Pan de Cristal - IDY
Ilya recently started a thread linking to Martin Philip’s recipe on the King Arthur website for a IDY Pan de Cristal. I’ve always wanted to try baking this unique bread and I’m glad that I have now. I believe most recipes for this bread have some olive oil in them, so I added that. Also rather than mixing all the water at once, I bassinaged the water gradually. I used my Ankarsrum Assistent to mix since I am still learning to use it and want to get as much experience as possible. It does an awesome job with bassinage. It is said to be gentle on the dough and I believe it is. I might have thought that the crumb would be tight having used a mixer to mix, however, I don’t think the crumb shows that at all. This bread has the finest crumb and a thin shattering crust. You can see why it is named Pan de Cristal, you can shine a light through the bread, even the bottom crust can show light easily through it. Each loaf feels like air, it weighs so little yet tastes so good and has such satisfying texture with the contrast of the crisp crust and soft open crumb.
Light through the bottom half of the loaf!
For 2 medium breads
250 g water (175 g for mix) then bassinage 75 g
250 g bread flour
1.25 g IDY
5 g salt
6.26 g olive oil
Mix all flour and 175 g of water then rest 15 mins.
Dissolve 1.25 g IDY in 15 g of water add to mixer and mix until well absorbed.
Dissolve 5 g of salt in about 15 g of water and then add to the mixer until well absorbed. The addition of the salt will tighten the gluten a bit.
Bassinage the rest of the water in small aliquots waiting until the water is well absorbed before adding more.
Once all the water has been added the dough appears to be well developed, drizzle in the olive oil while the mixer is running. Mix until well incorporated, this will not take very long.
Grease a Pyrex dish with olive oil and then pour the dough into the dish. Do a few folds to get the dough into a nice roundish shape.
Place the dough in a warm place, 78°F and every 20 mins do a coil fold, stop when the dough seems to have good structure. I did three sets of coil folds.
Allow the dough to rest 2 hours.
After 2 hours the dough will have risen nicely, about double volume.
Flour the top of the dough especially around the edge of the dish. Sprinkle a generous amount of dough onto your countertop. Using a bowl scraper release the sides of the dough from the dish, then gently invert the dish so the dough releases onto the floured countertop. Generously flour the top of the dough. Using a bench scraper cut the dough carefully into two or four pieces (depends on whether you made a full or half batch). Ensure the cut edges are well floured, then gently transfer two pieces onto one piece of parchment, repeat if a full batch was made.
There is no need to cover the dough at this point, just keep it away from drafts. The development of a thin skin is actually fine and may help with the oven spring.
Allow the loaves to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, uncovered. While the loaves are resting, preheat the oven to 475°F with a baking stone or steel on a lower rack.
1 hour before final proof is complete, pre-heat your oven to 475°F with a baking stone or steel on the lowest rack. Place the other rack in the upper half of the oven.
The dough is ready to bake when it looks puffy and there are large bubbles visible in all pieces of dough on the surface.
To bake the bread: Carefully slide the two loaves (still resting on the parchment) into the oven onto the preheated stone or steel. If space is tight and the full sheet of parchment won’t fit on the stone or steel, cut the parchment between the two loaves and arrange them as best you can. Allow the other two loaves to continue to rest.
Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, then transfer them, from the stone or steel, directly onto a rack in the upper third of the oven for an additional 13 to 15 minutes. (Leave the stone in place.) Moving them to the rack allows the baking stone or steel to become hot again in preparation for the next two loaves. After a total of 27 to 30 minutes of baking, remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack.
Repeat the process with the two remainingloaves. Cool the bread fully before slicing.
Looks great Benny and sounds like a bake that uses quite a few different techniques, especially for the dough development and shaping (or lack there of 😁).
Do you think that loaf could done with hand mixing?
Yes it can be done with hand mixing, that is how Martin Philip does it in his video. In fact he doesn’t do a bassinage, he does all the water at once which seems brave to me and actually I don’t remember him really kneading it. He relied on more coil folds. I’ve seen others bakers do this bread with hand mixing before as well so it can be done.
Beautiful! Amazing bake, your breads look just as good if not better than in the video.
What flour did you use? How much protein? I'm wondering whether I'd be able to find a sufficiently strong flour in Switzerland for this bread...
Thanks kindly Ilya, I have to say I quite like this bread. That crumb is something else to eat, it is sooo soft and tender and moist and that thin crust is amazing too.
I used Robinhood bread flour. The protein in Canada is always vaguely labeled in rounded grams per 30 g of flour. So Robinhood bread flour and All Purpose both say 4 g/30 g. However, I believe that the bread flour is rounded up from 12.6 g / 100 g and the AP is 11 pt something. I hate the Canadian flour labeling. Do you have any Vital Wheat Gluten? That would totally solve your protein issues. On the other hand, you could use less water and bassinage up as high as you can go just making sure before you start to bassinage, that your gluten is really well developed.
12.6%, I assume in Canada that would also be based on 14% water content as in the US? That would be over 14% protein in dry weight, I'd need to find the Italian manitoba flour, which I luckily have seen around somewhere... I don't have any VWG, but could source some maybe, that could be useful.
Yeah just lowering hydration to maybe 85-90% should help a lot, and I assume the results would be similar!
Thanks, and well done again, beautiful bread.
Funny story - not this year, but last year, when I was in Greece I saw Canadian Robin Hood flour! Just in a regular big supermarket. Very cute packaging.
Also, it seems that in Greece what they call "flour for bread" is durum flour! When I asked my hosts to get some bread flour, that's what they unknowingly bought :) And fair enough, in every Greek tavern or restaurant, the bread you get definitely at least contains some durum, very obvious from the colour.
Yes I assume that our protein is based on 14% water content like the US. You’re right just lowering the hydration for your flour should give you similar results. VWG is really useful so getting some doesn’t hurt.
Good luck I look forward to your bake.
So I started this recipe today. I got Italian Manitoba flour, however it's actually only ~13% protein, I was hoping perhaps it would have better gluten than other flour. I reduced the hydration to 92% and also added a small splash of olive oil into the dough. Another small change, I included a small yeasted preferment, because for unrelated reasons I had some (40 g of flour with 25 g of water) and needed to use it (and of course I accounted for it in the final hydration).
I've done 4 sets of folds now, and although it has a little more structure than in the beginning, it's nowhere near what Martin shows in the video just after 2 sets of folds! He can lift the whole dough by the middle and let it beautifully fold over itself, and it doesn't stick to his hands - not something I would be able to do even now after much more folding... I also think all of the oil I used for the container has been worked into the dough now too, so it's making it more loose as well. I am thinking I need to work in some flour...
I posted this on IG that shows the three folds that I did and how the dough handled.
Thanks! Your dough was stronger at the first fold than mine in the end! I mixed in 25 g flour (in addition to starting 250g like you), did one more fold, gave it some more time, and then removed from the container, and did a letter fold with the whole dough to give it more structure. Now it's final proofing. It didn't turn into a puddle when I flipped the container, or now during proof - it actually felt quite nice in the end, so I'm hoping at least to get two small ciabattas out of it, if not actual Pan de Cristal.
🤞🤞 Looking forward to seeing your bake.
Doesn't look amazing, but also not terrible. They do feel very light, so probably a nice crumb. I'll cut one in the morning for breakfast.
Ilya they look great to me, since we really don’t shape them, they won’t have much shape to them really. The bumpiness probably indicates lots of big alveoli!!
Thanks Benny! I'll share the crumb and tasting notes tomorrow :)
I must have folded in too much flour in the last letter fold... So got some floury spots :( But otherwise beautiful crumb, and made for a great open-faced breakfast sandwich!
Ah yes extra flour, otherwise everywhere else it looks great Ilya.
Yeah it was just that one spot in that bread... Everywhere else the crumb was beautiful. With such a sticky dough was hard to remove excess flour without damaging the bubbles inside,l. But anyway, great learning experience for me, and nice bread. I do miss a little the sourdough flavour it in, I might try it again with CLAS (and even lower hydration).
With hydration that high it must be similar to ciabatta to handle? I will give this a try. So with only 250 gr of flour for 2 loaves these must be small like baguettes? Great job. Benny!
Thank you Glenn, yes similar to Ciabatta, although I haven’t made ciabatta that much, it was my nemesis until focaccia became my nemesis. I think I like this more than ciabatta and would make this again before ciabatta. It has similarities but the crumb and crust on this are just so different than other breads. I’m so glad I finally baked this. Yes they are super light, lighter than a baguette. I put one in a bag for a friend and it felt like I was handing them an empty bag (obviously exaggerating).
How are things in Naples? We head back to Fort Lauderdale at the end of this month this time for our longest vacation yet, 10 weeks.
Happy New Year
We came home for Christmas and head back to Naples on Tuesday. We will be there until Apr 23rd. The time flies! Enjoy your vacation and take some starter with you.
I don’t know if this helps you but Flair flies from KW airport to Fort Lauderdale, we booked it (KW is 10 minutes from home) for $89 one way.
Ah so you’re home now and soon to return to Naples, have a safe journey Glenn. We’re in Toronto and had booked our flights sometime ago. Using points we only paid about $150 return total for the two of us. I’ve never paid so little to flight to Fort Lauderdale before, but thanks for the information about Flair.
Pan de cristal has always reminded me of ciabatta, what with its high hydration, simple shape, and wild, open crumb.
Looks like you got a very good "do" on this iteration.
Thanks so much Paul. The bread is now gone, I’ll have to bake this again, I wonder if another 10-15 mins of final proof might make it even better! I think I’ll reduce the salt a bit as well down to 1.8%.
Flair is not only a great deal but it allows us to avoid the 401 and Pearson airport
Both are good to avoid. But for us we can take the subway and then express bus to Pearson. The subway is only 1 block from where we live, so it is hard to beat the cost and efficiency of the TTC to get to Pearson.
Looking forward to your bake.
It is really soupy, I can hardly grab it for stretch and folds. I assume this is correct?
If you followed Martin’s recipe of mixing upfront, I cannot help you because I didn’t mix it that way. If you mixed as I did starting with a much lower hydration and doing bassinage to get to 100% then no, it didn’t feel like that.
The first time I mixed I realized that I had only used about 75% or so of the needed flour so I tossed that.
Very very nice Glenn, they look very appetizing. I hope they taste as good as they look, nicely done.
Looks like your getting along well with the new mixer and it is well suited to high hydration. I guess I should try my hand at this informal CB because I do like a bread with holes.
Yes I think I am getting a handle on how to use the Ank, I’m still learning and experimenting but it is no longer frustration as it was at first.
Don you should definitely try your hand at this bread, you always get amazing open crumb so this is totally your style of bread.
Looks like you nailed it. The crumb couldn’t be any more open. I’m actually about to put some SD ciabatta in the oven shortly. First time I’ve baked one in a while. You need to try a SD version next. I’ve seen some versions of this where you shape as a boule and pull the top and stretch and tie it in a knot. I’ll see if I can find a link. I’ve made similar bakes as this and shaped or more like cut them into strips and baked s au natural baguettes.
Yes I’ll work on a SD version of this in the future I think Ian, thanks. I’m looking forward to your ciabatta now.