Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ciabatta


I've always wanted to make ciabatta so I was thrilled when Hanaa suggested making this for our fourth BBT and even shared this ciabatta recipe by Daniel Leader which can be found in his book "Local Breads."  I've been reading a lot of blog posts about making ciabatta doughs and most have mentioned how difficult they are to handle due to their very high water content so I knew that I would be relying on either my bread machine or the KitchenAid to do all the kneading.  I settled for the KA as the recipe gave specific instructions for making this dough with the KA even mentioning the exact speeds to use at various stages.  It's actually the first time I've encountered a recipe that calls for mixing the dough as high as speed 10!  I admit, I didn't follow the required speed for fear of overheating my KA but I found that using only speeds 6 and 8 still gave the desired results within the given timeframe -- about 15 minutes for full gluten development.




    I upped the hydration a little bit -- adding about a cup of water as I noticed that the dough was a little dry during mixing.  I also added a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to the mixture as the recipe called for high-gluten flour which I didn't have and I suppose a little VWG would give further structure to the gluten network because of the amount of water that's in it.  



Dividing and shaping the dough was quite a challenge as it was very sticky and structureless which actually felt like I was handling thick batter rather than bread dough.  It's definitely a must to heavily flour all the surfaces and I even used a floured silpat to hold the dough while I was dividing it which really helped prevent the doughs from clinging to the surface while I was transferring them to parchment-lined baking sheets.  I wish I divided them into 4 small loaves instead because the 2 loaves I made turned out really, really huge!  




Overall, I'm quite pleased with the way the bread turned out given the very moist and open crumb.  It also has a very good flavor and I really enjoyed eating it dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I think making bruschetta with this bread is going to turn out really delicious as well.  Next time though I'm going to aim for a crispier crust :-)

*Submitting this post to YeastSpotting*




6 comments:

  1. I've never made Cibatta but this looks amazing and totally worth it!

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    1. Thanks Mireia! Yes all the efforts in making this was worth it....I don't think I can buy ciabatta in bakeries that has a crumb as open as the one I made! :-)

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  2. Oh my goodness, it's gorgeous Janis!!! It's perfection! Wow, look at those holes. I believe it when you say that even the bakery Ciabatta doesn't holes that big. My hat of to you. Bravo! I hope I even come close to your results.
    Btw, did you find the waiting/rising times to be accurate? My friend who made the same recipe said it took less time than stated.

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    1. Aww thanks Hanaa! :-) I'm sure you will do really well with this and I can't wait to see yours! The rising time during bulk fermentation wasn't accurate at all (I forgot to mention this in my post) in fact, in about an hour, the dough already tripled in size! I suppose it also depends on the room temperature, etc..it was pretty warm in the kitchen which could explain the fast rising time. Another thing was the size of the bowl DL mentioned to use for bulk fermentation -- a 2 quart bowl, which is what he suggested, is too small to hold this dough especially after tripling in volume. :-)

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  3. What a gorgeous loaf of bread! Love all the holes and it looks very tender.

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  4. Wow!!!! your ciabattas are awesome... I never had chance with this kind of bread, but I'll definitly try to prepare some again!

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