There is really nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread… especially when it is coming out of your own kitchen. I tore off a nice heal piece and handed it – still steaming, to Hubs knowing that he would really like it… But I didn’t know that he’d never had it before. This is one of those things that I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made. Really. Countless times. A formula I’ve carried with me from kitchen to kitchen, and passed from worthy chef to trusted friend. My heart broke a little for him, as the memories I have of the people I’ve shared this Ciabatta with came flooding back.
Now he has another small glimpse into my world.
I’ve been getting a TON of bread questions lately… so I figured it is about time for a little crash course. This is a home size Ciabatta, (to my Kitchen Family- your welcome… that was a lot of math.) and I’ve added Roasted Garlic, Parmesan, and Rosemary. You can absolutely leave these things out- just one note on the garlic it does need to be roasted. Raw garlic is really acidic, and gets the yeast all upset and the bread won’t rise. Forgive the wordiness of this post… it is pretty long-winded
You will need a Stand Mixer, a scale, and a digital thermometer for your bread baking adventures…
As well as this simple equation:
Desired Dough Temperature (this ciabatta is 76) x 4 – air temp -flour temp -poolish temp -25 (degrees) for friction = Water temp
The Desired Dough Temperature is the temperature we want the dough to be when it is finished mixing. We are going to use this equation instead of “baby bath water” to get the right temperature for happy bread! Super exciting! Especially since you never know what your outside conditions might be like, and baby bath water might not really be what you need.
Example: 76×4= 304
Subtract air temp of 64 (brrr Hubs turn up the heat!)
Subtract poolish temp of 43 (she sat on the counter while I weighed everybody out)
Subtract flour temp of 65
Subtract 25 for friction
And my water temp= 107 degrees
Time: 3 hours
Yield: 3 Loaves
19 oz Bread Flour
11.6 oz Water
0.5 oz Salt
0.13 oz Active Dry Yeast (or 0.27 oz Cake Yeast)
1 sprig fresh Rosemary chopped
5-7 cloves roasted garlic
1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
10 oz Bread Flour
10 oz Water
0.14 g Active Dry Yeast (or 0.28g Cake Yeast)
Mix yeast into water in a medium sized bowl, add in flour- mix with your hand until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.
Make the Poolish the night before. Take the Temperatures of your poolish, flour, & air and figure out your water temperature (see above equation). Measure your yeast into a small container and set aside- the rest of your dry ingredients go into the bowl of your stand mixer. Run the water from the faucet over your instant read thermometer and adjust it until it reads the temperature you need for your water. Collect a decent amount. Weigh out what you need and set the rest aside. Add the yeast to your water and stir to combine. This disburses the yeast evenly throughout the dough hydrating it before hand so you don’t have any weird little dry spots or big clumps of yeast. Add your water to the mixer along with your 16 oz of poolish (which is not the entire recipe- you have to weigh it… sorry) and begin to mix. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer until you are around medium speed. You will be here for a few minutes.
Eventually the dough will pull away from the sides of the mixer, and about 5-7 minutes in you will begin to see a good amount of gluten development. You can do a window test… (which basically means you can pull off a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers if it doesn’t break and you are able to form a thin window pane with the dough you’ve developed enough gluten strength) although it will be hard because we put a lot of stuff in our dough which will make it rip easily, nevertheless this is what we are going for. I don’t think I ran my mixer much longer than 7 minutes. Remove from the mixer and place into a medium/large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I try to keep the dough reasonably warm (70ish degrees) either kind of temperature extreme will give you mega issues.
This dough has a 2 hour fermentation with 3 folds at 45 minute intervals. (its really not as confusing as it sounds)
I took the dough off the mixer at 9:45 so I fold at 10:30/11:15/12:00 and it gets cut and goes in the oven at 12:45.
I usually just write it on the plastic wrap with a sharpie and mark it off as I go, but be sure to set a timer- I know you aren’t just going to sit there and stare at your bread waiting for it to ferment… When you fold the dough, bring the top down, bottom up, sides in giving the dough a little bit of a stretch as you go… then a gentle flip, to get the seam on the bottom. For these purposes you aren’t really in the business of degassing the dough. Ciabatta is full of awesome giant holes, and you want to keep them there.
Ok she’s ready to be cut and baked… Preheat oven to 475. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and dust with flour. Divide into 3 loaves, being careful not to pop too many of those awesome gas bubbles. (I fit everybody onto one sheet!) Place in oven on middle rack – I positioned racks so there were no racks above the loaves, they puff up quite a bit. Bake at 475 for 18 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Wrap individually and freeze if you aren’t going to use them immediately.