Ciabatta bread time!!!

A forum for all things cooking, food or snack related
paradoxbox
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:52 pm
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 321 times

Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by paradoxbox » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:25 am

Baked up some bread for a change. Haven't done much baking recently.

Actual time spent preparing this was probably less than 5 minutes.

This bread was made with completely natural yeast, I just left a bowl of flour and water sludge on the top of the fridge, fed it fresh flour and water every 2 or 3 days (or less, coz my house is cold). Finally it got this strong fermenty smell to it and I knew it was ready.

I fed it 2 days ago, then yesterday I just pulled out around 4 big tablespoons full of the sludgy mix, and set them into my bread machine. But you can do this in a bowl too, by hand.

I then put 2 and maybe 3/4 cups of flour, a little under a teaspoon of salt, and 190ml of water. The resulting dough is REALLY sticky, kinda watery.

I set my machine to knead it for a few minutes. If you're doing it by hand just mix the stuff up with a spoon till there are no more clumps, but you don't need to knead it. The stuff is like an ooze.

Let it sit overnight in a warm place, cover it with a moist towel.

Then take it out of the bowl, it will be very sticky but obviously puffy and full of air. Try not to punch it down too much or you won't get all those lovely holes in the crumb which is the main purpose of ciabatta. Shape it to the shape you like and either bake it at 210c for 25-30mins right away, or let it rise for an hour or two then bake it.

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2377
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1319 times
Been thanked: 920 times
Contact:

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by Zasso Nouka » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:39 am

That's awesome man, I love Ciabatta and there isn't any locally available but you can bet now I've seen this the Nouka household is going to be filled with the smell of baking bread. I can't believe how easy it is and we've even got a bread machine so there is no excuse at all to not be making some.

Do you recommend using natural yeast for this recipe or is ordinary yeast fine ? Also if I try making my own natural yeast are there any tell tale signs it hasn't gone well ?

paradoxbox
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:52 pm
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 321 times

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by paradoxbox » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:20 am

You can use normal yeast for this too, I think something like 1/2 a teaspoon or 1 teaspoon would be enough. If you go the natural yeast route, the first couple of days it will have a real bad funky smell, but as you keep feeding it each day or every other day, the smell will change to something nice or it might even disappear completely.

The mix will form a kind of crust on the top, I usually pull it off and throw it in the compost, but when you take the crust off you'll get a big whiff of the odor. If it smells like good fermentation should, you're golden. Don't worry if you see mold spots, just take the crust off and try not to brush the mold into the underlying mix. Feed as normal.

This bread was REALLY delicious.

donguri
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:57 am
Location: Aichi
Has thanked: 138 times
Been thanked: 74 times

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by donguri » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:25 am

Yer makin' me hungry!! That bread looks amazing!!

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2377
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1319 times
Been thanked: 920 times
Contact:

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:05 am

I like natural things so will give the natural yeast method a go,

Thanks for sharing man :thumbup:

paradoxbox
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:52 pm
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 321 times

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by paradoxbox » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:15 pm

One issue I thought might be useful to mention:

The rising action of natural yeast.. Sometimes, if it's too cold or if the starter was just too weak, you won't get much rise from the yeast after you've mixed it up and let it set on the baking pan or bread board. I think the only way to get it to rise after you've already mixed the dough together and let it set a day, is to put it in a warmer spot (Like 30degrees warm) for a few hours. If that doesn't start it rising, possibly punching it down, mixing in a little sugar and letting it go again might, but I'd probably scrap the dough and fix the starter. You can try baking it but the dough may be very dense, only usable as a kind of trencher or some similar purpose.

It's tough to make this bread on cold days if you live in an old house like mine. If your average room temp is around 18c or so the yeast should rise the dough pretty consistently every time.

Sometimes you'll get a very dense loaf which quite resembles sourdough and depending on the flavor of your local yeast, it might taste like sourdough too, but if your recipe uses as much water as this one you should get something like the photo above with big huge air holes in it, and a nice crispy crust you could use as a door knocker.

Absolutely perfect combination to go with some corn pottage or some other soup. Yum.

User avatar
Zasso Nouka
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 2377
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:37 am
Location: Chiba Prefecture
Has thanked: 1319 times
Been thanked: 920 times
Contact:

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:41 am

Man that sounds like the perfect combination, I do love a good sweetcorn pottage.

User avatar
gonbechan
Founder
Founder
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am
Has thanked: 914 times
Been thanked: 422 times

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by gonbechan » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:33 pm

I am saving this recipe Paradoxbox, as I am lusting after and will soon be (hopefully) the proud owner of a Panini Press.
This is just the sort of bread for certain fillings. I am really looking forward to eating it.

At the moment I am trying to finish up a sack of whole wheat flour that is losing its bloom of youth, so have been making my usual.
Which is 1/2 and 1/2 wholewheat and bread flour plus a good cupful of very finely smashed walnuts bread. (of course butter and salt and skim milk and sugar for the yeast etc)
I use the breadmaker to knock it about for me because I have an ancient National one that makes double the batch of most bread makers.
It also introduces the dry yeast in 2 stages and makes a really nice dough.

The reason I am holding off on buying the panini press is because our fridge, which was dying, went into its final hours very suddenly and I had to stop putting off getting a new one.

paradoxbox
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:52 pm
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 321 times

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by paradoxbox » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:17 am

Definitely try it out! I'm not sure how it will adapt to a panini press - the huge air holes in the bread might make the toasting rather uneven? But then again I've only ever seen panini presses used in a grocery store overseas :P

That's a shame about the dying fridge. But I guess it gives you an excuse to buy a nice big energy efficient one :) Or you can always find free ones on craigslist! Might I suggest turning your dead fridge into a cheese or wine cave? You can just keep the thing full of ice and in a cool part of the house and either put cheeses or wines you make into it and let them ferment at a nice steady temperature all year round :) Beats paying some guy to come haul it away.

I am making this bread pretty much any time the temperature is expected to dip recently, and usually mix it up with corn pottage or sometimes a hearty JP style curry loaded with vegetables.

Image

Image

User avatar
gonbechan
Founder
Founder
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am
Has thanked: 914 times
Been thanked: 422 times

Re: Ciabatta bread time!!!

Post by gonbechan » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:08 am

Ciabatta is excellently suited to panini press sandwiches with a wetter filling.
The holes absorb the filling and spring back after pressing while the outside remains crunchy and delicious.
If not ciabatta then baguettes.

For dryer ingredients you would want a less airy bread.

Here is a piccie of a chicken pesto panini using a ciabatta roll

Image

Post Reply