Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Not Part of the Challenge, but I wanted Something Crunchy

I was craving a good crunchy white loaf of something last night, so I decided to make some Ciabatta from the BBA. I threw together the poolish around 8:00 last night and after I made it I decided that it wasn't necessarily what I wanted. I went to and did a search for poolish and came up with a result for some baguettes. The recipe was slightly different, but I decided that using the basic baker's percentages I could use what I had and come up with something tasty.
My poolish was 107% hydration and I had a goal of 66% hydration with 2% salt and .36% yeast. The yeast was a little hard to calculate, but I decided an additional half teaspoon would be perfect. I used equal amounts of water for the poolish and dough, so I had a total weight of 24 ounces and at 66% hydration, I needed 36.4 more ounces. My final recipe was as follows.

Bread Flour 100 %
Water 66 %
Salt 2 %
Yeast .36 %

Flour 11.25 oz
Water 12 oz
Yeast 1/4 tsp

All of the poolish
Flour 25 oz
Water 12 oz
Salt .728 oz
Yeast 1/2 tsp

I mixed everything and let it autolyse for 30 minutes (only technically because a true autolyse would be without the salt)

I then mixed it in a Bosch Universal on first speed around 10 minutes until I achieved a windowpane.

I let it rise until it doubled (around 120 min)

Since I only have a pizza stone I made demi-baguettes and scaled them at 150 g each. (a true baguette is apparently scaled at 375 g according to Dan DiMuzio in his new book).

I scaled them, preshaped them and let them rest for around 20 minutes.

I then shaped them and proofed them on a couche for approximately 90 minutes.

During the last 30 minutes of proofing I preheated the oven to 500 F with the intention of lowering the heat to 460 F after steaming. Through trial and error (really very little error) I found that baking them at 500 F the whole time without lowering the heat after steaming as per BBA (misting 3 times every 30 seconds and using a steam pan) was perfect.

I ended up baking them 6 minutes then rotating 180 degrees and baking another 6 minutes.

They are perfect!

I must say I won this round and showed those ***** ******* who was boss in this kitchen!

I wish I had taken more pics of the process, but what are you going to do? I did get some great pics of the final loaves, and I am really happy with them.

Panera has nothing on me!


  1. Mmmmmm, this looks awesome! I can't wait until we get to this bread--it looks really delicious! YUM.

  2. Wow, they look great. And your math skills are nothing short of impressive!

    P.S. Love the banner and photos. You must be a riot to live with.

  3. I "LOVED" reading your post even though I didn't understand some/most of it. :) I have a lot to learn when it comes to hydration, percentages, weighing, scaling, and autolyse ......... hum I guess I have more than a LOT to learn. :)
    Your photos are awesome. You make me want to bake them. :)
    Great job,

  4. I made this recipe when I made my Artos a week or so ago and it was the best Ciabatta I have ever had or made! Yours look awesome!