºF convection without steam until golden brown.

One ciabatta split on top, which I wasn’t expecting.  This made me think that they may have been underproofed and I think they were somewhat.

The crust is quite thin and crisp while the crumb has a tender chew compared to most sourdough I make.  The flavour is alright, I think that the Quebec flour at 10% protein has better flavour, it certainly is more yellow in colour.

Here is my wine bottle helper (cheap wine I’ll never drink is good for something finally)

alfanso's picture
alfanso

and curious how you got a consistent barrel shape.  

Underproofed? This webpage from Serious Eats should interest you...

"I shaped into a log, uncertain if that is appropriate for a ciabatta. "  Let's see now.  Do you want hamburger rolls? - if so, it is a terrible shape for a ciabatta.  Do you want sandwich slices? - a good shape although the crumb is, er um, not right and a tad too open ;-) .  Do you want a ciabatta that can be placed into a dinner basket, sliced and ready to dip into olive oil for example? - yes, correct shape.  Do you want to make bruschetta? - again a good shape. ...

A personal taste, I dislike ciabatta that is flatland way wider than tall.  

Ya want open crumb ciabatta?  I'll raise your bid!  from my earliest days 7 years ago...

This example of mine is really not good.  The crust is dandy and the barrel shaping is there already, but the crumb is not desirable in the least.

alan

 

Benito's picture
Benito

I shaped these almost like I pre-shape the baguette dough.  Then 1.5 hour proofing in the couche with your idea of the wine bottle to support one side helped them to their final shape.

I’m really unsure what ciabatta crumb and crust should look like.  Unlike baguettes which I’d eaten many before, I don’t think I’ve even eaten a good ciabatta and even then rarely ate a ciabatta.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

folks, and there ain't nuttin' wrong with that.  I like a really open crumb ciabatta myself.  But as I found out, one can make a fabulous ciabatta with very modest sized holes.  To me, the key to a great ciabatta (as though I'm an expert, not) is the thin crisp crust, and the very light (weight) soft interior with that "classic" ciabatta sweet and clean flavor.

Good luck making a ciabatta for bruschetta with giant open crumb.  You'll be eating the food off your lap!

If you eat a good ciabatta then you'll know that nothing about it is similar to other breads we eat (except maybe for pan de cristal, but that crust shatters when bitten into).

The holes in ciabatta crumb remind me of guitar leads - the space between the notes can be just as important as the notes played.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks again for your helpful feedback Alan.

I will give this a go again with the same formula and push bulk further, I think I ended it too soon.  I’d like the crumb to look less underproofed, some more moderate holes and more evenly distributed without the denser areas is what I’ll strive for.

The crust is good, I really liked how thin and crisp it is.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I have not run this experiment so I would appreciate any guidance that I can get about what to expect.

Suppose I make up a batch of ciabatta dough by whatever means I happen to choose, and divide it into two parts.  One part gets a letter fold and is placed seam side up in a couche, supported by wine bottles or 4x4s or a U-shaped pan, so that it has about a 1:1 aspect ratio while proofing. The other half gets the letter fold and is placed on a couche, again seam up, but is not supported on the sides during proof (allowed to flatten out  driven by gravity and constrained by dough strength).

Both ciabatta are inverted and docked when they are loaded on the pans and baked using the same oven cycle (whether together or sequentially depends on other things but the objective is to give them as close to the same experience in the oven as I can arrange).

Can we predict in advance what the differences will be in the cross section and character of the baked ciabatta and explain why we expect that outcome?

It seems to me that when you invert the supported loaf onto the pan it is immediately exposed to the same forces that were causing the unsupported ciabatta to spread out. And when the oven heats the surface of the dough, the internal thermal environment is only slightly different between the two (depending to some extent on exactly how long it takes to get them from the couche into the oven).  Then once the trapped CO2 begins to expand and the surface begins to set, the ciabatta behaves like a balloon and expands, constrained by the tension in the crust so that it tends to want to form a shape which minimizes the ratio of surface area to volume (spherical or cylindrical depending on the exact shape of the loaf). As it expands, the tendency to split open depends a lot on the thermal and dough properties, but the final height to width ratio could be the same or may be different. 

The question is "should we expect the supported ciabatta to be significantly more barrel-shaped than the one that is unsupported?"

True or false?  And why?

Benito's picture
Benito

I’d think that the ciabatta supported during its time in the couche should be more significantly barrel-shaped than the unsupported one.  I believe that its 3D gluten matrix and distribution of gases has been set in this shape and spent time in this shape so that even with temporary flattening from the transfer, it will “remember” its shape better than the ciabatta that spent no time in a barrel-shape.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

A sample size of three indicates that the diameter of the finished ciabatta is dependent on the circumference of the dough piece that goes into the oven.  There was a small increase in the circumference of each loaf but not a lot (~5-15%) - though the whole batch was mostly lacking in bread-making characteristics and both the supported and unsupported loaves resulted in an un-ciabatta-like crumb (moderately sour and chewy but tasty).  And there remains a fairly long list of "should have"s that will be addressed in the future.

yozzause's picture
yozzause
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Derek, glad you joined in. I think, for a first effort, your bread was a success.

I have become fascinated with the Biga version of Ciabatta. There is lots to learn and I hope this CB becomes a valuable asset in that respect.

My most recent “BigaChib” was a total flop. I will be posting it today. The flop produced a pale bread similar to your. I wonder why this was the case? It looks like the sugars may have been depleted, but I have no proof that this is the case.

I imagine your bread taste great! Even my flop tasted great, although the texture was unpleasant and chewy.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

starting gate.  Nice open crumb too.  The handful of times that I previously used a biga it was at a hydration quite a bit more manageable than this, presumably authentic, version.  So this was probably not the best hydration to start off at.   And with that written, any other biga with a higher hydration than this should be a cinch!

alan

Benito's picture
Benito

Super crumb Derek, amazing job.  The crust looks nice and thin as well.  Are you pleased with the flavour?

yozzause's picture
yozzause

 Benny the aroma was quite outstanding and the flavour was very good too i got my cousin to come and pick one up for tea and appraisal and they thought it was wonderful. I will do this again but will use the Italian Caputo Classico flour only next bake to see if the aroma is from the caputo or the multigrain. For a dough that didnt go quite to plan  it was very good. my previous post wouldnt allow an edit and came up with lots of code numbers for the pictures and omitted the picture i took of the biga after 24 hours so i will see if i can add it here

 

regards Derek

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Derek, I sent Michael a list of Italian flours available in the US. He chose Caputo 00 Americana.

Stan of Brick Oven Baker sells it on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Mulino-Caputo-Americana-Flour-BrickOvenBaker/dp/B088X3T87B/ref=sr_1_7?crid=1CE1B9GYXM0P9&dchild=1&keywords=caputo%2Bamericana%2Bflour&sprefix=Caputo%2BAmericana%2Caps%2C184&sr=8-7&th=1

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

This time I made the biga as "it should be".  Generally content with the results, but I'm unconvinced that this is any better, or perhaps even as good as my levain version.   Which is not to place a negative marker on this version.  Even if I have accurately produced this ciabatta, sometimes a more recent or updated version can be better.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and the taste of the diner!

This time I have a video of the process which is now uploaded to YouTube and embedded below.  Hopefully, someone will prosper from watching it and perhaps it will clarify the steps with a visual, and not just words on the screen.

The video is 9 minutes long...

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautiful ciabattas Alan, love the crumb and crust.  Great video too which reminds me that I didn’t give my ciabattas the tug to stretch them after shaping, duh.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

the Giorilli bakes, have been educational and leads to some new knowledge and experience.  Not all that much my personal cup of tea, but now understanding the difference between the first and second bakes is important.

thanks, alan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks for posting the video. The handling portion of the proofed dough was very interesting.

Nice looking bread!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

the ciabatta on the move from couche to baking peel.  But now I seem to have a system in place from divide right through to bake.  

thanks, alan 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks. I liked the shaping, final proof and loading sections as it confirmed what I need to do in my next attempt.

Cheers,

Gavin

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

my reference .  However, I am confounded at the billowy and "dry" nature of his dough at the same hydration.  The steps were actually pretty easy to accomplish and I don't think it took me more than one time to get a feel for it.

alan

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I am about to go home from work and have a 50% hydration starter waiting to be used for the biga. But I am still debating what flour to try. With bread flour. hydrating it was a lot of work, and there certainly was some gluten development involved. I have some low protein 00 flour. I suspect 00 flour is good for biga, but I am also wary of overfermenting it. Should I mix 00 with BF? Or us 00 for the biga, but BF for the rest of the flour, perhaps? Would appreciate any thoughts.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, the flour Michael recommended I try (USA) was Caputo 00 Americana. It has ~14.5% protein. You may be interested in Kristen’s (of Full Proof Baking) article on LM & PM. I found it informative and it’s in English.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Wonderful Dan, thanks for finding and sharing Kristen’s information.  I’ll read it with great interest, but I doubt I’ll be able to use a low hydration Pasta Madre given the cool conditions needed (I don’t live in a house with a cold room) and need for a powerful mixer.  

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Dan!

I can easily get some "regular" strength 00 with ~12% protein, but not sure where to find that one, probably would have to order online. But for now I think I'll try to make the biga with weak 00 flour, and then add bread flour for the final dough. I think this might work well. And I am not doing a super high hydration, so maybe that will work out well...

And thanks for the link, looks very useful!

albacore's picture
albacore

Ilya, I think you might have your strengths back to front. The biga should always be made with strong flour and a weaker flour can be used in the main dough.

This is because the strong flour is needed for the long biga fermentation which will degrade the gluten and more so with a levain/LM fermentation where acid and proteolysis also come into play.

But, hey! give it a try - it might work fine.

Other possibilities to give the biga flour an easier time:

  • add 1% salt
  • ferment at 16C, not 18C
  • Reduce biga time to 12hrs, not 18
  • Keep PFF at 50%, so you have plenty of undegraded flour in the final mix.

Lance

 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Hi Lance,

Ooops I see. I am afraid it's too late, I have just made the biga. You don't think added strength from the bread flour in the end will be sufficient?

It was so much easier this time. I used the technique from the video above, just sort of shaking the vessel with flour and water, and it just worked! I just scraped the bowl once to unstick some flour, and in the end I got grain-like biga with no free flour. I don't know if 00 or low protein is important though.

The only complication is dissolving the stiff starter. It's really tricky, takes a few minutes and some work. I actually realized I didn't do it properly at first, and decided to increase the final volume a bit: dissolved a little starter in water really thoroughly, added to the biga and tried to hydrate a little more with that mix, and then added more flour to compensate for increased hydration. So maybe there is still some flour with little to no access to the starter, and it'll keep its gluten intact, might help me too, haha. Grasping at straws here.

I'll ferment it at cool room temperature for a bit, and then will put in the fridge I think. No way to maintain 16°C.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Biga: 16.5hrs @ ~18°C

300g flour
125g water
30g LM (50% hydration), refreshed twice

Main dough:

75g flour
3.5g diastatic malt
7.5g salt
200g water
15g olive oil 

84.8% total hydration
81% PFF

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

An aerial lamination with a coil fold landing! Full marks from the judges! 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

? Thanks Don.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

with relish!  But still in need of he burger itself!

alan

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Michael - is that a little oil you put on your fingers at the beginning to keep the dough from sticking?

Beautiful dough and impressive shaping. I can watch that repeat for a long time, there is a rhythm to it that just shouts "artist at work".

mwilson's picture
mwilson

That truly means a lot, very much appreciated Doc, I'm glad you like the video.

I'm using just a little water there to help prevent my hands from sticking to the dough. The work surface is dry however.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Thanks Michael.  Water would have been my choice, so I had to ask.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Enough for two loaves the above dough as per the video (~740g) was allowed to bulk rise in a lightly oiled container until properly doubled in size. One fold was performed after 30 minutes. After around two hours at 28°C the very puffy dough was turned out onto a heavily floured surface.

This was then divided in two, circa 370g each, and each piece was shaped letter fold style. Many large bubbles revealed themselves. This was very enjoyable to do, like shaping clouds, the elasticity was perfect, not overly slack nor too strong.

The dough pieces already very puffy were then allowed to double in volume again. This level of volume increase will likely be far greater than many are used to. Approximating, the total volume of space occupied by the doughs combined is greater than 3x (300%) that of the mixed dough.

Proved and ready to bake.

I don't use a couche and I don't flip my doughs, and too I have missed out that characteristic streaky floured crust.

Normally, due to my setup I can only bake one loaf at a time. However, this time I have loaded one loaf on a cast iron stone and the other directly on the shelf above.

Again approximating, the baked loaves have a specific volume greater than 5. The one baked on the stone had a better and greater oven spring. The other got a bit charred being close to the oven element.

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautiful ciabattas Michael, remind me are you using commercial yeast for your biga?  The dough does look like a cumulonimbus cloud.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Benny, these are naturally leavened, seeded with my lievito madre starter. I haven't used commercial yeast in years. LM all the way!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Even if you have to go back to your grandfather's picture for inspiration!  The shaping is great and even the loaf that baked on the open rack came out with a consistent look and coloration.  Nice and dark, just as I prefer.

Love the description"like shaping clouds"!  Ditto.

alan

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I really appreciate your words, I am unable to fully express the gratitude I feel.


Michael

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

See THIS LINK for compilation of all of my Ciabatta bakes.

A couple of days ago I decide to re-make Bake #4 (Georilli - 50% sd biga version). The first one was a smashing success and I had to be sure that this could be replicated. To my surprise this turned out completely horrible. I knew when the final mix was taking place that the gluten was wrecked. But, great news! After mulling this failure over in my brain for ~48 hr the light came on. The flop became a precious treasure because I learned something new. The reason the biga is mixed in such a way as to NOT form gluten, is because IF the gluten is formed up front the dough is highly susceptible to degradation. Not sure how/why the first attempt turned out so well, but I know now why the second bake failed to the max. Note - the second attempt used 9% more PFF. Check out these images.

The image below was taken after the dough was removed the mixer. While mixing it was evident that the gluten was shot. Additional flour was added, intense kneading applied, nothing could resurrect the pockmarked dough.

Image below shows dough at shaping, what a complete mess!

It was obvious before this dough hit the oven that it was unable to rise.

BUT, the bread tasted outstanding, although the texture was horrible.

I am pretty confident that the reason a long fermented dough using a sourdough culture, made with 85% Pre-Fermented Flour should not have the gluten developed during the biga mix is to protect the gluten form irreparable damage.

Maybe this experience will help others.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I had the same thought: can gluten be degraded, if it's not developed? I hope you are right, and found the right answer to your problem! Then I have hope for my low protein biga, pretty sure I didn't develop any gluten at all when making it.

Sorry about your ciabattas, but if they taste great that's a success in my book!

Benito's picture
Benito

That does make sense Dan, as we always say around here, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes.  If we’re lucky, we just get to learn from others’ failures.  ?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

 

The reason the biga is mixed in such a way as to NOT form gluten, is because IF the gluten is formed up front the dough is highly susceptible to degradation.

Sorry Danny, but that is not right.

I know now where this oft repeated error stems... I heard J. Hamelman say this in a video. Unfortunately, he got this one wrong. A more developed gluten is actually less susceptible to degradation. I'm sure Mr. Hamelman was trying to make a point but taken verbatim it is inaccurate.

The problem you are seeing is to do with acidity and the effect of coagulation on the gluten proteins.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I did give the LM a sugar wash today. The flopped bake tasted very acidic and the first attempt was not. They tasted very different, and I never considered that.

Michael, what is happening in the case of over mixed and oxidized dough? Why does it break down?

Thanks for the correction. We are fortunate to have someone that is technically trained and willing to share. Keep it coming...

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Being described as "over mixed" could mean a number of things, the words alone just mean to exceed a certain desired point during mixing.

Specifically if ones means the degradation of the gluten network then that is depolymerisation. An excessive amount of prolonged energy input has resulted in the breaking of the gluten mesh. This is near impossible to do by hand.

Not "oxidised" but "over-oxidised" since this is not a binary thing. There are many flour components that have the potential to be oxidised. And imparting some degree of oxidation is actually a good thing especially for the gluten network.

So, it is important to note that these are different concepts.

Over-oxidised doughs can be stripped of their inherent wheat flavours and this is usually accompanied by a bleaching effect. In the extreme, over-oxidised doughs can be a horrendously impossible to work with, chalky dry to the touch, very bright white, and will never develop and smooth network, always tearing, even during rising. The effect can be described as "bucky".

Depolymerisation however creates a sticky mess that has no elasticity. The dough will literally stick to everything and if let to rise will barely rise at all. This is mechanically induced proteolysis.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I can't comment on specifically why the gluten is designed to not be developed, as of now that's just the "rule" (meant to be broken).  If you look at my first Giorilli bake, the biga was completely developed by the time it was incorporated into the final mix.  The resultant bread baked up just fine.  

The one area which might have been affected is in my "complaint" that the dough was reluctant to stretch fully on the path from couche to baking peel.  Perhaps the developed biga at that hydration created some small level of resistance to its extensibility.

Let's talk of gluten degradation for a minute, and I want to use our trusty Bouabsa formula for this.  When we finish its short BF on the bench we then place it into retard for anywhere from a wide range of, let's say, 18-24 hours.  That would be an equivalent amount of time for our biga (or, at least, my 45% hydration biga in retard for 24 hours) before divide.  In this case your biga going into the final mix and mine should be on relatively on equal footing.

And if we try to compare apples to apples, then I remain unconvinced at this time that the breakdown in gluten is the culprit.

I'm interested in how you mixed your biga.  And then, what was the order in which you perform your final mix, and how each final mix component was incorporated.  Details if you wouldn't mind, please.  This is a detective story.

alan

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Dan i think you will find that gluten forms when the flour is hydrated  its development comes  with mechanical manipulation  in the form of mixing or even with the action of the gas being produced in fermentation. So we have gluten formed with the hydration it is just undeveloped at that early stage if no manipulation takes place.  

Thank you for the info on the Caputo flour that you referenced  we have quite a few Italian flours at our disposal here in Australia and quite a big population of Italian descendants and some big Italian stores too but following the flour shortage after the Covid outbreak a lot more seemed to be visible on supermarket shelves and i think it was because regular brands disappeared and bulk suppliers were asked to supply whatever flour they had and warehouses were scoured and some of the more expensive flours made a general appearance rather than just for the specialists.

i do enjoy using different flours when traveling overseas and have used Italian, French, Spanish and English flours, of course it can be fun trying to read the information panels  but they all seem to be set out much the same, and i only once picked up a buckwheat flour by mistake in France but managed to use some of it anyway.  

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

"The flop became a precious treasure because I learned something new."

Word.

This is my new mantra! I love this.

Here's a man staring into the jaws of defeat and sees a victory. And he's no fool.

May beginners like me take note. This... is the name of the sourdough game.

Post more like this. Most excellent!

Murph

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

See here for all of my Ciabatta CB bakes

Well, this is proving quite a challenge for me. Sorry for the long read, but wanted to provide as many details as I can.

As I mentioned above, I made a biga with weak 00 flour, which was immediately suggested to be a mistake. I only kept it at cool room temperature for a few hours in the evening, and then put in the fridge overnight. In the morning took it out and let warm up a little, and then mixed the final dough using bread flour and warm water (and salt). I had 77% prefermented flour, biga was 50% hydration, final dough was 75% hydration: https://fgbc.dk/vro

Making the biga was easy, but mixing the final dough by hand with so much 50% hydration biga is a real problem. I did it as best I could, and then did 100 slap&folds after a 15 min rest. At first it looked really nice and the dough was gaining strength, but then it just suddenly lost any structure and became very slack. I think it's quite a common progression with slap&folds, but it just wouldn't strengthen back and was getting really messy, so I just stopped and let it rest for 15 min. Then I did a set of strong stretch&folds, and left for 30 min again; this was followed by three more sets of stretch&folds spaced out by 30 min, and the in the en the dough was really smooth and strong enough for a windowpane.

Since mixing the final dough, a problem of lowly hydrated clumps were a problem. I had the same issue the previous time, and actually I could occasionally find particularly dense areas in the final bread, that must have come from these clumps. So I decided to fight them more thoroughly. While the dough is very weak it's really difficult, so I thought I'd keep pulling out small parts of the strengthened dough and squash those buggers to incorporate them. And around halfway doing it I realized I was probably really not helping the gluten that I developed this way, and was damaging the structure. But I felt like I had no choice, and just finished doing it.

Then I left the dough by the window for a slow bulk ferment without touching it, for around 2.5 hours. It was in a flat container that was a little too big, so it continued to flatten out during this time, but didn't actually cover all of the bottom surface, so it wasn't that badly soupy, I thought. But also because of that I couldn't really judge if there was any significant rise during this time (should have used an aliquot jar!). Then I gently scooped the dough that spread out, back to the main bulk of it, and turned it out onto a generously floured surface. I then divided the dough in two, and gently shaped into tube shaped, and placed on a couche upside down, and left to prove at slightly warmer temperature, around 25°C. When handling the dough is seemed OK - not impossible to handle, although didn't feel particularly strong either. What worried me more is no observable bubbles on the surface after bulk.

And no bubbles appeared during a rather long ~3 hour proof, and I couldn't see much rise happening. The poke test seemed to show some progress though, so I preheated my baking steel at 230°C and baked with steam for 15 min, and without for around 20 min. The dough was extremely soft and extensible before loading. I tried to stretch it a little when transferring onto the peel, and it just went all the way, I could barely fit it onto the peel and the steel.

And here are the results.



The crumb is very white, compared to my usual bakes - must be from the 00 flour. Crust is hard and crispy. Tastes nice! Much less acidic this time, maybe I detect a slight hint of sweetness. Crumb is a little moist, but not dense - although closed. Bubbles on top, again.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Going more inside, it looks a bit better, actually

alfanso's picture
alfanso

While writing my reply to you yesterday, you posted this.  Which looks more underproofed than overproofed.  Can't you even get your dough to make up its mind????

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Ha! Well, who knows what the dough thinks! Is it possible overall it's underfermented, but spent too much time in the final proof? Not sure what I mean by that exactly... Just didn't feel like it was fermenting very actively, but I proofed it on the couche for a long time...

Benito's picture
Benito

I agree with Alan, I think it is underproofed Ilya, kinda like what mine was like.  Doesn’t look overproofed to me.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, you wrote. “ Making the biga was easy, but mixing the final dough by hand with so much 50% hydration biga is a real problem”. Many bakers express problems incorporating the stiff biga into the final dough water. With a little patience this can be a relatively easy process. Try to reduce the size of ant large lumps of biga. Scissors work well. Start mixing the biga and water by stirring in such a way as to break down (to dissolve) the pieces. I’ve tried many tools. A wisk, wooden dowel, a fork, my hands, whatever works. Stir, stir, and stir some more. It will incorporate and turn to a consistency of very heavy cream. Tip - if you really want to get a homogeneous mixture, use a stick blender after the lumps have been reduced some.

” Since mixing the final dough, a problem of lowly hydrated clumps were a problem.” Since most of the final dough consisted of pre-fermented flour, the lumps (dry bits) probably came from your biga. Once the biga is thoroughly incorporated, that problem should cease.

Thought - It is possible that the acid derived from your sd starter (considering the long fermentation) is adversely affecting your dough. Michael taught me that the properly prepared LM brings very little acid to the dough.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks for the ideas! I've been considering using a blender (although I don't have a stick one), but I was worried it would destroy the gluten that had developed, have you tried doing it?

I am not keeping a proper LM, but just a 50% hydration starter, in hopes to imitate it at least partially. It doesn't smell very sour to me, more on the sweet side, so hopefully shouldn't be too much acid from there.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Firstly, just about no run is a completely wasted effort.  I made my living for years as a programmer, and one thing that I understood was that I learned best from my mistakes.  Someone who never makes them may not understand why what worked, worked.

You say that you realized that you had used the wrong flour for the biga.  That's the vast majority of the flour for this entire dough.  So, before step two, you have already shot yourself in the foot if you are convinced that it was an error.  Now, maybe you just wanted to peek under the hood and see what would happen if...  And that's okay, as experiments are almost always a good thing.  But if you had any real expectation that this potentially gross error could be corrected, then you may have also determined that maybe the better bet wold have been to chuck the biga down the chute and go back to square one.  Sometimes, it's better to fold the hand and throw down the cards rather than to play them out.

The little dry solid bits.  Unfortunately, this is the type of mix that requires a lot of manipulation to get them incorporated.  I also had to deal with that.  

I've yet to try ciabatta with mixing by hand, but I did recommend watching Mukgling's video for a model.

This is the type of dough that requires a lot of strength, built up two ways - the initial mix, and the subsequent stretch &  folds at intervals during the BF.  Of course if you use a boatload of yeast, you can perhaps get away with it, but the final product suffers in the end.

You can create some initial strength hand mixing by using a bassinage for high hydration doughs.  I do it fairly often, so I know it can be done.  Get some lower hydration strength built up in the dough first and then incorporate the bassinage.  

When working with a ciabatta like dough, where we expect it to be quite extensible, the folding over itself technique from Ciril Hitz adds some strength as well as allowing you to control the extensibility rather than the reverse.

I think that your dough was overproofed because once the crust started to caramelize the crumb began to collapse for lack of enough internal gas leaving you with a "tell-tale" cavern just below the crust, and probably a too weak gluten structure, and the crumb turned dense.

When I programmed I used to say that I often made more mistakes than I got it right - of course it's what I turned over in the end that counted....  On your next run, you'll remember this experience and have a few corrections already well in hand!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you, I also know all too well the utility of mistakes - both from programming, and from research. And this was not a failure, the bread is now what I intended, but it's actually very tasty!

I did indeed suspect that it was a doomed attempt, from Lance's comment yesterday. I would never through away dough (or a preferment, for that matter) - I was totally ready to just stick it into bread tins and pretend that never happened, is the dough was completely unusable for ciabattas.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll keep all this in mind for the future attempts.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

I based my dough loosely on the Giorilli formula with 80% pre-fermented flour in a biga, 80% final hydration, 2% salt.  Here the biga was 50% hydration and made from unbleached all-purpose flour, instant dry yeast at 0.25% of the biga flour (or 0.2% of the total dough), and 2.6% (total dough) vital wheat gluten.  The biga sat 1 hour at room temp and 24 hours in the refrigerator.  Instead of diastatic malt, I replaced the remaining 20% wheat with sprouted hard white wheat.  The VWG was calculated to raise both wheats to approx. 13% protein.  I scaled for one big 1kg ciabatta.

Per my usual, I had soaked the wheat berries overnight two days before the bake, drained in the morning and kept moist for about 12 more hours until rootlets could be seen, then refrigerated a second night.  The morning of bake day, I weighed and ground the sprouts in a food processor with water to bring this portion to 80% hydration (including absorbed and added water) until they became a smooth dough.  I added salt (2% final) into additional water bringing the biga up to 80% hydration, then combined everything as the final dough.  I didn’t add any yeast except what had been in the biga. 

I mixed in a Kitchenaid until the dough became smooth, cohesive, and passed the windowpane test.  40ml went into an aliquot jar.  It took almost 5 hours to reach a 50% rise, at which point I shaped and finished proofing in a rice-floured tea towel at room temperature until 100% rise after another 1.5 hours, so 6.5 hours from the start of bulk fermentation. It seems adding extra yeast during the final mix would’ve been helpful to speed up the process.  Then onto a baking stone at 450 deg F, 20 minutes with a pan of boiling water for steam.  Afterwards lowered to 425 deg, removed the pan, and baked another 25 min.  The ciabatta had a hard crust and was a bit darker than I intended.  Inside, the crumb was soft and not at all dry.  The flavor was pleasant but the crumb’s taste was somewhat overshadowed by toasty notes from the crust.

--Tom M

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Super nice photos, Tom. I wonder what made the crust hard? Ovens are unique and cook very differently, but 45 minutes seems long. My oven cooks super fast, Ciabatta bakes from 20-23 minutes at 450F.

Great post!

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Thanks for the comments, Danny!  I suspect over-baking toughened the crust.  This was my first ever free-standing loaf and I wasn’t sure how long to go.  I also got distracted and meant to check on it earlier.  At 20 min I was pleased to see the oven spring but it looked like it could use more time.  Yours were divided smaller than 1kg dough, weren’t they? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, each loaf weighed about 335g, but larger loaves would cook much faster in my oven. Definitely not more than 28-30 minutes at most.

Your crust looks pretty thick to me.

jpg





Crumb closeupBy the way - your image of the mixed stringy Biga looks great. I am working to produce that.
Tom M's picture
Tom M

Thanks again, Danny.  I’ll try 28-30 min next time; I appreciate the guidance!  

I used the biga method from the video that Ilya pointed out.  I noticed they had their flour quite spread out and I tried to do the same by using one of my wider containers, sprinkling the yeasted water as evenly as I could.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Tom,  I'm guessing the 20% sprouted mash added two extra variables (1-sprouting, 2-mashing), and made your loaf incompatible with the standard %-rise expectation of your formula.

While mashing/processing wet sprouted grain is an acceptable method of getting some wheat into a dough, it is a _work-around_, and is not equivalent to actually using flour, or even sprouted flour (flour made from sprouted grain that has been dried.)

Sprouted wheat is highly diastatic. My guess is your dough overfermented, but didn't rise due to the rheology (if that's the right word) of the mashed grains.

I've studied a bit from Reinhart's books "Whole Grain Breads" and "Bread Revolution". The former has some mashing in it, and the latter is about sprouted flour.  Two things I picked up on: The diastatic nature throws off the ferment/proof timings, and the mashed nature works against retaining gas and against an open crumb.

--

I bet your loaf was sweet and full of flavor, and exceptionally nutritious.

--

And by "mashing" I don't mean that in the beer brewing sense. I'm using it to describe how you converted the wet grains into dough in the food processor without first making it into flour.  It's a different "path", so the outcome is different, even if it looks like "dough" at the macro level.

Also, food prcoessors can wreck havoc on gluten if you process the dough too long. It quickly destroys gluten _after a certain point_ of mixing.

And... if you used the food processor to combine the biga and the 20% sprouted mash, that very likely had a negative effect on the nascent but still undeveloped gluten in the biga.

--

Charles van Over wrote a book, Best Bread Ever, about using a food processor to mix _to a certain point_. But if I remember correctly, it is not used past that point.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Thanks for these thoughts, Dave.  First up, I’ll take this opportunity to give an update on the bread, for the record.  When it first cooled, the flavor was nice but I was somewhat underwhelmed.  I froze slices, as usual.   Since then, I found that the toasty flavor mellowed and I‘ve quite enjoyed eating it.  The crumb had a simple but well-rounded and wholesome flavor.  I highly recommend adding sprouted wheat to the ciabatta and I plan to do it again.

 

I agree that this formula and process were far from the original, but the Giorilli formula does use diastatic malt.  So it’s hard to say whether the sprouted wheat had more or equivalent enzymatic activity in comparison to the specified malted flour.  I regularly use a sprouted wheat mash like this and after a lot of tasty flops with it (overproofed collapses coming out of the oven), I read some posts on TFL of vital wheat gluten saving the day for sprouted wheat bread.  I indeed have found it makes the sprouted wheat mash perform much better.  I‘m too cheap to buy the sprouted flour, too married to get the dehydrator and grain mill, and my KitchenAid mixer struggled too much with the meat grinding attachment, so it has been the food processor ever since.  Overall it works very well and because I am able to get windowpane with the mixed dough (even the mash straight out of the food processor is close), I don’t believe the gluten is too damaged.  It’s worth considering, though, and I shouldn’t go crazy with the processing time.  I used a mixer instead to combine the sprouted wheat mash with the equally-hydrated biga.

 

I’ve heard Reinhart call it a mash.  I’m reading "Whole Grain Breads" before “Bread Revolution" but haven’t gotten there yet.  Hasn’t he also sometimes called hot soaked/cooked grain a mash?  I deliberately hadn’t used the term earlier because I wasn’t sure of the proper usage.

 

I don’t think we’ve reached a consensus on what to look for in the ciabatta proofing in this Community Bake.  My dough was just starting to reach a jiggly state when I judged it done by the aliquot jar.  Given the above considerations, what do you suggest for evaluating when to shape and when to bake a sprouted wheat ciabatta?  Thanks again for putting this under the microscope.

—Tom

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"Given the above considerations, what do you suggest for evaluating when to shape and when to bake a sprouted wheat ciabatta?"

I have no idea. But I'm tempted to use the Maine expression: "you can't get they-ah from hee-ah" due to the sprouted mash.  ;-)

Malted wheat grain at the beer brewing store doesn't have rootlets showing, so if that's what "diastatic malt powder" is made from, then your home-sprouted wheat would be more diastatic, and at 20% would have a couple orders of magnitude more effect than a teaspoon of DM powder/flour.

A second thing is the VWG. It helps in small degrees, but for me, it always made  cake-like crumb. Better to use higher gluten flour up front.

So, just making wild guesses here... Try bread flour for the biga (12% protein at least), reduce the mash to 5% (dry weight to total dry weight ratio), and use bread flour for the final dough, and eliminate the VWG.

--

If you bake a lot, consider getting a 50 pound bag of KA Special Patent, which is their 12.5% bread flour, at a bakery/restaurant supplier. The going price is about $25 for counter sales, cash. The flour  distributors are doing counter sales to the public due to their restaurant customers going out of business or scaling back.

Costco and Restaurant Depot are chains where you can sometimes find 25 or 50 pound bags of General Mills or other big name flour.

see my General Mills links here: https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/62101/various-links

Good luck, amigo. et bon appétit!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

although the end result looks pretty good.  I'm a fan of ciabatta in the tubular loaf form as you have here, and looks to make an excellent sandwich bread.  But...

Yikes!  "It took almost 5 hours to reach a 50% rise, at which point I shaped and finished proofing in a rice-floured tea towel at room temperature until 100% rise after another 1.5 hours, so 6.5 hours from the start of bulk fermentation." 

6.5 hours!!  You are pretty much relying on the same formula as I used.  My BF was 2 hours to double or more, and the proof was 40 minutes.  No additional yeast added other than in the biga.  One of the few variables that I can think of is ambient temperature.  My kitchen is a pretty consistent ~78dF.  If that is the singular difference, then your kitchen must be a lot colder.

Do you perform intermittent timed stretch and folds during the BF?  Did your DDT end up at ~76-79dF or was it much cooler coming out of the mixer?  I use all KA AP flour, and IDY in the biga, so nothing particularly noteworthy, and some folks here state that an even stronger flour should be used.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Alan, I believe my kitchen temp was close to 75 deg F, so I don’t think that was the difference.  Good question about the dough temp.  I didn’t measure it, though the biga and the sprouted wheat were refrigerated.  Could be the tap water was cooler than usual too.  The dough wasn’t cold to the touch but it was a smidge cool, come to think of it.  Warm water would’ve been a good choice.  Thanks for your ideas!

Oh, and yes I performed four sets of coil folds during BF.  It’s encouraging to see structure develop after each of those when starting with such a slack dough.

—Tom M

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

See THIS LINK for compilation of all of my Ciabatta bakes.

I baked Michael's "Ciabatta con past madre biga". With the exception of the hydration, the formula was followed precisely. I chickened out on the water and reduced it by 25g. I imagined the 15g of olive oil would make things too wet for me. I was wrong, next time I'll use all of the water. The dough was a joy to work with. Following Mike's belief of thoroughly developing the gluten in the mixer worked super well. The dough was easily folded, like the video Michael shared. This is the first time I have seen a Ciabatta (LM biga) formula using sourdough for the biga. The Lievito Madre was very strong in yeast and it was washed prior to the final build. The flavor was pleasant and clean, but I hope to increase the complexity in future bakes. The texture of the crust (thin) and crumb (super light & airy) was excellent. The stars aligned for this bake...

The first image below shows the Lieveto Madre after 4 hours of fermentation @ 82F. The strength of the Madre far surpasses any typical SD culture. When the LM is out of the fridge, it is built 3 times a day. Two 4hr builds at 80-82F and one overnight build at ~ 62F. Michael has information posted to HIS BLOG.
 Typical daily build procedure:

0940 Storage mother, pH 3.7-4.1, lavaggio
1000 Refresh
1400 Refresh
1800 Refresh – Storage, 12-16hrs @ 15-18°C”



I hope someone can tell me why the dough doesn’t seal well. See Below. Is it possible that it is folded to aggressively or too much. I noticed how well Michael’s dough sealed after shaping. Mine doesn’t.


I am starting to get a grasp on the Lievito Madre process am excited to learn this technique. The leavening ability of this culture is phenomenal. The image below shows my baby wrapped up in his blanket ready to go to sleep. He’s a cutie...

Another Biga made from the LM is in cool retard now getting ready for tomorrow’s adventure.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow superb bake Dan, the crumb and crust look spot on to me.  

alfanso's picture
alfanso

on your final LM build!  Not sure I've seen something that surpasses yours.  Your cross cut slices look really good, with a lot of open, but no too open, crumb.

Can't answer why the loaf doesn't seal, as neither do mine at shaping time, but this seems normal to me with a ciabatta-like dough.  It looks as though you baked these with seam side up.  Was that a conscious decision?

Now that we're all starting to get the hang of what a super low hydration biga should look like after the resting period, it seems as though we are now getting on the same page with little variation.  That's a good thing.

You've written that your oven bakes "fast", but the surface of the dough is mottled in coloration.  Do you now why?

alan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, as far a the crust coloration (mottled). I think that was a result of a quick bake (20min total). I was cautious to not over brown the loaf.

Seam side up? No, but it did fold the dough over itself after dividing. Still trying to learn to shape better.

Lievito Madre rise - for some reason the LM is not rising as much now. I think this happened in the past and after bathing the LM the strength regained. I believe the lack of acids enhance the rise. When the LM is healthy the rise is beyond imagination. It will triple of quadruple in 4 hours! My LM will be taking a bath at noon...

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Michael - in theory you get a benefit from about 1% of solid fat to stabilize the bubble surface and then from abother  ~2% of liquid fat as a crumb softener, though for a ciabatta I suspect that it gets consumed quickly enough the the crumb softening is perhaps not essential.  But I wonder if you have a perspective on the value of using some solid fat in addition to or instead of liquid fat.

albacore's picture
albacore

Or "good in parts".

This was a bake based on an LM biga with 75% PFF and loosely following the fundametals of the Giorilli bake.

Here's the flours I used:

Biga

350g Caputo Manitoba Oro

100g Caputo Cuoco (red)

67g well refreshed 50% hydration LM (15%)

4.5g salt (1%)

202g spring water (bottled water because Caputo flours have no added calcium and my town's water has no calcium) (45%)

The biga was mixed by my new method

Biga storage 16hrs at 17-18C

Main dough

All biga

114g Eurostar pizza flour tipo 0

30g Shipton mill Swiss dark

6g malt flour

9.7g salt

230g spring water

I had planned to go for 75% total hydration but luckily I didn't initially add all the water. The dough was really sloppy so I stopped at 70%.

Dough was mixed in the spiral mixer with about 4mins HS, once the dough was smooth. DT about 25C

I did several folds in bulk, which strengthened up the dough somewhat.

When well risen, I cut Giorilli sized pieces (190g) and proofed en-couche sideways and unshaped, like he does.

When well risen, I transferred to a baking sheet and baked at 230C with steam. 15mins low in the oven, then vent and finish near top of oven for about 7mins.

And this is what came out:

So, as you can see, appearance is not great, at least on the outside. I was happy enough with the crumb and the flavour was good. Texture was a little chewy, but acceptable.

Regarding the pale blotchy look, initially I thought the dough was too exhausted, but there again I'd added plenty of malt to counteract that.

On reflection I think it's simply down to the weight of the dough pieces and the cooking time. There simply isn't enough cooking time to brown this weight of dough and extending the time will just dry up the crumb.

I've had the same problem with baking rolls. If I bake Ciabatta in this style again I need to get more sugar in, eg some malt syrup or perhaps some milk?

If baked again I would reduce PFF to 50%

And lastly, a question: there appear to be two types of Ciabatta bake on the go; one is 190g small pieces like mine and basically just cut pieces, unshaped, and then there is a much larger version with shaped final pieces.

Why is this?

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, what was your reason for using so many flours? I wished we could source Caputa Manitoba Oro in the US. As far as I can tell it is not available,  but the spec sheet looks really good to me. With the right flour, Michael’s formula with the correct flour is doable and pleasant to work with. I think the oil facilitates the relative ease of handling. It is a joy to handle.

Even though not Ciabatta text book giant holey crumb, I like your crumb and am working to consistently produce something similar. The big holes make a messy sandwich, but is good for dipping.

You and Michael have been working with LM. I hope you continue to share many bakes in the future. I need all the help I can get and am eager to learn.

albacore's picture
albacore

Danny, Cuoco was simply to eke out my dwindling Manitoba stock.

The Eurostar followed a standard pattern of strong flour in preferments and weaker in the main dough. The tiny 5% of Swiss Dark was just to give a little flavour boost - it's an 85% extraction four - wheatmeal as they used to call it years ago.

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

I like your method of making the biga, that’s a great idea.  I’m very hesitant to try making ciabatta with biga, it does seem that you need a powerful mixer to incorporate the biga into the dough.  I have a newer KA mixer, likely with the plastic gears so it wouldn’t survive mixing dough at high speeds.

I will try making ciabatta without biga again soon.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Stick with the levain.  Which I think I like better. than the biga version  And if it isn't traditional, so what?

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes that is true, the end result is what is important.  I haven’t given up on ciabatta just yet, I don’t like my last bake of something not to be successful (doesn’t have to be perfect).

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, what we discussed about the KitchenAid and super low hydration does not apply to the biga. Mixing a 50% hydrated dough to full development is very different. When the biga is made it is not mixed to the point of any gluten development. To do so would be wrong. Done properly it puts little strain on your mixer. Michael uses a mixer that looks similar to the Kitchenaid on a regular basis. Don’t know if it is more heavy duty or not.

I have had good success mixing the biga by hand, stirring with a fork. The video link somewhere above mixes the biga without it ever being touched.

Michael made an important point. When properly done the leavening agent for the sd biga is leavened with Lieveto Madre and not our typical starters that have been reduced to 50% hydration. I am only beginning to learn about the LM, but the difference between it and a typical SD starter is major.

Alan, and most probably a host of others prefer the higher hydration preferments, but I am super jazzed about the Lieveto Madre (Thank You, Michael!). Also have no plans to eliminate the high hydration pre-ferments for certain breads. It will enhance some of my various breads in future bakes. Lance also seems to be a fan.

I am in the process of gathering lots of information about the Biga, Lieveto Madre, and the Pasta Madre. Note - LM and PM are one in the same. It will be post to a separate topic when complete. I struggled for 2 years to gather enough information a out this Italian pre-ferment. Most of the info is written in Italian.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

By the way, if you are struggling to translate some important sources, I can ask some Italian speakers to help. My girlfriend is half Italian and speaks quite well, otherwise I also know some proper Italians.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

That’s great to know, Ilya! I use Google Translator, but sometimes it doesn’t get things right.

How I wish i could read Italian. Unable to find ANY authoritative books on the subject written in English.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Just as with programming, a formula will use a lot of repetitive words in the instructions.  Once you can discern words like flour, water, salt, crumb, crust, mix, rest, add, divide, fold, shape, bake, rack, ... most of the rest takes care of itself.  Maybe nuances are lost, but the general info is all there.  Here, just for fun try this... 

Pan de Cristal

Autor: Miriam García
Tipo de receta: Pan Cocina: Internacional
Preparación: 12 horas Cocinado: 35 min Total: 12 horas 35 min Raciones: 8

Pan de cristal, fino y con muy poca miga, para tomar con charcutería y aceite

Ingredientes

400 g de harina de fuerza
340 g de agua
8 g de sal
3 g de levadura liofilizada de panadero (9 g de levadura fresca) (1)

Instrucciones

  • Mezclamos todos los ingredientes y dejamos reposar 10 minutos, tapado.
  • Esta masa tan pringosa soy incapaz de amasarla sin ponerme histérica, así que me apañé con plegados.
  • La ponemos en un recipiente aceitado y vamos haciendo pliegues de la masa sobre sí misma, como si fuera un papel para meter en un sobre, cada media hora durante un par de horas, alternando el sentido de los pliegues.
  • Y dejamos fermentar hasta que doble. Esta fermentación yo la hice en nevera.
  • Una vez fermentada la masa la pasamos a la encimera muy enharinada, imprescindible esto porque la masa es muy húmeda y se pega como una condenada. Dejamos reposar 5 minutos, sin quitarle el gas en absoluto.
  • Metiendo las manos bajo la masa vamos estirándola en forma de rectángulo, sin forzar. Tendremos que hacerlo en varias veces, dejando reposar de vez en cuando, porque la masa se resiste un poco.
  • Cuando esté fina a nuestro gusto (yo la dejé un poco demasiado fina) cortamos en panes rectangulares que iremos poniendo sobre bandejas de horno.
  • Tapamos con plástico y dejamos que sigan fermentando algo mientras se calienta el horno a 240o.
  • Jesús Machí dice que no hace falta vaporizar agua, pero yo lo hice porque mi horno es más seco que el desierto del Gobi. Cocemos 25-30 minutos sobre una chapa o piedra (si la tenemos), hasta que los panes estén perfectamente secos y crujientes. Pasamos a una rejilla para que se enfríen.
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Some of us found it useful when Alan took the time to consolidate the bakes of some of the active participants in the Baguette CB in a PDF file. With that in mind, the following may be beneficial to not only the baker, but also those looking to learn and gather information at some time in the future.

This was posted in the original post of this CB. Unless a better solution is offered this will be posted in all fufure CBs.

***************************

SOMETHING NEW - Since many of the CBs grow quite large, it can become difficult to follow the progress of each individual baker. Things get very spread out. In an attempt to alleviate congestion and consolidate individual baker’s breads post, the following is suggested.

  • Post all bakes in the CB
  • Copy and paste each bake into a dedicated BLOG post
  • Paste all bakes into a single BLOG
  • You may copy and paste the link to your BLOG post in the individual bake post as a reference for those that want to view your progess and evolution.

All participating bakers that consolidate their bakes the a BLO.g post will be linked in the original post for all to see.

 

Links to baker’s BLOGs that have posted a compiled list of bakes for this CB

**************************************

m2Bread's picture
m2Bread

Stiff levain and high hydration sans bassinage and less fermented flour is how I make Pain Levain.

Looks like Rubauds breads minus the whole grain flour. I make my breads like this way too so they fit in to the wood burning oven. Ooni oven makes good bread with the descending heat after pizza is done.

m2Bread's picture
m2Bread

Stiff levain and high hydration sans bassinage and less fermented flour is how I make Pain Levain.

Looks like Rubauds breads minus the whole grain flour. I make my breads like this way too so they fit in to the wood burning oven. Ooni oven makes good bread with the descending heat after pizza is done.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

See THIS LINK for compilation of all of my Ciabatta bakes.

Dan’s Bake #7 - Once again I baked Michael's "Ciabatta con past madre biga". This time I went with the full hydration and it handled like a dream. I attribute that to the oil and also the well developed gluten. Folding on the bench (like Michael’s video) was a rewarding and pleasant experience. It also seems the Caputo 00 Americana is an ideal flour for the task. I have yet to taste the bread, but my neighbor has had over a hundred loaves on my bread and she messaged me that, “this is the best bread yet”. Taste Update - The bread sat on the counter (uncut) overnight. Once again the crumb was soft, springy, and not hint of dryness. The crust was only slightly crisp and had a very minimal leathery chew. The flavor is best described as clean with the slightest hint of sour. So much so, you have to look for it or it might be missed. As a perfectionist, I am rare satisfied, but this bread checks almost all of the boxes. I recommend that any of the more adventurous bakers, build a Lieveto Madre and see for yourself. IMO, it is worth the effort.

My Ciabatta shaping skills need serious improvement, but I’m pleased with all other aspects. The highlights of my baking improvements gained from this CB are learning the Lieveto Madre and the SD Biga.

The bread has a thin crust and soft texture. There is practically no resistance to the bit and the crumb is moist. It works well for sandwiches and does well with a light toasting.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow now that is an open crumb Dan, you’ve very quickly upped your ciabatta baking, incredible.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Even though the outside looks like a  specimen from the Martian surface as most ciabattas do. I hope to give ciabatta a try soon but my schedule only allows for sustenance baking right now. When I have more free time I would like to learn more about how you made your levito madre. Is there a Panettone CB in the future?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don, funny you ask. I was researching Panettones when the notification of your post arrived. I tried to get Michael to host a Panettone CB this December, but he is busy with school. I am presently looking for another baker experienced with the bread. 

I am excited to hear your interest in Lievito Madre. It really isn’t difficult to start from your existing starter. But maintenance when on the counter is a fairly strict regiment. It can be stored in the fridge, though.

Although the LM is similar to our typical staters, it produces very different results. I plan to bake baguettes with the LM... French bread with an Italian starter.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

That's some mighty fine looking open crumb ya gots there!  You say the crust is thin, but is it soft or does it have a crunch and crackle to it?

I can see the stretch marks, not just on the sides of my waist, but also on your bread!  Still some work to do when handling the dough, either in preshape or transition to the baking peel.  Shouldn't take long to get the gist of it.  And once you have it, you have it!

alan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, the crust is thin, but because of the oil it is not crackly.

Yea, shaping is my nemesis. Some of my problem may be related to over folded dough. Because the gluten is well developed the dough can become tenacious.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

The pan de cristal has 5% oil which should make the crust tender.  But it doesn't in this bread.  However, the formula also has me adding 2% sugar, something that on the face of it, I'd never consider doing.  The sugar seems to have the effect of getting a darker and crisper crust.  Mr. Hamelman states that sugars in the dough at low levels will have the effect of contributing to a darker crust.  No word on helping to create a crispness to it.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, your point is opposing and makes me think (a great thing). I can’t account for your experience and I don’t doubt it. The oil in the Ciabatta I’ve been baking lately is producing a breads that are pleasantly softer.

I hope we can find the truth about this. Thanks for the opposing experience...

“the truth sets us free”

alfanso's picture
alfanso

where he states "More water (around 110-120% hydration), and just a small quantity of sugar and olive oil. Sugar makes the crust thinner and crispier. That's why this bread is called Pan de Cristal (Glass bread), because it's so delicate that when you want to slice it, it breaks like a cup of glass. Olive oil not only brings mediterranean aroma and flavour, but also changes the structure of the crumb."

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/50220/pan-de-cristal-glass-bread

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Dan,

A YouTube (The Sourdough Journey) from Tom Cucuzza did an experiment on four loaves. He went from NO shaping to tight shaping and two versions in between.

He actually found that a tighter roll was better:

"The Impact of Final Shaping on Open Crumb"

https://youtu.be/bbOyivhCL40

In any case, the difference was not so much noticeable to a beginner like me and alleviated a lot of worry. Which is good because I hate worrying over bread.

Murph

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thought this looked interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OeV-14GLVc

No shaping, and no final proof after dividing, directly into the oven!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for posting that video Ilya.  I think I will use the mixer as he did for my next attempt at ciabatta.  The recipe is otherwise quite similar to what I was using already that Joy Ride Coffee had shared on YouTube except that he did everything by hand.  Since there isn’t really any low hydration mixing component my mixer should be able to handle it I hope.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I mixed a dough with biga today - although only 25% prefermented flour, so smaller one - by adding most of the water required for the final mix, and using a hand mixer at top speed (didn't seem to cut it - pun intended - on lower speeds), like suggested above by Danny. Still takes a while, but saves the shoulder pain. Got a very nice smooth dough like that! I think it would work with higher biga/water ratio too, but then I might be worried that the gluten from the biga would be destroyed and it might be important... Let's see how my bake goes though, of course.

But with a poolish it's all not a problem, of course, whatever would work to mix the dough.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

See here for all of my Ciabatta CB bakes

I decided to reduce the prefermented flour, and use only bread flour. Also added a little olive oil. Formula: https://fgbc.dk/1025

Made biga in the morning and left by the window all day - measuring the temp, it as i the perfect range 16-18°C. Moved it to the fridge in the evening.

In the morning mixed it with most of the water for the final recipe using a hand mixer on top speed. That worked well, took a little while, but at least no hard hand work, and no annoying clumps in the end.

Did bassinage: 50 slap&folds, add most water, 50 slap&folds, add rest of water, slap&folds until pretty well developed.

Rest 30 min.

3x stretch&folds with 30 min rest, placed in a bulking container and bulk fermented until >50% rise (starting from after stretch&folds), took a while, around 4 hrs - all in all 6 hrs. Dough was very jiggly, felt very light and airy, certainly ready, maybe over even?

Preheating the oven right after dividing, 230°C.

Baked after just ~20 min proof.

Did an experiment for the final shaping for the bake: gently stretched on of the breads, and dimpled another.

Unfortunately got barely any oven spring:

And the crumb is not particularly open:


Even more surprisingly, the crust is not crispy! Just mostly soft, only crispy in some darker spots on the ends that seemed to bake a little quicker. Never had a crust like that on any bread, at least in the first few hours after baking it's always crispy.

So, did I overferment the dough in bulk? Shouldn't forget about an aliquot jar next time, not used to it, but would be very useful...

Also I think I didn't preheat the steel enough, I was afraid of overproofing and rushed it a little. The bottom is a little pale.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Hydration: According to Mr. Hamelman, oils in the dough at room temperature are considered part of the overall hydration.  Your overall hydration comes in at just under 83%.

The softer crust: Oils will "tenderize" the dough, particularly the crumb.  However "at the slight expense of crust vigor", again according to Mr. Hamelman.  I tend to take his word on such things. 

The hand blender is a great idea, maybe even to do most of the final mix in a bowl.

Your shaping is really nice.  The flatter ciabatta is much more typical than what some of us get in the log shape for large loaves.  For me that may well be due to my shaping that stretches a surface tension "sheath" over the dough before couching.

This may relate back to the "magic grits" (My Cousin Vinny), but I don't get that my entire post mix process takes 2 hrs. 40 min to complete before shipping them off to the oven.  Yet Tom M and you both report a 6-6.5 hr cycle?  We seem to be using the same formula. How can there bo so much disparity?  Are others getting similar BF & proof times to either of us?

Unless you've hitched your horses to a very large open crumb, if you can be content with a ciabatta that looks, smells, tastes, and is as light as what you expect it to be, then you have a successful ciabatta bake.  If anyone complains, then remind yourself to serve them a marmalade laden or tuna salad slice when you do get a giant open crumb.  That'll shut them up!

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks a lot for your comments!

Inclusion of fats in hydration calculation seems to be a contentious topic. As a scientist I can not bring myself to say that oil contributes to hydration, with oil and water being immiscible. However it certainly contributes to the softer dough and a slacker feel, so functionally works similarly. I am actually curious why it is possible to incorporate so much fat in the dough (e.g. brioche). Wheat proteins (gluten?) must work as sort of emulsifiers?

I only added <3% oil though, is that really enough to soften the crust so much? I've made bread with some olive oil before, and never noticed such a drastic effect!

I decided against doing the final mixing with the mixer (and not totally my idea to use it: Rus Brot often uses a mixer, although usually with spiral attachments that I sadly lack), but I don't have a good reason. Probably on the low speed it would work just fine for the first half of the flour or so.

I agree such logs that look almost like thick baguettes are probably not the most typical shape, but mine are basically frisbees, which is the other extreme. It needs to have some height I think.

Re rise time: it was a little cold here. In the beginning I couldn't observe any rise at all for some time, and measuring the temperature I got 20°C, so warmed up the dough by placing the bulking container above a tray of freshly boiled water (again, Rus Brot style!), and observed an immediate jump in fermentation and rise. Then I had to replace the hot water, since it goes cold pretty quickly in a flat tray.

Ha, well, no one needs shutting up luckily! But also ciabatta sandwiches are usually made on horizontally slices bread, so actually nothing would drip through the crust!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, it looks like you are steadily improving.

I am not familiar with your formula, but it seems that it is important to develop the gluten to the point where the dough is super supple, ultra smooth, and highly extensible. If developed enough the dough will remove from the mixing bowl in one piece, leaving the bowl basically clean. It will also remove from the counter in a single piece ehen lifted by hand. A dough like this is a joy to handle. When my doughs turn out as described the oven spring is enormous. Because of the hydration the membrane of the dough is super thin. Unless the gluten is highly developed the thin skin (crust) and thin cell walls (alveoli) are unable to handle the gas. I speak from experience. See THIS BAKE.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Danny. The gluten was very well developed with slap &folds early on, and some stretch & folds during bulk. It was a lovely dough, smooth and light. It did remove cleanly from the container, but I had oiled it lightly, so not sure if it still counts. And yet - alas, no oven spring.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I hope you won't mind if I join in. Although I've been lurking for years (and by "years," I mean decades, haha). I've rarely posted and only very recently. Anyway, last weekend I made the Craig Ponsford ciabatta in Maggie Glezer's book. As I added my 1/384th of a teaspoon of yeast to the flour, I was thinking that this couldn't possibly rise. And it didn't. Not one iota. Not a speck. It didn't rise and collapse when I was sleeping or anything like that. It just didn't rise. However, the description also said the biga would soften a lot and smell aromatic, both of which did happen. I almost tossed it but then decided that with only a small amount of AP flour at risk, I might as well proceed and see what would happen. It turned out better than expected considering the biga was effectively just a long autolyse. I left the loaves on the counter to cool and when I came back from the grocery store, the family had torn into it and the only crumb shot I was able to get was of someone's sandwich. 

The heel they saved me tasted quite good. The crust was crispy if a tad thick and the crumb had a slight bit of chew to it, but was still airy and soft. Some of the holes were too large. Honestly, I'm not unhappy with the ciabatta, but I am confused by it. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on why the bread worked out fairly well when the biga flopped so badly. 

I should say that everything was done exactly as specified in the book; no modifications were made. I used my yeast within the last week and it performed perfectly, as it did here in the final dough. KAF Bread Flour was used in the biga and Central Milling ABC Plus was used in the final dough. The whole wheat was Bob's Red Mill and the rye was KAF Whole Organic Rye. If you have the time, I would appreciate any thoughts you might have on this. Thank you ever so much.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

It looks like a great result to me!  The Ponsford formula is discussed a few times earlier in this Community Bake thread.  People here have linked to this page and this page, which show other bakers’ Ponsford ciabattas.  Yours may be a bit darker than theirs but the instructions at the first link say to bake “until very dark brown.”  They call for 35-45 minutes at 450 deg F.  What was your bake time?

I noticed that this formula doesn’t solely rely on the biga yeast but adds the majority to the final dough.  If your biga didn’t expand as much as expected, perhaps the gluten was more developed?  If so, the stiffness at low hydration may have held back the biga’s rise.  Earlier in the Community Bake, there’s been discussion of limiting gluten development by minimal mixing and leaving the biga in small barely combined shreds.

Again, it looks like a very admirable bake.  Thanks for joining in and sharing your bread!

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Welcome to the CB, and don't think for one minute that we'll let you get away with just a singular bake on this thread!  Not just a show-and-tell forum, the CBs are also designed to help and guide others who have taken a step or two and toward a new bread or skill and want to improve through the group's interaction.

A silk purse from a sow's ear.  Nice bake.

Benito's picture
Benito

That looks really great to me, great bake.

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Looks pretty good to me and according to the account of your taste testers, they agree. I’ve baked Craig’s Ciabatta before but I don’t remember the formula. Was the biga low hydration? If it was, when mixed properly (not nearly enough to develop gluten) the preferment isn’t expected to rise much.

I hope you continue to bake Ciabatta with us. Glad you joined in, you are now part of the gang :-)

Danny

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome and your generous comments :-) This forum has been a trusted reference for me for probably about 15 years and I've always been grateful. It's nice to finally thank some of you personally.

According to the formula, this biga is supposed to be kneaded and should triple in size in 24 hours, which hardly seems possible given the minuscule amount of yeast; however, the writers of the two blog posts both said it worked for them. I must have erred somewhere along the way. I think Tom M is right about the biga needing some breathing room. It was very tight and compacted, so I'll experiment with the technique in the pizza biga video. 

To answer the other questions: It’s a stiff biga, but not ridiculously so. Mixing it by hand took a few minutes but was not s struggle. The book says the biga is 61% hydration, but it is 56% by my math (330g flour, 185g water). Total formula hydration is 80.5%. The first bake was at 450°F for 37 minutes. It was well-browned at 35 minutes but felt a bit heavy so I gave it a couple extra minutes. Next time, I will judge that more conservatively. I’m excited to have another run at this and will report back. Thanks again!

-AG

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Well, now he's done it!  I've violated the basic tenets that the very bedrock of the CB for Ciabatta rests upon.  And I'm so so sorry.  But what the heck...

Glass Bread/Pan de Cristal/Pa de Vidre is a close relative of ciabatta, so I thought I'd upset the ebb and flow here by posting today's entry.  For those not familiar with it, the bread has its roots, best that I know, in the Catalan region of Spain.  I'm not certain whether it can be purchased over the counter at a bakery or solely relegated to table service in restaurants and bars.  It earns its name through the very thin and crackly crust that "shatters like glass" when cut or bitten into.

Our able Abel Sierra, a native of the region, introduced TFL to his version a few years ago.  It is a near impossibility to wrangle this dough into anything that approximates something that doesn't look like an accident, although they may be better suited for those baguette type trays that I've been loathe to consider.  Until maybe now...

Hydration for this bread can be an insanely high 110%-120% hydration, a neighborhood where I would never dare to tread.  The hydration for my version clocks in at 95% and employs a combination of a biga and a levain, with an added boost of IDY.  The dough mixes like a much wetter version of a ciabatta, and I still look and listen for the visual and auditory signals that the mix is done.  The entire BF takes place in a mere 100 minutes with folds at 0, 30, & 60 minutes.  And the dough will easily triple in size by then (in my warm kitchen).

At that point the real challenge begins, whereby after dumping the dough out onto a well floured counter, squared away, I double it over onto itself, Ciril Hitz style.  Easy enough to divide, but if the divided dough comes in contact with the remaining bulk, It will rejoin itself to the bulk.  Which is what happened on the parchment paper pictured above.

Once divided it is stretched onto a piece of parchment paper and without delay (no proofing), immediately baked.  For those who can't take their eyes away from what is going on in the oven every minute or so, the bread will be disappointing.  After initially plumping up, over the course of the bake it will pretty much flatten out.  The nature of the beast.

To give this dough some added strength I relied on 90% Pillsbury bread flour with an assumed 12.9% protein and 10% KA WW at 14% protein.  For a bread that should have a clean taste to it (think ciabatta or Bouabsa), the WW steals some of that.  So the WW will be 86'ed the next time.

Bake 460dF for 13 min. with steam, 17 min. at 440dF after rotating loaves, 3 min. venting.  Cool loaves upside down as there will be moisture released from the underside of the loaf.

If you feel that you've conquered the challenges of ciabatta, this just might be on your hit list.  I dare you!

1200g total - 4 loaves

Benito's picture
Benito

I have not conquered the ciabatta so the pan de cristal is not yet on my radar.  Your version looks mightily fine though, and kudos to you for challenging yourself to a supercharged version of a ciabatta.  Nothing wrong with adding this to the CB since they are quite closely related.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, those babies look great! That’s my kind of crumb and the color of the loaves are “signature alfanso”.

I think you can safely put this bread in the “Spanish Ciabatta” category. This way, we won’t have to assess a fine for sneaking off the reservation. <LOL>

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

crazy! I have been wanting to attempt this recipe for quite some time. Should have done it while we had tomatoes from the garden to smear on it. The hydration seems daunting to me of all people! Your version came out great. Is it the sugar that crystalizes the crumb? Thanks for reminding me and posting the formula.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Mr Hamelman is used for coloration of the crust (just a generic from his book and not specific to this bread).  According to Abel Sierra it makes the crust thinner and crispier.

It is a fantastic bread for bruschetta and for toast.  My preferred slice is across the length of the bread as it is thin.  For just dipping in olive oil, the standard vertical cut should suffice.  In Barcelona, we found that the rubbing of the tomato on it, their way of eating it, just didn't entice us as much.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

See THIS LINK for compilation of all of my Ciabatta bakes.

Dan’s Bake 8 - A good friend had a saying, “sometime chicken, sometime feathers”. Today I got feathers :-)

You probably guessed it, I baked Michael's "Ciabatta con past madre biga" AGAIN. Small changes have a way of making large changes. I THINK the problem starter when the decision was made to finished up the 16 hr biga ferment for the last 2 hr at 82F. The first 14 hr it rested at ~62F. I had hoped to bring a little more acidity to the bread, but the additional acid may have harmed the gluten. I really don’t know what else to think. I knew something was not right during the machine kneading. The dough refused to come together as it had in the past. I began to question if maybe I had mis-measured the water or something similar. After considerable mixing the dough remained slack. I ultimately added 20% more flour, but the dough never did look like the past bakes of the same formula. I was accustomed to super supple and extremely extensible dough. While in the mixer the dough never did completely smooth out. This bake will be valuable to me if the troubleshooting assumptions are correct. 

The bread has a more acidic flavor, which was nice. And the sandwiches are killer. If you happen to have Olive Salad in your cabinet, give it a try. It is made for Ciabatta. Will if you read this, make sure you give it a go. You are guaranteed to love it.

Because of the weak gluten, the dough was unable to hold enough gas. The lack of spring and the crumb reflects that.

albacore's picture
albacore

Danny, I think you are right about the degraded biga gluten. I had a similar problem a while ago when making pizza with LM. It hadn't risen as much as it should in the alloted time (ie the fire was nearly ready!) so I hiked the temperature and ended up with slop!

And I think my recent chiabatta bake suffered from degraded gluten. In hindsight, I should have fermented at 16C/61F, not 18C/64F, as well as for less time.

Having used LM a few times, I have come to the conclusion that it is a very difficult product to use: it is high maintenance in preparation (mixing multiple 45/50% refreshes is a PITA) and has no margin whatsoever for error in its use.

Of course when it works well it's great, (and others may not have my problems with it) but I think it might be a rabbit hole (as Alan woud call it) that I won't be rushing down again too hastily.

Lance

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I abandoned Daniel Leaders formula that I used in my first bake (grossly over-proofed) in favour of Jeffrey Hamelman’s Ciabatta with stiff biga. The ciabatta was one of the five breads baked in Paris 1966, at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie. The exceptional quality of the ciabatta helped earn the United States first prize. So, with those credentials, I had to give it a go.

I used my mixer to incorporate all the ingredients and finished kneading on the bench. The bench scraper got a good work-out as the dough was sticky, being 73% hydration. My flour of choice for this bake was a white flour of 12.5% protein. Bulk fermentation of 3 hours with folds at 1-hour intervals. I gently fashioned a loose rectangle and placed onto my couche. I only prepared a single 510-gram dough, so I nestled the couche inside an oblong banneton for support. The kitchen today was a nice 24°C, so I did not need the proofer. The dough rose as expected and was ready for the oven in 90 minutes. It held its shape when I turned it out onto the peel.

Baked at 238°C/460°F in a pre-steamed oven, with steam for first 10 minutes of the bake. I lowered the oven to 230°C/446°F as the loaf browned. The oven spring was much better, and I was relieved that it did not over-proof. The result was more of a regular loaf profile though.  How do I keep it more of the traditional slipper shape?

The crust is crisp and tastes sweetish.

Cheers,

Gavin.

Benito's picture
Benito

Good looking ciabatta Gavin.  Some of the bakers stretch their dough before baking with their hands.  I forgot to do this and my ciabatta (also underproofed)  ended up much more barrel shaped than slipper shaped as well.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks, Benny. I shall remember to stretch the dough next attempt.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

And with that pedigree, I should look into giving it a go myself.

A bit untraditional shaping for a ciabatta, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.  Same holds true for here.

In the interest of not advising you to ruin the bread for the next run, you could stretch it out on its travel from the basket onto the baking peel.  The method is common enough, either when it goes from shaping to a couche, or from the couche to the baking peel - my preferred method, although both are equally as effective.

If it is in a flatter slipper shape, you wouldn't have those beautiful slices anymore. It depends on what type of end product you want for the occasion.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks for the tip about stretching the dough. I forgot on this occasion as I was so pleased the dough had good structure. I stretched the dough on my first attempt but it was over-proofed and collapsed in the oven. Looks like attempt #3 is looming.

Cheers,

Gavin

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Nice looking slices, Gavin. Your bakes seems to validate the statement, “if you want your bread to rise up use a biga, if you want it to spread use a poolish”. This truth is being demonstrated more and more as we pursue this CB.

IMO, this crumb is better suited for sandwiches. Ideally, I would like to produce both your crumb and also typical Ciabatta crumb on demand, as long as the flavor can be maintained.

Please describe how your biga was made and mixed.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Yes, I think you're right about the rise theory. 

The biga contained 20% pre-fermented flour from the overall formula. It was a stiff biga that was 60% hydration and 0.066% instant dry yeast.

BIGA instruction summarised: Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour, and mix until just smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and leave for 12 to 16 hours at about 21°C. I mixed by hand in a bowl.

What is your advice on a more open crumb? Is it just to raise the hydration or is there some other mystery that has eluded me thus far?

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

and don't mind being on the untraditional side (my specialty!) - use a levain instead of a biga altogether.  Mixing in a liquid levain is about 1,463.7 times easier than trying to incorporate a very low hydration biga.

Here is evidence that you can get significant rise out of a levain based ciabatta although the holy-er than thou holes in this example aren't really open.  But all the flavor and characteristics are otherwise there.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/66219/community-bake-ciabatta#comment-472184 .

Edit: Just noticed that Tom M also called it out a few comments below this one.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

whew. This thread is long!

i’m not sure if I missed a posting regarding using 100% wild yeast. I no longer use commercial yeast, and have spent this covid season converting all my recipes to sourdough starter.

Currently I’m working on a wild yeast version of Newfoundland raisin bread, but this CB caught my eye.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Glad to see you join in. Many of us are following the Italian method using a biga. The biga can be leavened with either sd or commercial yeast. It is a different process from our norm but the results have been good and getting better.

Hope all is well with,
Danny

Tom M's picture
Tom M

The starter-based Ciabatta formulas that have been posted so far are Doc's Sourdough Ciabatta using a 60% hydration levain and Alfanso's Levain Ciabatta using a 100% hydration levain, unless I'm forgetting any other.  Both use a kicker of commercial yeast, but small enough percentages that I expect you could leave them out without making other adjustments to the formula.

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

looks like my next bread bake will be a wild yeast ciabatta!

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

I will concoct my own recipe

Benito's picture
Benito

Hey Diane, are you from Newfoundland as my partner is?  I’m curious about this Newfoundland raisin bread, have you posted it anywhere?

Benny

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

Hi Benny,

I am a Brooklyn gal ...although I have been living upstate New York for several decades (Upstate as in on Lake Ontario border).

I decided I wanted to bake bread with more character, molasses, a bit of brown sugar, an egg, and raisins, if I feel like it. I found a couple of recipes with those ingredients in “newfoundland bread” on the Internet, one with lard (gag), so I decided to develop my own wild yeast recipe. I’m working through version two.

it has a fairly dense, slightly sweet crumb, slices beautifully. I’ve used it for sandwiches and also topped with slices of gjetost and a dollop of peach jam!

Certainly the antithesis of an airy ciabatta.

Why not? it makes no difference to me which side my bread is buttered :-)

 

 

 

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Ah very good, well if you work out a good formula for your 2.0 version, please post it in your blog I’d love to see it and try it.

Benny

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

I will share the the final tested master recipe with photos.

Diane

gerhard's picture
gerhard

I understand if you have religious/cultural reasons for avoiding lard but otherwise I would encourage you to give it a try. It has a neutral flavour and in my experience makes the best pie crust plus it is healthier than a lot of 100% vegetable shortening. Tallow on the other hand is a fat I avoid as it has flavour that is hard to clear from my palate. Lard might not be right for you but then again it could be better than you think.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Quite a few years ago I made ciabatta and so I thought I would remake the recipe I used then.  So this is Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe from "The Bread Bible".  I doubled her recipe so as to give 2 ciabatta.

8:45 am mix the Biga.  100 g bread flour + 50 g lower protein flour + 0.4 g instant yeast + 118 g water.

This was hand mixed with wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, covered and left. 

14:45 mixed the dough using my old Kenwood Chef and the K beater

272 g bread flour + 1.6 g instant yeast + 6.6 g salt and 236 g water.  I mixed for 3 minutes on speed #6 but felt it needed more so mixed for an additional 2 minutes at this speed before lowering to speed #4 as per recipe.  Dough came cleanly away from bowl.  I scraped dough into oiled container and left to triple in size as per recipe.

This was supposed to take 90 minutes but it was cooler in my kitchen so it took twice that time. 

18:25 shape.  To do this I tipped dough out onto well floured bench, folded dough carefully one fold then divided dough.  I was following the instructions also with shaping so just pushed the sides of the dough together and patted length to what I wanted.  I then carefully flipped dough sideways onto parchment and pushed the the two ciabattas so that the parchment separated them and covered with large container.  The oven was preheated with lava rocks and my pizza stone.  After 75 minutes I carefully placed both ciabatta on pizza stone, poured boiling water over the lava rocks and baked for 5 minutes at 500 deg F then 20 minutes at 475 deg F, turning front to back half way through the bake.  Internal temperature was 212 deg F so I turned off the oven and left for a further 5 minutes with door cracked open. before removing them.  About 5 minutes later I decided bottoms looked and sounded a bit "soft" so I returned ciabatta to oven for another few minutes.

So once these had cooled I cut them.  This one is very soft delicate crumb, not as open as I thought it would be

and the other - well, the mice could have an adventure here -holes that are probably too big, lol

Thin crust, soft crumb - great!

Shaping - well "Could have done better" - next time will try a better method as there is really not a huge amount of height in these.  I should also have removed the parchment when I removed lava rocks halfway thru the bake when I rotated the bread. 

The bread is as light as a feather though - so some good, some bad!  I think hydration is around 80%

Leslie

 

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I love the look of them, so delicate. And your crust looks crackly and paper thin, just as it should be. Table breads, made for dipping! I made a batch tonight and forgot to flip and dimple them before loading them into the oven. They're still baking, but I'm expecting some oversize holes, too. So what, they'll still taste great. Enjoy!

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

hopefully next batch will be better. I really didn’t put much effort into dimpling so will remember to do that

Leslie

alfanso's picture
alfanso

this looks quite fine to me.  Except for those, um, small holes in the last picture!

alan

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

lol, thanks Alan. I will have another go next week trying to get a bit more height. Happy with crumb but I need to probably dimple more firmly to discourage mice adventurism :)  

Leslie

Tom M's picture
Tom M

A number of us have been stopping the bulk fermentation at 50% rise and letting the shaped dough proof to 100%, but I checked Will’s posting of the Giorilli process and cross-checked elsewhere.  BF to 100% is called for, then rough shaping by division and proofing until very jiggly/light.  Maybe I missed it — is anyone doing this longer bulk?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I think Ciabatta should be bulked much more than the typical 30-50% rise. Since it is generally not shaped much or at all 100% (doubling) seems better.

Benito's picture
Benito

OK I have ciabatta dough in the proofer so this is well timed.  I should aim for 100% rise during bulk fermentation the, is that the general consensus, not that we must stick to consensus statements.  ?

Benito's picture
Benito

I should add that I am trying the same formula again with 100% hydration levain. I’ve used the stand mixer at low speed to help with building gluten early on as advised. 

This dough is so silky smooth and so far a joy to coil fold.  I’m uncertain how far I’ll push bulk though definitely more than 50% but probably not 100%.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, I would think the strength of your flour will also have a baring on the degree of rise.

I am in the process of sourcing Caputo Manitoba flour. It is super strong.I am hopeful that it will handle the brutal fermentation that my SFSD must under go. We’ll see.

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes Dan you’re very right.  I’ve never pushed any sourdough in bulk to double, scary stuff LOL.  Let’s see how adventurous I feel later tonight.  I’ve just given the dough a 2nd coil fold.  I used the mixer for mixing autolyse, then adding levain, then mixing at bassinage of salt, water and olive oil.  It was a slow process since I didn’t want to push my KA mixer higher than 2.  The dough I’m working with now is so supple and non sticky, very enjoyable to coil fold.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, when a dough id highly developed sticking ceases. I think Doc can verify that.

what flour ate you using for the chibby?

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes that is very very true, I never use the mixer so this is one of the first times I’ve really developed the dough early on and it really has a different feel.  The recipe uses 19% whole red fife and 81% bread flour 13.3% protein.

Unfortunately I started this a bit on the late side and I’m going to have to end bulk earlier than I had wanted.  So it will go into cold retard until tomorrow.  I’ll give it some bench time tomorrow after work to hopefully catch things up before shaping and baking.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

I’m starting a 50% hydration levain tomorrow morning for 100% levain ciabatta Friday.  Please keep us posted, Benny!  :)

Benito's picture
Benito

Definitely Tom.  I will post the formula if it turns out well enough.  I’ll post photos whether or not successful.

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, what is your reasoning for building a 50% levain one day in order to build a 100% levin from it the following day? That seems unusual to me.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

By 50% hydration levain, I meant a sourdough biga, and by 100% levain ciabatta, I meant 100% prefermented flour ciabatta.  I wasn’t calling it a biga since it’ll be starter-based.  Gotta work on my clarity.

I want to treat it like CY to minimize the sourness.  After 24 hours in the fridge, I’ll raise the hydration and add oil.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

So I made the Ponsford ciabatta again from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Breads again, but I did several things differently - not with good results, unfortunately. Except for the following changes, everything was the same as Bake 1:

1. Mixed the biga per the Vito Iacopelli video. It didn't rise much more than it did in Bake 1.

2. Knocked about 30 seconds off the final mix. The gluten was noticeably less developed, which was intentional. I was hoping it would result in fewer ginormous holes.

3. Coil-folded the dough during BF instead of using standard S&Fs.

4. "Aggressively" patted out the bubbles and folded the dough before portioning it, Ciril Hitz-style.

5. Forgot to flip the dough and poke it. This was unintentional and resulted in bigger holes at the top of the loaves.

6. I reduced the bake time to 35 minutes.

These breads were a complete disappointment. Nobody would ever guess these were from the same recipe as Bake 1. The taste is yeasty and bland. The crumb is soft, mostly lacking in random holes, and has no chew whatsoever. A hint of doughiness. Obviously, some of the changes didn't work out, but I can't help but feel that the biggest error was in stopping the mix early. The plan is to mix another biga tomorrow using Mulino Caputo 00 Americana flour that was delivered this afternoon. On Friday, bake day, I plan to revert to the original process from Bake 1, but am, of course, open to suggestions.

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