Friday, September 28, 2012

Ciabatta with Stiff Biga

When I think of Ciabatta the first word that comes to my mind is: gentleness. The way to transfer Ciabatta-dough to the floured couche and later on to the peel is like holding on to something so fragile you can see and feel it slipping through your fingers. Only with care and gentleness you can manage it. It asks your full attention or awareness. That’s one of the reasons I love to bake Ciabatta. The reward is a delicious smelling and tasting loaf of bread. And it’s also good looking.

It doesn’t need anything on it, but maybe some fresh garlic butter? It’s delicious and I don’t even like to eat butter.

Today I baked Ciabatta. I was pretty pleased with my previously baked Ciabatta with the recipe of Craig Ponsford. But today I use one of the Ciabatta- recipes of Jeffrey Hamelman.

Name                               Ciabatta with Stiff Biga
Adapted from
                   Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread
Yields                               3 loaves
Dough temp.                     24°C
Biga                                 12 - 16 hours
Mixing                              3 - 4 + 1 minutes
Autolyse                           none
Fermentation                    3  hours
Stretch/Fold                      60 and 120 minutes
Shape                               10 minutes
Proof at roomtemp.            1.5 hours
Prepare steam/bake           1 hour
Bake 230°C                       38 minutes

This is what I used:
Bakers formula                  %        grams
Unbleached AP                   100     907
Water                                73      663
Salt                                    2        17
Yeast                                 1.2     3.6

Stiff Biga                          grams
Unbleached AP                   181
Water                               107

Final Dough
Unbleached AP                 725
Water                              555
Salt                                 17
Yeast                               3.6    
Biga                                 289

This is what I did:
Biga:  the evening before (12-16  hours) I mixed the ingredients for the Biga. I left it in a plastic container with a lid for the night in my kitchen.

Baking day
The final dough: I added all of the ingredients, except the Biga, in the mixing bowl of a spiral mixer and mixed for 3 minutes until all was well combined. Then I added the Biga in chunks. I mixed on second speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be loose and sticky.

Bulk Fermentation:
 transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container, cover and leave for 3 hours.

Stretch and Fold: 2 times, one after 1 hour and one after 2 hours.
Shaping: it’s possible to shape the dough, but I like the artistic shape of a ‘non-shaped’ ciabatta. I just divide the blub into the number of loaves I want, using the dough cutter. Transfer them to the floured linen couche, covered with a towel and a plastic bag.

Proofing: I proofed the loaves for 1.5 hours. Because of the warm/hot temperature in our house I watch them to prevent over proofing.

Pre heating: I pre heated the oven to 230°C and placed the steam pan with stones on the bottom of the oven.

Preparing and Baking: When the oven is hot enough I boil water and pour it in a glass bottle with a long neck. I pour some boiling water on the hot stones and quickly close the oven door to keep the steam in the oven.
I place the loaves very gently on parchment on a peel. Don’t forget to turn the loaves. The top of the loaves on the couche will be bottom on the peel. Transfer them to the oven and quickly slide the loaves on the baking stone. After some minutes I add some more water to get more steam.

I baked the loaves for 38 minutes and added with steam. Bake the loaves until they are nicely brown colored and don’t take them out too soon.

Cooling: Let the loaves cool completely on a wire rack.

I send this to Susan’s YeastSpotting and to Bake Your Own Bread
What did you bake this month? Don’t forget to show it!