Home Bread-Bakers v104.n041.15

Ciabatta recipe

Mon, 13 Sep 2004 13:54:43 EDT
You don't necessarily need to ferment it overnight, try this.

1 Day Ciabatta

Sightly enriched, rustic dough, indirect method, ca. 8 hours elapsed time 
to make.
Yield 4 medium Ciabatta loaves and 12 fat rolls.


475 gm 12% or more protein content white flour
25 gm  rye
700 gm hot water,
2 teaspoons instant yeast*

Mix all ingredients and whisk until smooth and showing elasticity, loosely 
cover and leave on counter 4 hours, fermentation will be vigorous.


The poolish
500 gm white flour as above
20 gm salt
6 tablespoons dried milk
2 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk the oil into the poolish,make a well of the dry ingredients on the 
counter and rough mix, the dough will be sticky. Using one hand and a bench 
knife in  the other grab the dough with your fingers, pull straight up 
and  let slap down onto the counter. Keep doing this until the dough is 
very elastic, takes me 2-3 minutes. The dough should be stretching 12-18 
inches and reasonably smooth but it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth.**

Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and counter and gather the dough 
together, it is very soft but coherent and elastic.

Stretch and fold 4 times at 10 minute intervals.

Leave, well floured, covered, on the counter to double.

Without knocking down cut the dough into 8 pieces. Divide 4 of the pieces 
into 3 making the 12 rolls.

Stretch and fold each piece to a fat roll or loaf.

proof en couche, seam side up to double and very wobbly

Bake the rolls first, inverted, at your oven's top temperature immediately 
turned down to 220C (425F), about 10 minutes, internal temp 94C (200F).

When the rolls are baked, and the oven has recovered, invert and 
stretch  the large dough pieces into the correct Ciabatta shape and bake 
IMMEDIATELY same oven temperatures as the rolls, ca. 20 minutes, same 
internal temperature

So light it almost flies.

Put the poolish on in the morning, Ciabatta for supper or dinner.

*Yes, 2 teaspoons is a hell of a lot for a poolish but it's a short 
preferment and there's no extra yeast in the main dough.

** You could, with equal effect run it through a heavy duty mixer with a 
dough hook at MEDIUM speed for 5 minutes or so.

Or try this, I've posted it before but it's been modified a little.


Mixer Version

This is a long, quite complex recipe, it's a bit labour intensive and the 
bread is a challenge if you're not used to dealing with hydration levels in 
the 80%+ range. But, I kid you not, it's a stunner. The two sets of 
measurements are NOT Mix 'n' Match, they are in the same ratio but not 
direct conversions.

Use one set or the other and "Don't mess with Mr Inbetween"


50 gm (2 oz) rye flour
450 gm (1 lb 2 oz) high-protein white  flour
850 gm (2 lb 2 oz) water
1/2 tsp instant yeast


The Poolish
200 gm (8 oz) sieved (coarse bran removed - see notes)  wholewheat "bread" 
300 gm (12 oz)high-protein white flour
20 gm (3/4 oz) salt
1 tsp instant yeast


20 grams (3/4 oz) dried porcini
2 heads (yes, heads) of garlic, at least 20 cloves, peeled and thickly 
sliced, 4 - 5 slices per clove
1 kilo (2 1/2 pounds) cultivated mushrooms (Agaricus Bisporus) sliced 5mm 
(1/4")  thick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely  ground
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to adjust seasoning


Mix the Poolish ingredients to a smooth batter and leave AT ROOM 
TEMPERATURE overnight. The resultant goo will smell strongly of sour rye 
and yeast by-products.

Add the dough's dry ingedients to the Poolish and mix roughly until just 
hydrated. Leave for 20 minutes. Mix on medium (3 on a Kenwood) for 6-8 
minutes until very smooth and elastic and clearing the sides of the bowl.

Flour your counter, generously, and scrape the very wet dough onto the 
flour, dust all over with more flour and use a scraper to help you roll the 
dough in the flour until it's coated all over. Leave for 10 minutes, 
sprinkle more flour around the dough and use your scraper under the dough 
to release it. With floured hands perform a stretch and fold. Leaving to 
relax as necessary, repeat the stretch and fold 3 more times, then leave to 
rise for about an hour - 1.5 - 2 times growth, covered with whatever you 
normally use, in my case, floured tea-towels.

While the dough is rising, prepare the mushrooms. Just cover the porcini 
with very hot water and leave to soak. Heat the oil on low heat in a large, 
deep sided skillet or a Wok, which is what I use. Add the garlic and fry 
gently, without browning, until soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the 
salt and pepper, turn the heat up and fry the mushrooms until they give out 
their liquid, there will be a lot of it. Turn the heat to max and, stirring 
occasionally, cook the mushrooms until the juice has almost disappeared and 
the oil is starting to separate at the edges of the mixture. Drain the 
porcini through a fine sieve into the pan, add the lemon juice, chop the 
porcini, roughly, and add to the pan. Cook fast until the added liquid is 
gone and  the mushrooms are beginning to show a few touches of brown. Leave 
to cool and adjust the seasoning when at room temperature. They should be 
as highly seasoned as you find acceptable.

Flatten and spread  the dough out to as large a rectangle as you can, 
before the dough becomes too elastic, by dimpling the dough with floured 
fingertips. Spread as much of the mushroom mixture on the top of the dough 
as will completely cover 2/3 of the rectangle at least one musroom slice 
thick. Don't be too fanatical about it. Fold the dough like a letter, 
trapping the mushrooms between layers of dough. If you haven't incorporated 
all the mushrooms (it always takes me at least two foldings.), leave the 
dough to relax for about 15 minutes and repeat the 
dimpling/spreading/folding. Repeat, if necessary, to use all the mushrooms. 
Leave 15 minutes and dimple and fold again to distribute the mushrooms. 
Flour the top of the dough and cut into 4 rectangles and, with floured 
hands, stretch and fold each rectangle into a plump square.

Proof the loaves en couche until doubled. Working quickly, pick each loaf 
up and stretch to the typical Ciabattta shape, onto the peel or parchment 
then straight into the oven.

Bake at max, on stones, steam optional, can't say it made a difference in 
my bakes, for about 1/2 hour, minimum internal temperature of 93C (200F).

Cool on racks for at least 1 hour before eating unless you intend to 
consume the bread warm with Tahini, which is a magnificent combination, if 
a little powerful in flavour for those with delicate palates.


Sieved wholewheat is just wholewheat flour passed through a kitchen sieve 
and the coarse bran that remains in the sieve discarded.

The dough is a bit of a bugger to handle but the elastic crumb produced, in 
part, by the high hydration is magnificent.

The bread is obviously a Ciabatta variant but it is a lean dough so should 
not keep as long as a typical Ciabatta made with oil and milk but the 
mushrooms keep the bread moist for a couple of days and there's never any 
left by then anyway<g>

The rye in the poolish is absolutely necessary.