The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for 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.


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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.

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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

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 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..********************************************************

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Danny

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Yes, sorry, I think my photo of the first few slices isn't truly representative. Some parts of the loaf looked decent but it wasn't uniform. I intentionally cut the mix short because there were too many huge holes in Bake 1, but it was clearly a mistake which affected the crumb structure and, I believe, the flavor. My mixer is an Ankarsrum. The typical mixer speed settings are a little different, so the cues you provided for the flour are great and I will rely on them for Bake 3. I'll give the Ponsford ciabatta one more try using your tips before moving on. I think I'll learn the most that way.

Lievito Madre is piquing my interest. Not just for ciabatta, but in general. I maintain a whole rye starter, in part because I don't love the smell or glutinous texture of wheat starters; however, my husband prefers a mild flavor profile, which just isn't a thing with whole rye starters, haha. After reading mwilson's posts on this thread, I thought that the Lievito Madre might suit my needs better than a conventional starter. It seems a little maintenance-heavy, so I need to kind of dig into the details and see if I can fit it into the rest of my life :-)

I appreciate the help. You guys are great.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You are right, the Lievito Madre is a lot of maintenance and requires a lot of flour. Here is another option that builds a typical sd starter that favors yeast over acids.

I am in the process of learning the Lievito Madre now, but it requires a fair amount of dedication. The sd starter requires dedication but LM, even more. 

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

That process sounds a whole lot more reasonable! Thanks for pointing me in that direction. This stiff white starter doesn't seem like too much of a burden. (I sometimes feed my rye sour 3x per day when I want to take the edge off it.) I'll split off a bit of the rye sour and start converting it tomorrow. 👍🏻

-AG

Benito's picture
Benito

I baked Joy Ride Coffee’s Ciabatta formula which uses a 100% hydration levain along with 19% whole wheat (I used Red Fife) and made it at 80% hydration.  As I mentioned earlier I used the mixer to build gluten up very early on.  This had the effect of making the dough the smoothest non sticky dough I’ve worked with.

I ran out of time last night and had to end bulk at 50% rise in the aliquot jar.  This afternoon I took dough out of the fridge and after 1 hour divided into two.  I folded the long ends in about 20% and then folded the dough and floured the seam transferring them into the floured couche.  All seemed to be going well.  After a 2.5 hour bench rest when the oven was heated to 500ºF I attempted to transfer them from the couche to the transfer board.  This is when disaster struck.  I think the dough is somewhat overproofed, not sure why since I only bulked to 50% rise, perhaps the final bench proofing time was excessive for this dough.  Also perhaps the acid load was too high and the dough was getting proteolytic.  So when I attempted to transfer the first ciabatta to the transfer board, it was very very stuck to the couche, this despite my flouring it at least as heavily and probably a fair amount more than I’m use to doing for the baguettes.  It was so stuck that I have to use my fingers to pry the dough off the couche.  It was bad enough that after using my fingers to disconnect the dough from the couche there was still some dough stuck to the couche.  At this point I didn’t have much hope for these ciabattas.

Eventually the ciabattas were on the peel seam side down and baked.  They baked with steam at 480ºF for 13 mins, then 420ºF for 15 mins without steam at which time they were quite dark, but didn’t feel like they were fully baked yet.  I dropped the temperature to 350ºF and gave them another 5 mins to try to get them baked without burning.

Sad looking flat ciabattas, they would make good door stops!

I think when I try ciabatta again I will try with a biga. Beautiful hate giving up on a recipe that others have had good success but I’m not sure will work for me. 

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Sorry that you ran into so much trouble, Benny.  Thanks for sharing your experience nonetheless.  They look like they could still be good to eat, albeit crusty.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Tom, it wasn’t my best bake that’s for sure.  One of them is way to dark to eat by humans, I may feed it to the birds, although, we already have too many pigeons around downtown Toronto so I’m not sure I want to feed them.  

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

It sounds like you hit a bump and the joy ride coffee ended up in your lap;-) Don't spare the flour on the board or the couche. It has happened to me and was difficult to get off the linen and I was hesitant to wash it off so I scraped and brushed. I am sure your next ones will be better.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes major lesson learned.  I did hand wash the couche the dough had become absorbed into the fabric so badly I don’t think I had any choice.  After overnight air drying there were small pills of the dough that were then easy to scrap off with the bench scraper.  Now I’ll let it fully dry but I think the couche will be fine.  Next use will require a ton of flour.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Catalana's answer to ciabatta.

Checked last year's notes and made some changes.  

  • 100% hydration Bread Flour levain.
  • Replaced WW with Rye.   
  • Autolyse prepared 3-4 hours in advance, taking a page from Brotkraft.  Refrigerated for the final 2 hours.
  • Whisked together levain, IDY, sugar and salt.
  • Moved to mixer to add autolyse in small chunks, then bassinage and olive oil in phases until the sight and sound signaled to me that the mix was over.
  • Folds in BF tub at 0, 30 & 60 minutes.  Volume tripled in 110 minutes.
  • Replaced the heavily floured counter with only water for divide and shape.
  • Went immediately from divide to oven peel to oven, post haste.
  • Preheat 480dF, Steam 460df 13 min, rotate, 13 min 440dF, 3 min vent.

 Unfortunately, these baked about 4-5 minutes too few, and should have been browner with a drier crumb.  The takeaway is that the crust also didn't have time enough to truly dry,  and subsequently it didn't have that "shatter"when cut or bit into.  

However the process felt right to me and the shaping, with the wetted counter and wet hands proceeded smoother and was more predictable.  No matter what, without more skill or some kind of sleeve or tray to place these on, they will aways have that freeform look to them.  Still some merging of the loaves in the oven.

I figure that if I do this another dozen times I should have it down by then!  Probably go for 100% Bread Flour, no rye next time...

Benito's picture
Benito

Alan you wouldn’t know from the photos that the crust wasn’t crispy and wouldn’t shatter like glass.  They certainly look really good.  I’m sure you’ll have this down pat soon.

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

They look beautiful, Alan! Sure wished I could taste one of those.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

This is really very similar to Benny's most recemt bake above, with 28% pre-fermented flour in a 100% hydration levain, the rest of the flour was cold autolysed overnight at 60% hydration and included 0.1% IDY and 1% diastatic malt.  The levain and autolysed flour were combined (making a dough with 70% hydration which is a little wet to quickly develop the gluten and I will move to an 80% hydration levain for the next batch).  After a few minutes of mixing to get the gluten development started, I bassinaged in the remaining water at about 25g/minute which is about as fast as it will absorb it without having the dough break.  It still took a few minutes of additional mixing to get the development I was looking for.

After transfer to the bulk fermentation container it received two sets of folds 20 min apart then three French folds at about the same interval.  When the aliquot jar said that it had reached 45-50% volume increase it was divided and shaped and put on the couche to counter proof for about 2 hrs (aliquot jar = 100% volume increase from end of mix).

Proof could have gone longer as the dough was quite robust and easy to handle - and from the look of the crumb I probably should have let it go longer (kitchen is cool today).

Oven cycle was 500°F for 10 min with steam, 10 min at 400°F with residual steam which means about 40% humidity in the oven, then 5 min at 20% humidity.  I will leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes next time as it didn't sound done when I finally got around to checking (but it was too late to put it back in).

Crust is crispy, crumb is creamy, color is a little light but OK, flavor is great with the kind of sour I like.

This is a mild departure from my baseline with does not use a long cold autolyse, but it still needs work.  I have tried a stiff biga a couple of times with less than stellar satisfaction.  I like using the cold autolyse because I can do almost all the prep and cleanup in the evening, then get up and if the levain is ripe go straight to mixing.

The large bubbles at the top of the loaf could be better distributed so for anybody who has a suggestion about how best to do that I would be an attentive student.

So for next time - a lower hydration levain and more of the water in the bassinage, same BF (50% increase), longer proof, and more time in the oven.

Benito's picture
Benito

Doc, your bake gives me hope that I can actually make a 100% levain work, but you are right trying to add the 100% hydration levain to the autolysed dough which was around 66% hydration wasn’t much fun and took a really long time to incorporate and build up any strength.

I may try your idea of an 80% hydration levain and recalculated the autolyse to compensate.  

Despite your displeasure at the larger alveoli in the upper half of your ciabatta, the crumb does look quite good.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Once the tub of ciabatta dough is turned out and on the counter and prior to divide, Ciril Hitz pats it all down to "degas" the dough, as he says.  But it may be to redistribute the gas, and not actually degas it.  

The "common wisdom" is to move the proofed dough from couche to oven peel while inverting it, so top is now down.  This is apparently another way to redistribute the gas.

See if you can upload a few slices to me please! 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, I’d be pleased to bakes those! I’m in the minority but golden brown suits me.

Your thorough and detailed accounts of each and every bake are an asset to our Community Bakes. Your persistence ain’t bad either :-)

Your consistent strive to perfect your breads is inspiring.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Weights in grams when not indicated. Levain maturity defined by weight loss equal to 2% of the weight of the added flour (6g in this case) which took about 12 hrs at ~80°F for a ~20:1 scale up.

Mix sequence and resulting dough temperatures:
Combine cold autolysed flour/water/DM/IDY with warm levain
Mix@speed0
64.0°F after 5min @speed0
Add salt during next 5 min
65.9°F after 10 min@speed0
Switch to speed 4
67.5°F after 2 min@4
69.2°F after 4 min@4
70.3°F after 6 min@4 including about 35g of water
71.3°F after 8 min @4 including bassinage of the remainder of 71g of water
72.2°F after 10 min@4
73.3°F after 12 min@4 (note that adding water suppresses the normal temperature increase associated with mixing; decreased viscosity that results from adding water also reduces the rate at which mixing energy can be coupled into the dough -a mechanical impedance mismatch if you like - which is why I want to reduce the hydration of the levain next time and hopefully cut the gluten development time).
End point temperature is very close to room temperature which is BF temperature.
end mix -  good window pane

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, how would you describe the characteristics of the Final Dough once kneading is complete? I am interested in the double pre-ferment.

Question -
Have you thought about the outcome if the biga was used in the sd and the poolish was leavened with CY? The low hydration dough fermented by sd and it’s acids are key to that thought.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

At the end of mixing, the dough texture was highly extensible and somewhat sloppy but not fluid. In the Cambro tub with wet hands it was easy to fold and it would stay folded though there was little strength immediately after completion of the mix.  I will try to remember to shoot a video clip in the mixer right at the end; that will give you a better sense.

I presume that you are using "biga" to describe the autolysed flour that includes a small amount of IDY.  Since it is refrigerated immediately after being mixed, there is minimal yeast activity overnight. Even when I use quite warm water (110°F) to activate the yeast and hasten the absorbtion of the water (which cuts the mix time from 8 min down to <5) the only evidence of any yeast activity is that the Stretch-tite over the bowl is puffed up perhaps 3/8-1/2" in the morning - the dough ball is not obviously soft, enlarged, or foamy in any way, it is just hydrated flour containing some mostly dormant commercial yeast.  Until the dough temperature is raised by mixing to at least the mid '60's I suspect that there is little contribution from the yeast.

The levain is active overnight as it is in a warm place and because the expansion is about 20:1 takes 10-12 hrs to mature but even then it is just past peak volume and has generally begun to recede by the time it has lost the 5 or 6 grams of CO2 that is the measure of maturity.

Frankly, I don't understand the insistence on mixing the biga so dry and in a way that discourages gluten development, unless it is a consession to european flour. I have no problem with mixing the levain at 60% hydration which just makes the autolyse into what Benny calls a fermentolyse, but at 45-50% hydration the resulting biga is so dry that I wind up with insoluble lumps of flour that don't mix well and hang around until late in bulk fermentation.  I have on my to-do list an experiment to return to a relatively short (20-120min) fermentolyse at a mid 60% hydration followed by gluten development and bassinage - just for comparison. At some point I suspect that the results will match an overnight autolyse of the flour that is not in the levain.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, “ Frankly, I don't understand the insistence on mixing the biga so dry and in away that discourages gluten development

I have been thinking about this. It does facilitate ease of mixing the biga into the Final Dough. It is not difficult at all. 

Since the biga is retarded at 61-65F, it is basically an overnight fermentolyse. 


“ At the end of mixing, the dough texture was highly extensible and somewhat sloppy but not fluid”. Does the dough remove from the bowl leaving it clean and in one piece?

in another post Abel recommended a super strong flour for the biga and a less strong flour for the final dough. He claimed the BF would be shorter that way, although I don’t understand that. Not saying he is wrong. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Doc thanks for your detailed outline, this will help me when I decide to try ciabattas again.  I’m still so undecided about what formula to try next time, something along these lines might be a good idea with hybrid leavening.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

DIving back into ciabatta after not making it for a long time reminded me why I stopped baking them. For such a simple looking pile of dough it was always more difficult than it appears. I always found the distinct smell and taste of well made ciabatta very appealing but difficult to reproduce at home. Thanks to everyones contributions here on the CB at TFL. I now see a path to making an authentic version. My preference is for slippers with large holes versus moon boots that need to be sliced to make a sammy with, so that is what I aim for. To each his own.

I did the Giorilli recipe with CY because like baguettes I prefer to use yeast over SD to get a thinner crust and lighter crumb. I find it more reliable and has a more wheaty taste. The new found way to make a biga(thanks Ilya) was a game changer for me and actually pretty simple to boot. The distinct ciabatta smell I was looking for was in the biga. 

My first attempt that I will not be posting was a disaster. Sorry Dan. I used my Bosch mixer which really works well for the bassinage unless you start with too much water! The biga remained lumpy and the whole mess looked like bad cotton candy in the bowl with no cohesion. Then I put it in the proofing bowl I hadn't oiled it so that was the next mess. The bake was flat and ugly and had me thinking I should stick to baguettes. At the end of it all I did end up with some nice croutons

My second attempt went quite smoothly after making the adjustments of holding back enough water to knead a stiff dough until smooth and then drizzle in the remaining water. It held together really well and I think I could have added even more than the 80% water called for. I should have trusted the rounded 1/4 tsp of IDY in the biga but I added another when mixing and it moved too fast. From mix to the oven in three hours seemed too short also I think these are slightly underproofed and should have had more time during bulk and final proof. Divided into two pieces and did a lateral letter fold and was pleased with the shaping. I may try stitching it next time. Proofed top down on a couche and inverted and dimpled before baking at 450 for 28 minutes. My preference for ciabatta is golden brown but these needed a little more time to dry out.

ciabatta   

I was surprised to see them split on the top but the crust was paper thin and very soft.       

ciabatta crumb    

This bread had very soft crust and crumb was  pleasant to eat on it's own but even better with a little pesto smeared on. It also made for a good PB&J. I was hoping for bigger hole so I will definitely give these another attempt but without the malt powder because the Wheat Montana AP I used is already malted. Thanks everyone for showing me the way.

Benito's picture
Benito

Don those look great!  The crumb certainly looks good nicely open, although you think it is underproofed it cannot be that under.  I am hoping my next attempt will not be like my two previous failures.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

The challenge for me is how to get a more open crumb after 12 minutes of intensive mixing in my Bosch. I was only able to get a couple of coil folds in before I ended the bulk so next time I will push that to let some larger bubbles form. I really like the flavor of ciabatta but they are an ugly duckling compared to baguettes.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I excluded the malt since most USA based flours are already malted, and yes, so can you.  

For someone out of practice these look really good.  Personally I find the crumb structure on these to just right.  as you say, to each his own.  And it certainly has sufficient height to make a sandwich with vertical slices.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

My ideal ciabatta would be like the ones I saw in Italian bakery video where the dough was poured out of a pitcher onto a long hot steel and then slid into the oven as it was bubbling up. It probably has another name but when chopped in sections and cut in half it was used to make a thin sandwich. If there was ever a bread to shoot for an open crumb, ciabatta is it for me, so thats where I am headed of course.

I remembered a trick I used to use to cut Gosselin baguettes and it helped to handle to this ciabatta. I pour flour on the cut line and then pinch it down with the edge of my wooden transfer peel to seal the edge before cutting it. It is easier to handle this way and there is no fat cut line that tries to reattach to the main dough.

I am not for certain but I thought I could taste the malt that I added to this mix and it tasted sweeter. It seemed to make the small amount of yeast I used very potent. I will learn more after I omit it the next time.

 

 

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Aha!  So I've been using malt after all!  Somehow I felt a wash of relief upon reading that.  :D

albacore's picture
albacore

An improvement on No.1, but no big holes. The formula was based on the yeasted Giorilli formula, but with 80% PFF, instead of 100%.

Having seen many bakes on here (including my first one) with blotchy mottled surfaces, I decided to do something about it and added 1% sugar and 1% skim milk powder to the final dough, as well as the 1% malt specified in the recipe. This has solved the problem - in my eyes, anyway.

My shaping was pretty "rustic" and has room for improvement! Although the crumb didn't have big holes (perhaps overmixed?) the bread was very light with high specific volume.

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, give these a 9.75. Like Alan, the crumb looks great to me. 

The color is perfect, IMO. 

Beautiful bread. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, what temperature did you bake #2 with? I’d love to produce that color.

I wonder if the sugar and milk would have a negative affect considering the dough is wholly leavened with sd.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I like the golden brown color better than the russet brown for ciabatta. Glad to see another CY version to compare to. I am thinking of going back to the compass point folds during the bulk to see if that will lead to a more irregular crumb. That and less folds during the shaping to get closer to the slipper profile. Doesn't milk lead to a tighter crumb? Maybe not with such a small amount.

Don

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

To get Maillard products you need a reducing sugar and sucrose is not (until it is converted to glucose + fructose which as monosaccharides are reducing sugars). The milk brings lactose which works. And you can add half as much fructose instead of sucrose if you want to. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Redundant

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, I’d sure be happy with those Lance, very very nice!

Benny

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Very nice!  One note about the PFF: you suggested that using 80% instead of 100% diverged from the Giorilli formula, but Will's reformatted formula has 80% prefermented flour.

--Tom

albacore's picture
albacore

Interesting about the PFF - I was working from the recipe at https://blog.giallozafferano.it/fablesucre/ciabatte-di-giorilli/

But I do think a 100% PFF dough has no margin for error; 80% does make more sense. If I ever persuade myself to use LM again I will probably go for 50%.

Lance

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Ah, there you have it; we're working with two versions of the formula.  I wonder if one is closer to the original. 

As it happens, I just pulled a 100% PFF sourdough ciabatta out of the oven.

albacore's picture
albacore

Well, while the oven was on for bake no.2......

This one followed a different recipe. There was an overnight yeasted sponge preferment, ambient for a couple of hours and then in the fridge. This 33% PFF preferment was 50% manitoba and 50% medium rye flour.

The main dough had some milk and sugar and a high yeast rate.

I think these actually had a better shape than my bake no.2, but a bit heavy on the flour as they were sticking to the couche like crazy!

Lance

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Monster holes are not my thing, so what came out of your oven looks just dandy to me.  Seemingly all of the characteristics of a ciabatta on both counts.  

albacore's picture
albacore

Thanks Alan and Danny; for what seems like a pretty simple bread to make, it has a surprising complexity!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Lance, if your are still keeping a LM, it makes a great Ciabatta using Michael’s formula. I like it much more than other formulas. Will be mixing the final dough for one in a few minutes.

Benito's picture
Benito

I agree your third bake is also great.  I like the shape of them and that crumb would be perfect for any topping you’d like to place on it.

Benny

albacore's picture
albacore

Many thanks Don and Benny for your kind words. I was pretty fed up with ciabatta after my bake no.1! It's incredibly easy to produce a lousy loaf the first time you bake a style that's new to you, even when you think you have some general baking competence. But I do think LM is pretty capricious, to put it mildly.

It's easy to see how beginners can get disheartened.

Danny, oven was preheated to 250C/480F and turned down to 230/445 bottom heat with steam when bread went in. 15 mins, then vent and 5-8 mins top and bottom heat

Milk powder - not sure about reducing crumb size, but probably it softened the crumb, which I think suits the style - I don't want a ciabatta that gives jaw ache.

Malt + milk powder + sugar - maybe overkill, but it worked for me, so I would use exactly the same again - I really wouldn't want to produce another blotchy crust!

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I thought it good to put this in a separate post. I know Doc and Michael are big advocates of well developed gluten. Historically, I have very much shied away from this for fear of harming the flavor. Not sure how future bakes of other types of breads will be mixed but for Chibby, it well developed gluten for me!

I took videos and photos of the dough while mixing. I thought it was important to share this with the gang. Ciabatta should have a thin crust and super thin cell walls. Completely developed gluten accomplishes this. Check out the images.

Dough was mixed in a spiral mixer. The loose dough piles on the top are from the dough that clung to the breaker bar and spiral hook.

Notice how the dough removed cleanly from the bowl and was removed in a single piece as a result of completely developed gluten. The dough is super slack (~90% hydration) but it is easily handled and not sticky. NOTE - these doughs use 4% olive oil. I think it helps to condition the dough in respect to suppleness and non-stickiness.

The dough was just removed from the mixer and has begun BF with the aliquot jar along side. My doughs have been too strong at shaping. Because of this the dough will not receive any folding. We’ll see...

My latest experience with flours for Ciabatta -
I have been using very strong flour for Ciabatta, also something new for me. I tried KABF and found the results inferior to Caputo American. This bake (not baked yet) is testing King Arthur Sir Lancelot (aka KA High Gluten). I have had good success with Caputo Americana for Ciabatta, but it is costing me about $3/pound. I can get KASL for $35/55 pounds. By the way, the images and video are of KASL flour. Caputo Americana looks identical at this stage.

Although the video below uses a spiral mixer, I am confident that a typical (KitchenAid, etc.) planetary mixer will achieve the same results.

For best viewing useTHIS LINK.

Benito's picture
Benito

Very helpful photos and video Dan, glad you’ve posted them.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

This batch incorporates the learning from yesterday:

28% PFF in an 80% hydration levain fermented 13 hrs @~27°C, the remaining flour was cold autolysed overnight and included 1% diastatic malt and 0.1% IDY.  The water used to hydrate it was quite warm (110°F) but the mixing time was reduced form 8 minutes to a bit less than 5 min.

The ripe levain and the autolysed flour were combined  for 10 minutes at low speed and made a dough of 65% hydration which was just right for developing the gluten quickly (after two minutes of mixing at high speed the dough was ready to start the bassinage of the last 131g of water).

The bassinage took less than 6 minutes (25 g per minute continues to be a good rule for how fast an 1800g batch of dough will accept additional water), and two more minutes of high speed mixing were enough to finish it.  The dough was smooth and very extensible when transferred to the BF container.  Four-way folds followed by French folds were delivered on 20 min centers until it was strong enough not to flow back into the corners. Dough was bulk fermented to a little over 150% of post-mix volume, then shaped into four ciabatta and proofed for 90 min at a room temperature in the low 70's. Each was inverted when transferring to the pans and two of the four were finger stapled. Oven cycle was 500°F with steam for 10 min, 400°F for 15 min, then 350°F for 10 minutes to get the right sound when tapping the bottom of the loaves.

Images below are all four loaves, three uncut, one cut. Crumb is much improved with uniformly spaced, moderately large holes, a crispy crust and a creamy crumb again though more elastic than yesterday which was slightly under-baked. The additional 5 minutes of oven time at 350°F did not increase the crust thickness detectably though in theory it should have thickened it somewhat.

{Late add: the crumb of the stapled and unstapled loaves was indistinguishable}

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Really great bake Doc.  The crumb and crust are awesome.  Again thanks for sharing your methods with us.

Benny 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Doc, you’ve got the crumb dialed in. I see you are still adding coarse salt to the crust. I keep forgetting to try that. I love salt. Most times truffle salt is added to the slice before eating with butter.

I Recommend you trying this Truffle Salt for a light sprinkle on a buttered slice. The flavor is signature... As a finishing salt it last forever.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Really nice!

-AG

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I'm pretty impressed by the nice thin crusts you and others have achieved using levains. These are very nice looking breads. I'm curious about the flavor profile: do you find these naturally leavened ciabatta to be at all tangy or just a little more complex than the ones made with commercial yeast?

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I use a levain to get the sourdough flavor, and I augment it with a small enough dose of commercial yeast to accelerate the process without contributing detectably to the flavor profile. At some point I will perhaps have time to delve into using LM as an alternative. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

After a dozen other ciabatta formulae, I settled on a combo of levain and IDY.  Lievito Madre seems like more work than I want to tackle.

Until this CB I had no clue that anyone docked/dimpled their dough before oven entry.  Never did it, and may never do it, but your ciabatta looks just fine to me!

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I haven't dug too deeply into Lievito Madre yet, but a preliminary look led me to think that it might be too ambitious for me right now. Dan suggested I try a mild white starter instead, so I am in the process of converting a bit of my rye sour. I think I will try a levain/IDY hybrid. You've all made such nice loaves that way. As far as dimpling goes, I'm not convinced either way, but I like to give the recipe author the benefit of the doubt, especially when its a baker of Craig Ponsford's stature. Yesterday I dimpled the dough and about half of them popped back up by the time I opened the oven door, so who knows. Thanks again for the guidance!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I like the crumb you are getting and the crust looks nice and thin. I am curious as to why the dimples are staying after the bake? Mine seem to level off with the oven spring. Maybe I am poking them less. 

Tom M's picture
Tom M

This was going to be 33% whole wheat, 80% hydration sourdough ciabatta with 100% prefermented flour in a 50% hydration salt-retarded levain.  After some on-the-fly tweaks, it ended up 37% whole wheat. The remaining flour was all-purpose and I added vital wheat gluten for a 14% protein content.

The story on the salt is that I've been experimenting with salting my starters.  'Cause, I EAT my starters.  Lately I've been salting them full-strength so that the "discard" goes straight into the microwave.  I'm not sure if the bugs are salt-adapted or if it just didn't phase them, because it hasn't slowed them down appreciably.  Even more recently, I've been keeping it progressively stiffer, and I've noticed really good things happening to the flavor of the microwaved sourdough--yeastier and well balanced with a milder tang.  I'm not sure how much is the salt and how much is the hydration.  I think it's both.  Afterwards, I searched TFL and found old posts with information that yeasts are more salt-tolerant than lactic acid bacteria.  Turns out that several years ago, Abe experimented with salting his, without mishap.  It's apparent that as hydration is lowered, the salt concentration (at the same baker's percentage) increases.  I estimate that 2% salt at 80% hydration is akin to 3.2% salt at 50% hydration.  Yeast should be fine at that concentration but it likely impedes the LAB.  So for today's bake the levain was 100% total flour, 55% hydration, and the full 2% baker's percentage of salt.  I built the levain with a 2.2% salted 60% hydration whole wheat starter that was 1 hour at room temperature, 24 hours refrigerated.

I cut the 60% stiff starter into small pieces (10% of formula), added the water for a 50% hydration levain and the 2% total formula salt.  An immersion blender made quick work of dispersing the pieces. 

I poured this over the flours and shook to combine, but 50% hydration was still floury.

I added more water for 55% instead: 

I left it at room temperature 1 hour, then refrigerated 24 hours. I took it out about an hour early to start warming up.  Today I added half of the remaining water (100 deg F) and mixed it pretty easily by hand, squeezing it through a fist.  Then I added the remaining water and 3.8% soybean oil.  Oops, that became too liquid.  I should have bassinaged the rest in more incrementally.  After 6 minutes on the mixer, it didn't look like it was going to come together, so I added another 10% of a 70% hydration, salted, whole wheat starter.  After that, it came right together and 3 minutes mixing later I had a nice cohesive dough which gave a windowpane.  Thus the total formula ended up 37% whole wheat, 79% hydration.  I took an aliquot for the jar and put them both in an oven with the light on.  The dough temperature stayed 78-80 deg F throughout bulk fermentation.

At 30 min, stretch and folds, then 1 or 2 sets of coil folds every 30 minutes for the next 2.5 hours, then still more coil folds 45 minutes apart until the 5th hour of bulk fermentation.  It ended up about 10 sets of coil folds and at 4.5 hours I did a lamin...stretchification.  7 hours into BF I saw 100% rise, so I slightly shaped it into a log and wrapped in a heavily rice-floured towel.  I let it proof 30 min more, getting to 108% rise before I chickened out and baked it 450 deg F 20 min with steam and 10 without. 

Here's the crumb shot: 

The flavor was a mild tang, maybe a bit fruity.  The whole wheat wasn't particularly dominant but noticeable and I found myself missing the 20% sprouted white whole wheat with commercial yeast.  So it was an interesting exercise but I think I'll go back next time.

--Tom

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Very interesting observations about the insensitivity to salt. For the LAB and yeast that Gänzle studied (published paper here){original link has been repaired}, the upper limit for the LAB was 4% salt while the yeast was not completely inhibited until the salt concentration reached 8% NaCl.  There are sensitivity curves on page 3 that show LAB getting a growth rate boost from low concentrations but taking a big hit at higher concentrations.  However I would note that I have never been able to make the 4% and 8% numbers line up with the ionic strength values on the horizontal axis of the plot on pg 3.

I have used salt to slow down a starter that I was transporting from one place to another where I would need to feed it during the trip.  It didn't take much to keep it under control and it came back to full strength after a couple of refresh cycles once the salt was omitted.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Doc, the paper was listed as deleted when I clicked on the link.  

It wouldn’t be too hard to hit 4% on a stiff levain without changing the total dough %.  80% PFF in a low hydration levain should do the trick.  I’m curious to give it try but likely not for ciabatta.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Try it now

And let me know what you see - expecially if you find that you have a highly salt tolerant culture.

Tom M's picture
Tom M
Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Today was my third and (probably) final fun at the Ponsford ciabatta in Maggie Glezer's book. I did some experimenting with Bake 2 that was not advantageous, so I largely returned to the technique used in Bake 1, which is the method detailed in the book. The only difference was that I changed flours to Caputo Americana.

DanAyo kindly offered some pointers on developing the Caputo Americana flour that I took to heart for today's mix. Everything proceeded according to expectations except that it took much longer to develop the dough this time around. The dough was considerably softer, which Dan told me to expect. However, by the end of the second fold, it was clear that this was a really lovely dough and I expected a great ciabatta. 

Unfortunately, I made a fatal error when I divided the dough. After I turned out the dough onto the counter, I realized my bench knife was in the dishwasher and, looking quickly for a substitute, stupidly decided on a chef's knife. Of course, the dough pieces stuck to the knife and each other like nobody's business. To make a bad situation worse, I then placed those damaged strips of dough on top of the main dough pieces and, after the dough was folded, they were comfortably nestled inside. Why, you may ask, would someone bake damaged dough strips into their ciabattas? Fearing the answer, I've decided not to plumb that existential mystery ;-) Anyway, I could see those miserable little strips right in the center of the baked loaves as soon as I cut into them. 

Six hours later, I'm still shaking my dang head, but realized that the crumb surrounding the thick doughy strips wasn't half bad. If I hadn't assailed it with the knife, these ciabattas probably would have been alright. My conclusions are two-fold: First, mise en place! Second, I've learned what I can from the Ponsford ciabatta and it's time to move on.

Ciabatta Bake 3-crumb 1Ciabatta Bake 3-crumb2

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I think that is VERY nice looking crumb even with the inclusions. Log your lessons and pick a new destination.

I think I have concluded that for ciabatta the flour matters a lot, so once you have decided which flour you are going to use, stick with it until you have mastered it, then perhaps switch to a different flour.  But then you have to work with it long enough to figure out how much you need to change your process to get the new flour to do your bidding.  There are too many process variables to vary more than one at a time.

Benito's picture
Benito

Despite the mishap they still look quite good.  Don’t we always say that we learn more from our mistakes than successes?  Based on that saying, I should know a lot about ciabattas, 0 for 2.  You’re doing much better so far.  I bet your next bake will be outstanding.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Doc and Benny, I appreciate the encouragement and will keep at it. You both turn out so many gorgeous loaves, one after another!

gavinc's picture
gavinc

This my third attempt the Ciabatta community bake. I changed my approach and formula. I reverted to my regular flour of 11.5% protein and increased the hydration to 76%. 30% of the overall flour was fermented in a 60% hydration biga over 16 hours in the proofer.

The dough was very sticky to work. I don’t have a dough mixer, so I use my Thermomix to incorporate the ingredients and then turn-out onto the bench. I did not want to add any extra flour during the handling, so I mist the bench with water and kept the bench scraper and my hands wet. I folded the dough for 10 minutes before dumping into a bowl for 2-hour bulk fermentation, that includes a fold after 1-hour. I was worried at this stage as there was no discernable rise in the aliquot jar.

The final proof of 1-hour was on a couche supported by a couple of wine bottles. This gave me a flatter profile than the last attempt and more like a slipper. I inverted the dough onto a peel and then immediately into a pre-steamed oven at 238C for 36 minutes. Steam for first 10 minutes of the bake.

I’m disappointed in the crumb as I have some large holes near the top surface at one end. I hope to remedy this next bake by docking the dough before loading into the oven.

Overall Formula

Baker's %

g

 

White Flour

100

336

 

Instant Yeast

0.396

1.33

 

Water

 

76

256

 

Salt

 

2

6.73

 

Total Yield

178.396

600

includes 30g for aliquot jar

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Ciabatta is going to be very sticky, the nature of the beast, so need to keep a bowl of water handy to constantly moisten your hands and fingers.  Not much was around  that.

A lot of the crumb looks really good, but the top-heavy holes...need to figure out why you are getting the inconsistent crumb.  Overall a good bake.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

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

You guessed it, Michael's "Ciabatta con pasta madre biga". The diastatic malt was upped slight to 1%, hoping to produce the gorgeous color of Lance’s bread. But not to be, color remained the same. Next time maybe milk or sugar.

A flour test -
Caputo Americana is a great flour for Ciabatta, but in my area it is expensive. Since I can get King Arthur Sir Lancelot (high protein) for 1/4 of the price, it was used for this bake. Good news, it handles and bakes up about the same as Caputo Americana! Great gluten. Not so good news, the flavor and crust texture doesn’t compete with Americana. Speaking as a flour snob, “flour makes a HUGE difference”.

Shaping is getting better, but reducing the size of the holes in the crumb is not gaining traction.

In an effort to reduce the size of the holes and at the same time temper the oven spring in order to lower the profile (wanted to slice bread horizontally for sandwiches), the dough was aggressively finger docked on both sides. My fingers pressed into the dough until they touched the bottom of the cabinet. Many dimples were made on each side. But it seems that Lievito Madre is such a powerful leavening agent that it rose anyway, leaving almost no signs of the dimples and produced super open crumb.

I am very pleased with the Ciabatta that has come out of my oven since Michaels formula (with LM) was used.

I have joined the ranks of Doc and Micheal when it comes to gluten development for Ciabatta. A Dedicated post on the subject can be SEEN HERE.

I’ve read where Michael sad that he didn’t stress about over-proofing when using LM. I am beginning to understand. This dough was BF to ~125%. The total rise upon completion of shaping was a whopping 280%, according to the aliquot jar.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Wow Dan, this is impressive, and the crumb is stunning. I think this would work great sliced horizontally, like you wanted!

I took a little break from Ciabattas, but will try again next week.

Benito's picture
Benito

Dan I think you are closing in on your target now with each bake.  I agree with Ilya, the crumb looks great.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

The crumb looks great Dan.  It seems to me that pushing the fermentation to the limits is where the ciabatta crumb is achieved. That is one strong mother to tolerate that kind of growth.  How was the taste and chew with the HG flour? The crust looks thick like SD bread. Was it crispy and hard?

I am also in the well developed gluten camp for ciabatta. Letting the mixer do it's thing makes it so much easier to handle. 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

In our business trophy fish used to get hung on the wall. The middle sideways picture looks like a wall mount. Nice catch

albacore's picture
albacore

Your best crumb yet, Danny - it looks great!

How many refreshes of the LM did you do?

Lance

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

These are handsome loaves! 

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

accidentally double posted

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I will have to see if I can get a dough ball at 80% hydration to blow up to 280% of post-mix volume and still handle it. The crumb is excellent and the dough looks very strong for being so wet. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

you may wish to drop the amount of PFF in your formula, or the amount of seed LM in your levain if the LM is too potent.  The holes in the crumb look good, if a little too much on the too much side of things! 

BTW, I've got the same cutting board, but don't use it for bread.  Just condiments and cheeses.  Does that make me right and you wrong?

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Nice one Dan - great job on the crumb ;) 

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

Definitely has a high flavor profile to make up for its misshape!

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick
Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick
MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Slipper bread shouldn't look like socks;-) Something tells me that the loading didn't go smoothly! 

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

that is a very funny comment!

Yes, I let the ciabatta loaves rise on a floured towel, like I do for baguettes, with the intention of rolling each over on parchment pieces, then loading it on the preheated baking sheet. did not happen! I should have realized that the olive oil was an important variable.

Dan said we should post all photos, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that is what I did!!!

I Decided to use the ciabatta recipe from Eric Kayser’s Larouse Book of Bread. it has a 20% inoculation of wild yeast with a pinch of instant.

i’m gonna try this again :-)

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Kinda cute 😊

Benito's picture
Benito

Oh we should definitely share good and bad, thus my sharing of my two poor bakes so far.  Good that you enjoyed the flavour, better than my second set of ciabattas that I’d say I didn’t even like the flavour, they were too burnt tasting.

Benny 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Diane, you may have started a new craze. Watch out if Instagram catches on :)

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Danny, thanks for the instructions on how to opt out.

It looks like you have to post a new comment to get the opt out controls to show up. 

Here's my new comment. :)

Murph

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Murph, for your information and possible others. You can choose to edit any of your previous post in order to alter your choice to receive or not receive email notifications. 

For this that are unaware of the ability to opt out of messages see THIS LINK

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

I have never tried to bake ciabatta before but encouraged by this community bake I thought I would spend a morning on YouTube to watch a bundle of videos on the subject to see how it is done. I eventually settled on John Kirkwood's Sourdough Ciabatta Bread  largely because it uses a sourdough poolish which I have often used before.

So with the poolish it became a fairly leisurely process over two days. On day one the poolish was put together late in the evening by mixing 200g each of flour, water and active starter and letting it sit at room temperature overnight. (I used 85% Dove's strong white flour with 15% home milled wheat flour).

Next day mid morning with the poolish bubbling away strongly

 

The remaining 140g water was stirred in and then 250g flour and 8g salt and machine mixed for 10 minutes. (Well I had to justify the purchase of that shiny new Ankarsrum mixer during lockdown).

"With the dough transferred to a square plastic box bulk ferment lasted     hours  with 4 coil folds in the first 3 hours. Proofing was 1 hour".

I did not have the recommended couche to hold the divided and shaped dough but I had found a clever alternative in a video by Buzzby Bakes who lays a sheet of baking parchment in a roasting tin and after spacing out the divided dough on it pulls up a fold between each piece exactly as you would do with a linen couche. The big advantage of using parchment paper is that at the end of proofing you just stretch out the folds to separate the loaves/rolls which can then be baked in the same roasting tin on the parchment paper and without handling them. I was able to cover the tin closely with a baking sheet to keep the steam in for the first 15 minutes. 

 

My own feelings are, not bad for a first try. the crumb could more open with a longer bulk ferment but I am anxious now to have a go at ciabatta bake 2.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, I really like the way they came out. The color is gorgeous. The smaller sizes are nice also. I would imagine the small amount of fresh milled wheat made for an interesting texture and flavor.

Isn’t it amazing how flour, water, and salt can produce such a varied assortment of breads?

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

 

Thank you Dan. I have usually avoided dipping my fingers into 80+% hydration dough but I actually found this ciabatta fairly easy to work with, maybe due to the reduced shaping needed for a sticky dough, so I'm looking forward to trying again.

Alan

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Nice job with the shaping—looks pretty authentic to me.  Thanks for joining the CB!  Approximately how long were your bulk fermentation and final proof?

—Tom

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Thank you Tom, I'm afraid those details were missed during my start/stop two finger typing.

What I intended to add was

"With the dough transferred to a square plastic box bulk ferment lasted     hours  with 4 coil folds in the first 3 hours. Proofing was 1 hour".

I will edit this into the original.

Alan

 

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Very successful ciabattas Alan!  I agree they are well shaped.

Benny

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Thank you Benny. Getting ready to try again............

Alan

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick
Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

I tweaked my ciabatta recipe, Cut 4 slippers on four pieces of parchment. It has a very good taste profile, but, alas, not my favorite bread recipe.

And that’s why I love bread baking. There’s always another recipe.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Diane, the loaves look pretty pale. Is that by design?

If not, how are you baking them, temp, stone, length of bake, etc? If they are baked properly, a little malt should help, assuming you’d like them darker or more golden brown.

BTW - your profile image reflect your love of photography. Very artistic...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I did the Giorilli recipe again and committed it to memory because it was good bread the last time and I saw lots of potential for improvements with more familiarity. I really like the James Bond shaken not stirred biga and the simpleness of the yeasted version for it's ease of assembly. The goal this time was a more open crumb and a more slipper like shape. The biga had a half teaspoon of IDY and was used 16 hours later with little to no growth evident and still some dry flour between the shards of dough. I used my Bosch mixer and held back 80 grams of water and fed the biga in a piece at a time until a smooth dough was evident on speed 1 for about 5 minutes. The remaining water was drizzled in at speed 2 for another 5 minutes or more until a strong cohesive dough was achieved. A couple tsps of olive oil was added at the very end. Final hydration was 82%. Fermented for less than 2 hours with 2 coil folds in an oiled bowl. It had more than doubled when it was dumped on a well floured counter and gently stretched it into a rectangle with no folding. I floured the cut line down the middle and pinched it down with the edge of my peel before cutting it with a dough scraper. I did no folds or shaping but gathered it up by both ends and transferred them to the floured couche with a stretch to elongate them. Proofed for an hour before inverting and dimpling then baked at 450 with steam until done, about a half an hour later. I forgot to set a timer and may have removed the steam pan too early because the crust was more substantial than the paper thin crust from the last time.

ciabatta slices

Being a fan of ciabatta with large holes I was pleased with the crumb and wished I had sliced this one horizontally for sammiches. Strangely the other loaf did not have a crumb as open as this even though it was handled with the same care. The flavor was also less sweet than the first batch so I may add back in a portion of the diastatic malt that was omitted this time.

Benito's picture
Benito

Don that looks amazing.  That is the type of crumb I’d like to achieve with ciabattas and I’ve come no where close yet.  So no shaping was used, I do like the shape you got as well, very very good baking.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I just stretched it out and cut it in half with no folding. Pinching down the cut line with a transfer peel to seal it before cutting it for the final shape. Really quite simple as ciabatta should be since they look like nothing special was done to them. I employed the KISS method and it worked well this time.

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Great to see your success!  A couple of detail questions: what scale was your dough and if still using Wheat Montana AP, do you happen to know the protein %?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I  used 500 grams of Wheat Montana AP again. The protein is hard to discern from their label but I have heard it is less than 11%. 

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Then your beautiful crumb really calls into question whether we need a high gluten flour here...

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Outstanding in all respects.

Here’s the brilliant part.
” I floured the cut line down the middle and pinched it down with the edge of my peel before cutting it with a dough scraper.”
I’m diggin’ the peel deal... super innovative.

Is it correct to assume that the peel pinched down the dough and sealed it, eliminating section of skinless dough that we normally get when cutting with a bench knife?

It’s a host of comments and tips like this that make the CBs so beneficial.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

You can use a dowel or something blunt enough to compress the dough down before cutting it. It may spead open again when you bake it.  I learned that from of all things a book https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/309299/in-search-of-the-perfect-loaf-by-samuel-fromartz/

A good read for us breadheads!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

All around beauties, the shaping is exquisite.  Nothing more to say - wonderful bake.

The other side of the elongating - from your counter to couche.  Vs. from my couche to baking peel.  Both do the job quite nicely!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

from The Sopranos was called The Bada Bing. Those were strippers and not slippers on display. 

My fully proofed ones did not want to stretch during the loading the last time but this time doing it before laying them on the couche was fairly easy. I may go for a stones length slipper next time.

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

decided to become a musician after hearing this song...https://youtu.be/SKYVOubhqJY?t=60.

Sumpin' else Roy - I spent the first 39 years of my life in NYC and I never, never, ever heard anyone say fuggedaboudit.   Occasionally in contact with some "rougher" family background types.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I was inspecting your gorgeous OPEN crumb Ciabatta. You definitely scored your goal. But here’s the funny part. I had to laugh out loud when I thought this. “I hate myself every time I make a sandwich out of this stuff” <LOL> I need to take a bath after eating...

kendalm's picture
kendalm

You and Dan are crumbing it up - looks great ! 

isand66's picture
isand66

 

 

 

 

Here's my first community bake post. I used a 66% hydration SD levain made with KAF bread flour. For the main dough I used Caputo 00 flour and some fresh milled durum flour.

 

Everything was looking peachy until I let the dough over-ferment since I was working and lost track of time. I never use my couche when making ciabatta but since I saw some other bakers had some great results I gave it a try. Well.....not a good idea especially since I didn't use enough bench flour and combined with the over-fermented dough I had some sticky issues. I had to cut off some of the dough but it still ended up pretty good.

 

The taste is pretty good. It's got a nice SD twang to it and it has that nice ciabatta crust and open crumb.

 

Sorry for the crappy photos but I didn't have time to do my normal photo shoot.

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ian, everything about your Ciabatta looks like SD. Not a bad thing, just a comment. The coloration of the crust and crumb and also the appearance of the crumb texture is what I based the statement on.

Tangy Ciabatta sounds tasty...

What type of Caupto “00” did you use”? I am excited about Caputo Americana. It enhances extensibility and also I also think it tolerates long fermentation. I am in the process of sourcing Caputo Manitoba. It seems it is not easy to come by.

isand66's picture
isand66

I normally buy the stuff in the red packaging.  I bought it a while ago and don’t remember the exact spec.  I’ll see if I can find it in my Amazon records. I usually use it fir pizza but figured it was worth a shot for ciabatta and I was right.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

White lettering on a red background is Saccorosso (translation: red bag). 13% protein. W 300/320. P/L .50/.60.  25 kg package.

Red lettering on white background is Cuoco (Chef), 1 and 5 kg packages. also 13% protein. W 300/320. P/L .50/.60.

So, according to the specs, it looks like the same flour.

http://www.mulinocaputo.it/en/flour

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Oh, I'm also attempting ciabatta today using the same flour, the one strong 00 flour I can easily get. I'll report back. So far it was difficult to develop by hand with 80% hydration, but I think it's manageable in the end. But probably the most mess in the kitchen I've had with any bake.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

It's the taste that rules, of course, and I've had my share of ciabatta and other higher hydrations stick to the couche.  Sometimes not a pretty sight.  All times a nuisance.

Last Autumn I ran some ciabatta with 2 type of tritordeum - that hybrid grain from durum and barley.  One was a "type 150" and the other "type 65".  In both cases the flour mix was 50/50.  So I know that we can get a really nice ciabatta from a lot of durum, if you want to take that to a much higher percentage.  Also was able to use plain old KA AP instead of a "bread flour".

As a lover of durum, you should try the higher percentages, and unless you get into another "sticky situation", I'll predict that you'll really like it.

alan 

isand66's picture
isand66

I will definitely try the higher % of durum next time.  It is important to keep in mind that fresh milled durum tends to be heavier than the factory milled and sifted flour so adding too much could have a negative effect on the ciabatta but it’s worth trying.  I mill on the finest setting with my Mockmill II and sift once with a #30 sieve.  It gets a lot of the bran out this way.  If I wanted to go crazy I could go to a #40 sieve but it’s a lot of work and not worth it in my opinion.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

That's my favorite kind of crumb for SD. You normally work with more ingredients so it's nice to see your naked bread. 

isand66's picture
isand66

I do have trouble sometimes controlling my impulse to throw in more ingredients 🙄😜

alfanso's picture
alfanso

 Drip art!

Dropped the hydration on my pan de cristal formula from 94.5% to 89.5%.  Just for research and scientific study, ya know. Saw no difference, but think I came across an "interesting" feature, at least in my bakes.  The loaves that came out with some height typically did not exhibit as much of an open crumb as those that baked flatter.  Observed a few times across several bakes.  However, the true crust shattering feature on the very thin crust was front and center, and a modest reheat on the oven brought out the best in this phenomenon.  Our neighbor, recipient of many bakes, said that this was the best bread I've made so far.  N.B.  She loves a very very crusty bread.

These will "forever" be malformed unless I can figure out a way to corral their shape on the peel.  I looked into the baguette baking trays, but they are all perforated, and slack doughs will begin to adhere to the perforations.  No thanks.

 

 

Yesterday baked my standard ciabatta - 100% hydration AP levain, 76% water, the 3% oil brings in another 3% hydration.  With all of the water based manipulation and bowl scraping while mixing the dough, I'll add another 1% to the overall hydration now at 80%.  I discovered a while back that I would rather eliminate the oil and add the extra 3% hydration to the water.  But this time I didn't, and the oil was included.  

Still a great bread either way, but I don't think it is any better with the oil than without.  Delivered the big loaf to our same neighbors along with some pecan tassies that my wife baked yesterday.  We shared them over a Zoom dinner last night.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, “I looked into the baguette baking trays, but they are all perforated, and slack doughs will begin to adhere to the perforations.”

what do you think about placing parchment paper on the baguette trays, then adding your dough. OR, putting the dough on the parchment then transferring to the tray.

YES/NO?

alfanso's picture
alfanso

but parchment paper is somewhat stiff and I can't imagine it conforming to the tray curvature easily with the limited amount of weight the dough would exert.  Also, I suppose that the purpose of the perforations are to allow heat transfer, something that the parchment is already interrupting across the entire tray and not just the perforations themselves.

And I'm not gonna invest in any terra-cotta barrel roof tiles either! (although it did occur to me...)

isand66's picture
isand66

I have one that fits 2 loaves and when I’ve used for baguettes in the past I would use baking spray and they worked pretty good.  I will have to try with he ciabatta next time and see if it works or makes a mess.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

“... but think I came across an "interesting" feature, at least in my bakes.  The loaves that came out with some height typically did not exhibit as much of an open crumb as those that baked flatter.“ This may be particularly true because of the super high hydration.

That makes me think. Up front I’d think big oven spring, bit holes. But then sandwich bread comes to mind - big oven spring, small holes. 

Considering cell size (open crumb) -
I wonder if the wetter dough isn’t weaker, thus producing more thin and delicate cell walls. The thin cell walls may be able to expand easier and/or coalesce more so that stronger cell walls.

Considering oven spring (height of baked bread) -
If any of the above holds water, maybe the weaker (wetter) dough is unable to rise as high because the cells coalesce during expansion and hinder the rise.

Throwing these thoughts out for discussion...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

to be the case for wetter doughs. Being less stiff and more fluid and able to then stretch and expand in the oven. A thinner dough will react to the heat of the stone more than a thick one. I think that pushing the fermentation further than normal with ciabatta is one of the key elements to the signature crumb.

 

isand66's picture
isand66

These look great.  Love the pecan tassies as those are my favorites!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

but in these days of drumming our fingers at home a little too often, my wife came across them.  Really tasty, which is funny for me as I don't like pecan pie.  

I used the remaining dough, which is a little like rugelach dough, to roll out, then paint with the goopy stuff, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, golden raisins and toasted walnut pieces.  Then rolled up, cut and baked.  I like that even better!

isand66's picture
isand66

Good thing you don't live in NY anymore or I'd be knocking on your door!

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I wear a mask when I answer the doorbell or step outside my apartment.  Can't quite remember why anymore...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

ahead of me on the trail going up Hydration Mountain and already on the way back down. Did you plant the flag at the summit? "Because it's there" if anyone asks why. I am determined to break the glass ceiling since it seems to be a thang lately. When do you add the sugar? 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

 3 or more hour pure refrigerated autolyse.  Mixing bowl: incorporate - levain, IDY, sugar, salt.  With mixer: small pieces of autolyse to incorporate.  then bassinage, finally oil.

I'm more like an aging Billy Goat clinging to the side of Hydration Mountain, nibbling on the wild flowers and hoping an Eagle doesn't buzz me and knock me off my footing.

Unfortunately I had it backward and flagged a plant at the summit.  Dang! 

I just noticed that Little Stevie gave the Rascals induction speech for the R&R HoF.  I'm a bit slow on the uptake...

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Rock and Roll. I saw that too and realized the Sivio character he played wasn't much of a stretch for him. 

I may skip the levined glass and count on IDY. I was thinking along the lines of the Giorilli framework but adding sugar, more oil and all the water it could take. Now that we are making water flow uphill. This sounds like a job for High gluten flour.

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

wow.. I've been away for 2 weeks and missed the start of this.   Ciabatta was what got me into baking to start with and i've had some successes with a yeasted (poolish) ciabatta.  looking forward to success in a sourdough version.

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

very creamy soft crumb

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Nice looking slice there, James. What formula are you using? The color and look of the crumb texture looks super nice. Your crust reminds me of the “leoparding” on a good Neapolitan Pizza.

Those babies sire did blow up in the oven...

what flour did you use?

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

This is based on Reinhart's Poolish Ciabata recipe.  it's CY with poolish and I use a 10% protein flour that's like AP on the stronger side.  I use an addition of EVOO (added during stretch and folds) and adjust the hydration to the flour (on the lower range of Reinhart's recipe).   Overnight poolish. mix final in KA mixer for a few minutes.  3 stretch and folds. final rest for about and hour.  These here were baked in a over the grill stone oven (BakerStone) at about 700F. Thus the leopard spots.  I get good results in oven with baking stone without the leopard spots.  

I actually have to flatten the dough quite a bit before they go into the oven so they don't get too round and tall. the dough is definitely a very delicate "bag of bubbles".

I think there are a lot of interpretations of what ciabatta is or should be. In my versions, i look for a thin crispy crust (not an excess of flour on the outside).  a creamy crumb that is light gelatinized flour exploded. No, they dont have a traditional slipper shape with the letter fold apparent. no, there are no lines of folded flour dusting on the outside. Mine is not a traditional rustic version. but it does have the very high hydration component and a crumb that is reminiscent of the traditional ciabatta.

Few things that i remind myself on each bake for ciabatta are:

1) don't over develop the gluten, it's rise too puffy, be too chewy and too tall. 2) make sure to flip the loaf for the bake otherwise the air bubbles will all go to the top. and 3) a properly proofed loaf will always bounce back, don't be afraid to flatten it.   it will puff up like a pita bread (with the proper internal structure of a ciabatta, of course)

I'll have a go at this soon and document.  i have not baked one of these in over a year.

James

 

Benito's picture
Benito

James those look great, you’ve lived up to your handle here.  Interesting that you don’t over develop the gluten, it seems that most are fully developing the gluten.  Very impressive ciabattas you’ve baked.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

 and am interested in the low gluten development process for ciabatta. The first recipe I ever tried was Reinhart's Poolish Ciabata recipe and had decent luck with it. I'm a biga man now that I have acquired the Giorilli version. I wonder if anyone has ever deep fried ciabatta dough?

If this CB is like the last one then we are just breaking ground here and there is plenty left for you to build on.

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Thank MT. I dont know i would say mine was "low" gluten.  I should have clarified.. I used an AP flour, so the gluten development would be limited. I do manage to get window pane developed after my 3rd stretch and fold. I know that i have taken it further with up to 6 folds.  and i think i preferred it more with just 3.  

On biga vs poolish.. i think i'm just lazy as biga needs more work to mix into the final dough evenly.  What's the advantage of biga over poolish? is it flavor or texture?

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

The aroma and taste produced by the biga  seems more authentic to me. The method of making the biga that Ilya linked a video to is the key. Granted a little more care is required to work the biga into a smooth dough. I use AP flour and a Bosch mixer for making ciabatta. It does a much better job of incorporating the extra water than my old Kitchen Aide. The process is explained more in this post.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54556/90-biga-loaf-italian-method

alfanso's picture
alfanso

And as we've seen endlessly in this CB and elsewhere, one size does not fit all.  Great crumb.  

I suppose if Sig. Giorilli and his clan were to review the CB, they'd have their faces turned away in horror of what's become of their beautiful ciabatta breads, and how sacrilegious can we get.  We may try his and others' methods and looks, but ultimately once we make these, their look, feel and taste no longer belong to anyone but ourselves.  Without change we'd all still be driving black cars that look like horse-drawn carriages.

 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

This is how flat my loaves look before baking. 
MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

It will be like watching Mr Baseball step up to the plate. Welcome, It's a tough crowd! 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

i'm feeling a lot of pressure here...

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

dup removed

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Is what I tell my buddies when I'm in a crappy mood.  Thats how ciabatta makes me feel.  Its wonderful as a pizza crust but as far as a loaf goes it takes a lot of mental effort to find the the will to bake one of these ...


Just made some nice neopolitano pizza for my teens just now and fortunately I did find just enough motivation to turn one of the portions into this.  Flavor is ok.  Better than a loaf of wonderbread.


 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

For all my CB Ciabatta bakes, see http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/66311/community-bake-ciabatta

Have I got ciabattas for you!

Well-well. Didn't expect that, but I finally produced ciabattas! The bake that I mostly winged without much planning, and hey-ho, the best result by far.

I basically followed my previous bake almost exactly, except I omitted the oil, and maintained the originally planned weight of 800g total. Formula here: https://fgbc.dk/113c

The only major difference was the flour. I used Caputo Couco 00 flour, 13% protein, instead of my normal bread flour (12.3%).

Fermented the biga overnight (which must be approximately the right temperature), for ~13 hours. Then mixed the dough. Dissolving the biga and making the dough come together and develop the gluten was the messiest process of any bakes I've had. Using a hand mixer for the biga splattered half the kitchen with floury water, and trying to slap&fold this dough (even not at full hydration) created the stickiest pile of goo on my counter. In the end I figured out that Rubaud mixing was perfect for this dough, and it was all good. Then did 3 sets of stretch&folds spaced by 30 min, and then... I forgot about it! Hasn't happened before, but I got into the zone with some work, and just didn't realize how the time passed. In the end the bulk lasted around 6 hours (quite a lot of it was spent on the initial struggles to mix the dough properly). Surprisingly, the dough wasn't overflowing at all, it wasn't that hugely risen even. It was clearly jiggly and had some bubbles, but not as much as I expected after this length of time.

Anyway, I just roughly and gently divided and shaped the dough into two ciabattas, and proofed on a couche. And again it didn't seem like much was happening (I generally don't notice much change during proof time with any dough really, not sure what's going on), so I baked after 1.5 hrs final proof - 15 min with steam, 15 min without (and convection on for the last 5 min to gain some more colour).

And here is what I got - not very impressive, even a little split on top, but let's say I was going for rustic! And I did get some oven spring, which is a big improvement already.

What was more exciting was inside!


Finally I got quite an open crumb! The crust is still a little crispy this morning, and not too thick. Tastes great too. Perfect for horizontal slicing for sandwiches (which is what I had for breakfast, with Camembert and some Polish ham).

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

In spite of your travails. Hand mixing ciabatta is a frightening prospect for me. Maybe a frissage (fraisage)? would be less messy than making a slurry of the biga. I am happy for your success. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thank you! I am starting to think the biga is not worth the effort without a dough mixer. Using a hand mixer lets me avoid the physical pain of hand mixing the biga into the dough, but difficult to avoid the splatter! Could you comment more, how I could try frissage for this? I've never tried it.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I am not sure but smearing the dough on the workbench with the heel of your hand is how the biga might be incorporated. I want to thank you for posting the video about making a proper biga. It has become my go to method and I plan on using it for my next pizza dough as well.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks! That also sounds like a lot of work, and difficult to make sure everything is completely smooth... I was thinking another option to try might be a food processor, maybe adding water little by little and blitzing would dissolve the biga properly. But also possible it'll be just flying around and not doing anything. Need to try it.

Yeah, that video was a game changer! I think a few people here found it useful, and I just couldn't have figure out how to make such a low hydration mix without kneading - and, hence, gluten development, without seeing it.

Benito's picture
Benito

I agree with Don, Ilya those look really good.  Will you make these again with the biga?

Benny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Benny!

Maybe I'll try again, just to be sure it wasn't a random lucky fluke! And hopefully I'll avoid the problems I had this time.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

The same recipe and method as before with the hydration increased to 84% and a half teaspoon of malt added back in. My best crumb so far and it was from the loaf that didn't bake a high as the other loaf. I could still see some small specks of the biga about the size of a BB in the final mix that didn't get smoothed out but they weren't noticeable in the bake and did not affect the outcome. I was able to stretch these to the length of my 20 inch stone but they shrank a few inches while baking. The dough was quite delicate and the pinched seam from dividing it is the reason for the tighter crumb on one edge. I am having a bit of struggle with the new way of inserting photos so any help would be appreciated.

Glossy holes = Happy camper!

Just the right size to slice and still fit in a toaster and not too much bread to overwhelm the filling. And by the way, inspite of the large holes, No lap was sullied in the eating of this sandwich! 

Benito's picture
Benito

Incredible baking there Don.  That is really open crumb and thin crust, the glossy crumb is beautiful.

Benny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

it was from the loaf that didn't bake a high as the other loaf."  I wonder if this effect is similar to what I found with my recent bakes of the pan de cristal.  The loaves that rose more had the smaller crumb.  The flatter loaves were more open.  And perhaps the same with my own ciabatta.  As I get the barrel effect, the crumb is tighter, which I'm in no way unhappy with.  But still exhibits all of the other qualities of a good ciabatta.

Beauty. 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

After reading about your experience with your previous bake I found the same thing happened in my case. You would expect the taller loaves to have larger holes but the opposite seems to be the case. The folding builds structure for a taller loaf but the completely undisturbed dough is flatter with a more open crumb.

This new way of inserting pictures is a mystery to me.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

For pictures, I use an image hosting website which provides BBCode, for example this one, but there is a lot of them: https://imgbb.com/

Just upload images there and paste code here (beware sometimes the code it generates also contains an ad link in the end, which I then remove manually).

albacore's picture
albacore

Hi Ilya,

Yes I find that site is pretty good. I've created an account and I can easily see all my uploads. I have also used cubeupload https://cubeupload.com/ but they seem to have downtime quite often.

I always resize images to eg 550 pixel wide prior to uploading to get them the right size.

Lance

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Oh I never bothered to create an account, but sounds like it's useful, actually! Thanks!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

pasting and editing code. So am I to understand that the images I want to post need to be pre-sized and come from a host site? I'm afraid Idaveindy needs to show up on my desktop like the paperclip in Word.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

It's really simple.

Go to https://imgbb.com/.

Select, or just paste an image - or multiple images.

Click "Upload". You'll get something like this:

You need the code from the window on the bottom (I added a couple of spaces, so it wouldn't render as an image): [ url=https://ibb.co/Lz7TW6d][img] https://i.ibb.co/xSTn0Gq/IMG-20200119-163042.jpg[/img][/url]

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

That's just perfect! Light open crumb, crispy crust, all what is needed for a ciabatta.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I actually prefer a paper thin crust that is softer. The little bit of oil seems to provide that and they stay fresher longer. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

To each their own - I would like it thin too, but still crispy. My last attempt was a touch too thick I think, but that's me being picky. But maybe next time I'll try with a little oil again.

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

I don't put oil into the dough during the mix.  but i use it to lube the tub that i bulk in.  Through the 3 stretch and folds, it keeps the dough from sticking and eventually gets incorporated.  Seems to work well. i get a good shiny dough that has a thin crispy crust and a bit of the EVOO flavors throughout.  Good with rosemary infused oil too. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Today I made a very presentable layout for my teens who are perpetually online and said 'hey guys ! look at this'.  I then did hand-model presentation of each item and said Enjoy the Bounty.

My 15 year old then proceeded to get a frozen White Castle and headed directly to the microwave.  oh joy 


 


 

BethJ's picture
BethJ

More for you...

Benito's picture
Benito

Their loss I agree.  That would be a very nice lunch but I can see teenagers turning their noses up at that.  The ciabatta have a very nice crumb.

Benny

JonJ's picture
JonJ

The community bake provided the excuse to bake a simple ciabatta recipe that a friend has been baking for years.

It is the exact opposite of my recent sourdough breads in almost every dimension: instant yeast, has no autolyse, uses sugar, is super rapid, no wholewheat, etc etc. Even for an instant recipe it is fairly minimalist eschewing the biga or couche or anything that would complicate the life of the home baker for whom the original recipe was intended.

Sometimes it is fun to try something radically different, and it reminded me of what was possible in bread baking.

The recipe then:

  • 500g white bread flour (stoneground, 11.5% protein)
  • 450g water (lukewarm - 28 deg C)
  • 2.5g sugar (0.5 tsp)
  • 4.5g instant yeast (1.5 tsp)
  • 13g salt (1.5 tsp)
  •   13g olive oil (1 Tbsp)

    - Mixed as an all-in-one-mix; first mixed the dry ingredients (yeast, flour, sugar, salt) to ensure even distribution and then added the lukewarm water. Note: the original recipe calls for adding the salt after the dough was mixed, but went even minimalist than that with an all-in-one.
    - Five minutes of stretch-and-fold (in-bowl) after mixing. More like an in bowl stretch and slap. After five minutes dough was still sticky, but there was some evidence of gluten formation and it was holding shape better. Original recipe says you can do machine mixing but should finish off by hand, and being minimalist again did everything by hand.
    - Smothered  top of dough in bowl with olive oil and let the oil run down the sides of the dough in the bowl. Coverred bowl and left until doubled in volume. This took around 1h 45min for me (RT of 23-24 deg C).
    - Tipped out onto heavily floured surface and did a basic 'envelope' shaping. No couche. This is where I went a little wrong, should have gone directly onto the final tray rather than having to move it again and there was certainly some degassing and flatness caused by that.
    - Baked at 200 deg C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown showed on top and base tap sounded good (took 35 min).

    Since I was breaking all the rules we only waited 30 minutes for cooling before we tucked in with good butter which melted instantly. Soft crust, nice mouth feel, lovely salty taste. Certainly, a poor crumb compared to the true sourdough master pieces from the community bake, but for a low effort effort this was a surprisingly solid recipe.CiabattaCiabatta crumb

 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

That is a brave bake. Well done. By my calculation, this is 90% hydration dough that is way over my largest hydration attempts. Did the olive oil eventually get mixed into the dough or poured off?

Thanks for sharing,

Cheers,

Gavin.

 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta
albacore's picture
albacore

Lovely colour and shape!

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

Really well done, you live up to your name here James!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I like that color and the oven spring is quite impressive. I look forward to seeing your SD version.

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

The aim of today's attempt at Ciabatta bread will use Hamelman's 125% hydration liquid Levien, Vermont sourdough formula. The final dough hydration will be modified up a full ten percentage points to 75%. I think the liquid Levien will work well with the high hydration old slippers. (The traditional biga method notwithstanding) The plan is to bring the Levien up to room temperature for 1hr. then build the final dough. At that point, I will follow the same bulk/shape/retard procedure as with the baguettes. With any luck at all that should mean an 8 PM bake time.

)

Tom M's picture
Tom M

Continuing to develop the salt-retard method:  83% all-purpose flour, 14% sprouted wheat, 3% whole wheat flour, 4% vital wheat gluten.  Half of dough baked as ciabatta, half as pan loaf, 1kg dough each.   Write-up here.

tothpianopeter's picture
tothpianopeter

Hello everyone,

I would like to introduce myself to the group. I am a new member, I have baked bread at home for about two years. I have been working on my ciabattas in the past couple of months and decided to try the Giorilli formula (see earlier in this thread). I followed the formula to the letter, although I don't have the specific flour the recipe calls for, so I had to do it with plain old KA bread flour. The result was pretty nice, very soft and open crumb with a nice aroma. I have a couple of observations that I would like to share and discuss.

I don't have a mixer, so I hand-mixed the dough. Since the formula calls for real biga which is not a dough but more like crumbles, it was extremely difficult to fully mix the dough the next day, I couldn't quite do it 100% well, even though I first hydrated the biga with the water and kneaded it for a good 5 minutes, then added the remaining flour and kneaded again for at least 10 minutes quite aggressively. When I was doing stretch&folds during the bulk phase, I would still feel those tiny bits of unincorporated flour pieces with my hand. Luckily, they didn't show in the baked loaf. While I know that real biga is not supposed to be a dough, I wonder what would happen if I mixed it into a dough instead of crumbles. Would I get dramatically different results at the end in terms of taste and texture? I feel that if I mixed the biga better at the outset, creating an actual dough, it would be easier to incorporate it into the dough the next day.

I also suspect that this formula works better with mixers than with hand-mixing, for two reasons. First, because of the incorporation of the biga I said above. Secondly, the fermentation goes pretty quickly in this formula after everything is mixed, for the large (80%) amount of prefermented flour. Because of that, I think that the gluten needs to be fully developed right from the outset, before fermentation starts, otherwise we will have a lot of fermentation going soon after mixing without sufficient gluten development, and the structure will suffer. I find it quite impossible to fully develop the gluten at the outset in this formula by hand, because of the biga issue, and also because of the high water content. So, not having a mixer, I developed the gluten at the outset by hand as well as I could. It was not perfect, so I gave the dough 4 sets of stretch & folds at 20-minute intervals during the bulk phase. While the dough passed the windowpane test after the last fold, there was already so much fermentation going on that I thought I destroyed the small bubbles with the folds, which as a result merged into those enormous bubbles that made the crumb quite uneven. In my experience, developing gluten by hand via folds works better with ciabatta formulas that yield much slower fermentation because one has plenty of time to do the folds and fully develop the gluten before any fermentation takes place.

One more thought on the extremely large holes. Perhaps I should have docked the top of the dough with my fingers before baking. I have heard that docking is used to avoid excessive rise in the oven, but I wonder if it also works for evening out the crumb and braking those enormous bubbles into smaller ones. Any thoughts?

Peter

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The Ciabatta looks great! I do think that poking the dough with your fingers would have evened out the crumb a bit.

Considering you don’t have a mixer, you choose a difficult method. Hand mixing Ciabatta by hand is challenging using any formula and method. Next time you may find another formula more suited to hand mixing.

If you bake Ciabatta again, post the results. We are curious to watch your progress.

Very nice looking Ciabatta!

Danny

tothpianopeter's picture
tothpianopeter

Thank you for your answer, Danny. You are right, it is difficult to deal with ciabatta dough without a mixer! However, I think it is possible when the dough develops slowly. A few days ago I made a ciabatta with a hybrid method, using only 0.05% ADY and 5% sourdough levain. The bulk took 15 hours at around 68 F, plus a 2-hour final proof. The dough obviously had enough time to develop the gluten just by itself, although I gave it 4-5 sets of folds in the first 90 minutes or so, then it passed the windowpane test. After that, I left it completely undisturbed for the rest of the bulk fermentation. This is how it turned out.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow Peter, that ciabatta is perfection to me.  Gorgeous super open crumb and lovely crust.  That was hand and time developed gluten without machine mixing, remarkable.  

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Outstanding! Benny said it all.

Great looking bread.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I'm with Benny & Dan.  This is outstanding, especially without a mixer.  

tothpianopeter's picture
tothpianopeter

I appreciate the comments. That was the only ciabatta I made so far that had such a crumb structure, so I am far from an expert. Hopefully I can reproduce the same results again. I can only suspect that it turned out the way it did because of the fully developed gluten due to the long undisturbed fermentation. I literally left it alone for like 13 hours, and no shaping, just cutting. 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

The ciabatta bread that is ! 

tothpianopeter's picture
tothpianopeter

Hi all,

I made another ciabatta yesterday, this time instead of using 100% bread flour, I used a mix of 10% whole wheat and 90% bread flour. I need some help with the crumb.

This time, I shaped the ciabatta lightly by doing an letter fold, this gave it a nice cylindrical look, which I like. However, the holes in the crumb could be more thoroughly distributed. It had some really nice looking slices, but some other slices had large holes on top and a more dense center, even though I flipped it before putting it in the oven. First I thought I had over proofed it but it had an enormous oven spring, so I don't think that was the case. Also, after performing the last stretch&fold, I checked the gluten development, it passed windowpane, so I don't think that was the issue either. Should I have proofed it longer perhaps?

This is the formula I used:

90% KA bread flour

10% whole wheat

Overnight poolish with 50% prefermented flour

0.2 % instant yeast

15% active sourdough starter

83% hydration

2% salt

In the morning I hand-mixed all the remaining ingredients with the ripe poolish. Kneaded for about 10 minutes, until the dough was nice and smooth, all ingredients evenly incorporated. Then bulk fermented until doubled in size (3 hours), performing four sets of stretch&folds in the first hour. Then lightly shaped it, and final proofed it on a couche for 1.5 hours before baking.

Any ideas what could have caused the crumb to have large air pockets on top and a denser center, despite the fact that I flipped it, and the gluten development seemed fine, too?

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