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james 02-16-2009 11:53 AM

Huge hole in bread
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Don't do this at home. I forgot to push down my latest Ciabatta (Hamelman recipe with poolish) before shaping and the final proofing before the bake.

They looked great in the oven, but when I slice them (all three loaves), they had a huge air pocket in the top. Ooops.

Lesson learned. There has been a lot of discussion on the Hamelman recipe and the FB Ciabatta baking video, so I am going to be making a video on the dough preparation. Stand by for that -- I sure hope it's better than this batch. :-)


egalecki 02-16-2009 12:26 PM

Re: Huge hole in bread
Kinda hard to put any toppings on that, huh?

Looks like it tastes good though.

Dutchoven 02-16-2009 06:10 PM

Re: Huge hole in bread
have had that happen before...just have to call them cia-pita...stuff them instead of topping them...

Les 02-22-2009 01:49 PM

Re: Huge hole in bread

How do you work with the ciabatta dough? They say it should be sticky, but mine is like working with thinset. It's almost impossible to "stretch and fold"


james 02-22-2009 02:49 PM

Re: Huge hole in bread
Hey Les,

Lots of flour on the board and the dough, and a metal dough knife/scraper. You really can do it!

Les 02-22-2009 04:28 PM

Re: Huge hole in bread
1 Attachment(s)
I know I skimped on flour, I didn't see your post until they were in the oven. I had a fair amount on the peels to slide the glue into the oven. Here is a pic - does this look to be close? No holes even close to what you had. I think it could be a little browner, this was cooked 24 hours after the fire and the wife cooked 36 banana muffins this AM. The oven is still over 300 deg. though.


james 02-23-2009 10:47 AM

Re: Huge hole in bread
Les, I've been thinking about this and I think there are two things you can try next time. First, try giving your finished loaf more time to proof before putting it in the oven. That will give the dough more time to develop the holes you are looking for. It's just a matter of time. Second, I think a hotter oven would do better. You can start a Ciabatta as high as 500F (higher?) in a falling oven. I don't think 300F is going to give you the oven spring you want, and it won't really set your crust.

Keep going.

I've been planning a Ciabatta dough YouTube video and I will remember to go over handling really wet dough.

Les 02-23-2009 11:30 AM

Re: Huge hole in bread
James - I just viewed a video on your home page about shaping ciabatta loaves. The dough doesn't look anywhere near the thinset I had. Also, the receipt I followed called for folding the dough 3 times. Wouldn't that account for smaller holes? In regard to the heat, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and re-fire. I was just trying to see how far I could go on one. :)



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