Ciabatta U Gotta

Ciabatta U Gotta

I’ve been working on my ciabattas lately and I think I’m finally getting the knack. Let me know what you guys think of my efforts – I truly appreciate your feedback, it helps me improve my skills. This is a poolish ciabatta, loosely based on the recipe seen in this video from Kingdom Bread. I cut his volume by half, giving me 4 fairly large loaves.. As you can plainly see by my crumb shots, this was a high hydration bake. I guess I should admit that I broke a couple of rules along the way. First of all, I mixed the poolish at about 11AM today…but I didn’t wait 24hrs. I didn’t wait 18hrs, or 12 or even 8. I mixed the final dough at 5PM, using a barely 6hr old preferment, which had almost tripled in volume. It had a beautiful dome, smelled great, so I figured “Why Not?”. Since I was mixing entirely by hand, I worked the dough strenuously using the Bertinet method, slapping it on the bench for almost 20 minutes. I built what seemed like some fairly strong gluten strength and put it in the bowl. Kingdom Bread’s method called for 3 stretch and folds on the bench at 45 min intervals. I had to run out of the kitchen on a mission of mercy (my wife desperately needed me to bring her a coffee), and I didn’t get back for 90 minutes. When I did, the dough had already expanded, and was pushing the lid up. I gave it an immediate S&F and set the timer for 45 mins. At that point the bulk fermentation was done, in my opinion, The mass had doubled, and there was lots of bubbles pushing up thru the surface. I gently pulled it into a rectangle and cut 4 slices, transferring to a well dusted couche. I proofed for 1 hr, as the oven pre-heated. As you can see, I allowed the loaves to cook very well, in the Forkish style. Tastes absolutely fantastic!!!