Home Bread-Bakers v096.n019.3

Ciabatta and deflated bread

Dennis & Sharon Foulk <dfoulk@surfsouth.com>
Wed, 12 Jun 1996 12:41:28 -0500 (EST)
Hello to all,
I am new to the list and I enjoy it alot. I hope to contribute my share.
To Franklin Porath who wrote,"I opened the door and whisked the towel off 
of the loaves..." and the loaves deflated:  the towel must have stuck to 
the surface of the bread and removing it abruptly caused the gluten 
structures to tear letting the air out.  I don't use a towel but rather 
plastic wrap.  This would stick in the past causing my bread to deflate 
too when I removed it until I started spraying the plastic with Pam.
  To AmyLynn Stotzner, who is looking for a Ciabatta Bread recipe:  I have
many, many bread books and only one had a recipe for this bread,_The Bread
Book_, by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake, page 105.
                     Makes 2 medium loaves

4 3/4 cups white bread flour
2 cakes compressed fresh yeast (0.6 oz each)
1 3/4 cups cold water (from the tap)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt or flaked sea salt

2 baking sheets, heavilly floured

Put 3,1/4 cups of the flour into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center 
of the flour. Crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl.  Stir in 1/2 c. 
of the water until smooth.  Pour the yeast mixture into the well in the 
flour.  Then add the remaining water to the well and mix.  Mix the flour 
from the bowl into the yeast mixture in the well with your hand or a 
wooden spoon to make a very sticky batterlike dough.  Using your hand, 
beat the mixture for 5 minutes until very elastic.  Cover the bowl with a 
damp dish towel and let rise at room temperature, away from drafts, for 4 
hours until it rises and collapses.  The dough will rise up enormously, 
so check that it does not stick to the dish towel. Punch down the dough. 
 Add the oil and salt to the dough and mix briefly with your hand.  Then 
gradually work the rest of the flour in the bowl into the dough with your 
hand to make a soft, quite sticky dough.  When all the dough is smooth 
and the flour has been thoroughly combined, cover the bowl with a damp 
dish towel and let rise at room temperature, away from drafts, until 
doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  Using a very sharp knife, divide the dough in half, disturbing the 
dough as little as possible.  Do not punch it down or try to knead or 
shape the dough at all.  Tip a portion of the dough onto each prepared 
baking sheet, nudging it with a spatula, to form 2 rough-looking 
rectangular loaves, about 1 inch thick.  Sprinkle the loaves with flour 
and let rise, uncovered at rm. temp., away from drafts, until doubled in 
size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  During the last 15 min. of rising, heat the 
oven to 425F.
  Bake the loaves for about 35 min., or until they are browned and sound 
hollow when tapped underneath.  Transfer the loaves to wire racks until 
lukewarm, and then serve.  Or, eat within 24 hours, gently warmed.  
Freeze for up to one week only.

This is a beautiful book, although I haven't taken the time to try any 
of the recipes yet.  I hope this recipe is what you are looking for.  It 
is the only one I have seen for "Ciabatta".

I had never heard of Ciabatta before. This is what the authors have to 
say about this bread:
"This new Italian loaf, all the rage in London, comes from the area 
around Lake Como in the north, and it is supposed to resemble a slipper. 
 In any case, it is free-form- simply poured out of the bowl in which it 
has risen onto the baking sheet in a rough and ready rectangular loaf.  
It has large holes, and a soft, but chewy, floury crust.  I find that 
many commercial loaves taste of stale olive oil or lack the pungency of 
good extra-virgin oil.
  Finding a good recipe for this bread was difficult, and I made abut 30 
before I was happy with the results.  Taking advice from chef Pierre 
Koffmann, I adapted his baguette recipe...adding a good quantity of olive 
oil to the dough, and altering the final consistency.  As with the 
baguettes, it is not easy to achieve a perfect result the first time, 
even though the final loaf should taste very good.  I have not had good 
results whth easy-blend yeast or dried yeast granules, so I have only 
included instructions for using fresh yeast."

I have never seen fresh yeast before. If anyone knows where this can be 
purchased, please let me know.

AmyLynn, you mentioned your bagels looked like spaetzels...what are spaetzels?

Best regards,
Sharon Foulk