BBA Challenge: Ciabatta or an exercise in humilty


I finally was motivated to try another bread in the bread baker's apprentice challenge this week...the Ciabatta.  Ultimately, I failed.  I've had a lot of ciabatta here while living in Italy...in fact it's almost silly to even try to make it here when it is so cheap and easy to get, but hey, some of us have to try to do everything once.  I won't be making this again, since it was not the easiest bread to deal with and didn't come out well.  It was fun to try though.  I"m not entire sure where I went wrong....instead of the huge holes I had a tight crumb.  The bread tasted delicious but just wants ciabatta. Here's the scoop on what I did.





Measured out 13.5 ounces of white bread flour. Into that I mixed:













Salt..













and yeast.  Next:













I had a few ounces less than the recipe called for of the poolish, so I used it all.













I actually love the smell of poolish....like bread as it's baking.













6 tablespoons of water.  I added more later since the dough was dry.













You're supposed to mix 5-7 minutes with dough hook.  This may have been where the problems originated, since I have a crappy cheap mixer and had to keep adjusting it, and may have over kneaded.  Who knows...













Make an 8 inch square bed of flour on the counter and scrape out the dough onto it.













Fold like an envelope, spray with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest 30 minutes.













Fold like an envelope again and recover.  Let ferment 1 1/2 to 2 hours.













This was shortly before 1 1/2 hours..the dough wasn't supposed to rise very much but it exploded.













Cut into three, form a couche with floured linen (I used a table cloth), and fold like envelopes again.  Let ferment an hour.













Done.. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place a steam pan in bottom of the oven.













Preheat oven to 500F and place a metal pan in the bottom of the oven.  Meanwhile, slid breads onto parchment covered baking pan (don't have a stone).  When the oven is preheated, pour a cup of water into the steam pan on the bottom of the oven and slide the pan with the bread in.  Spray the sides of the oven with room temp water from a water bottle.  Close the oven, then spray 3 times more at 30 second intervals.  When that's done reduce heat to 450 and bake 10 minutes.  Rotate pan and bake 10 minutes more.  I actually had to add 5 minutes to that because my loaves just weren't brown.  This is after;













Baked and sliced to show crumb:













Maybe next time I'll have better luck..it's Cinnamon rolls.

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