Ciabatta – Add a Lotta Watta
July 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm (BBA Challenge, Bread Baker's Apprentice, Bread Baking, Peter Reinhart)
Tags: BBA Challenge, biga, ciabatta, poolish, wet dough
This week’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge
bread was Ciabatta, a wonderful, holey Italian bread. I was really looking forward to making this bread. It’s a simple artisan bread, made of flour, yeast, salt, water, and maybe a little oil. I had never baked Ciabatta, so I was excited about shaping the “slippers”. And, even though I love the enriched breads we have been making so far, to be honest, I was ready for a simple, straight dough.
In typical fashion, I decided to make two versions — the poolish and the biga. I actually made the poolish a week or so before baking them both together. My first try at poolish did not result in the big holes I was expecting, so I increased the water a bit on my second attempt.
Biga (left) and Poolish (right) Ciabatta Dough
Even though I increased the water in the poolish a bit (by about an ounce or two), you can see that it is considerably firmer than the biga version. I think if I weren’t familiar with working with wet doughs, I would have been a bit freaked out by the biga dough. It was really wet.
The biga (on the right) is much wetter than the poolish.
After fermenting - biga in front
The poolish dough (left) held its shape better
Poolish Ciabatta - Ready for the Oven
Bake-a Da Biga
I had originally planned to bake all four loaves at the same time, but by the time they were done proofing, they were too big. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until I had stretched the dough, and the biga loaves relaxed a bit too much, resulting in flat loaves.
The biga Ciabatta (right) is a bit flat,...
But look at dem holes!!!
Both breads were delicious. I think I liked the biga version a little better. The crumb was open, chewy and really held the herb-infused olive oil well.
Up next: cinnamon rolls and sticky buns (of course I’m making them both!)