Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ciabatta , great success!

Very happy with the ciabatta this time.

I've been playing around with Benoit Hogue's Ciabatta recipe @ Allrecipes.com for a while and baked a loaf that I'm pretty much pleased with. Love the holey crumb, great for picking up olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

I changed the process a little bit using the no knead method but did not change the ingredients at all.

Ciabatta(Benoit Hogue@All Recipes) (My notes in italics.)
* 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 1/3 cup warm water
* 1 cup bread flour

Bread dough
* 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 2/3 cup warm water
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups bread flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


1. To Make Sponge: In a small bowl stir together 1/8 teaspoon of the yeast and the warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, 1/3 cup of the water, and 1cup of the bread flour. Stir 4 minutes, then over bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
(I used a plastic container with a lid for this and let it ferment in the kitchen at room temperature for up to 24 hours. The sponge smells sour, so its OK, don't bin it!)

2. To Make Bread: In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, and flour at low speed until flour is just moistened; add salt and mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Scrape dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
(I added in the water and the milk into the sponge and stir up the sponge, followed by everything else. Stirred it up a bit till it is well mixed. The consistency is pretty sticky than other bread doughs.)

3. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (Dough will be sticky and full of air bubbles.)
(Left it in the plastic container to rise for around 2-4 hours. I didn't time myself. After that I just dump the container into the fridge and shape the dough the next day.)

Turn dough out onto a well-floured work surface and cut in half. Transfer each half to a parchment sheet and form into an irregular oval about 9 inches long. Dimple loaves with floured fingers and dust tops with flour. Cover loaves with a dampened kitchen towel. Let loaves rise at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
(I prepared a sheet of parchment paper and spread evenly around 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the surface. Poured the dough on the parchment paper and flatten it a bit to almost rectangular but try not to squeeze out all the air. I used the oiled parchment paper as an aid to fold the dough like a letter. Lift the top portion of the paper and fold in the dough 1/3 and followed by the bottom 1/3. The olive oil and parchment paper makes it so easy! I tried folding wet doughs with "very well floured kitchen" and it was a bloody mess! Let the loaf rise till double the bulk.)

4. At least 45 minutes before baking ciabatta, put a baking stone on oven rack in lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 425 F (220 degrees C).
(I preheat the oven with the baking tray in the middle and another smaller stainless steel tray on the base for steam)

5. Transfer 1 loaf on its parchment to a rimless baking sheet with a long side of loaf parallel to far edge of baking sheet. Line up far edge of baking sheet with far edge of stone or tiles, and tilt baking sheet to slide loaf with parchment onto back half of stone or tiles. Transfer remaining loaf to front half of stone in a similar manner. Bake ciabatta loaves 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool loaves on a wire rack.
(I used a thin IKEA plastic cutting board to scoop the loaf and then slide it onto the HOT baking tray. Careful not to touch the plastic to any hot surface! Poured a cup of water into the bottom tray and let it sizzle.)

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Camemberu said...

Wow I am so trying this as soon as I can!!! :D Thanks!

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