Sourdough Ciabatta


(Phyllis) #37

My prior experience with ciabatta is from Nancy Silverton’s La Brea bread cookbook and this was a chance to expand my repertoire.
Three loaves just came out of the oven and they look and smell very inviting. I wish I had “dimpled” the loaves as Nancy Silvreton advises because the loaves sprung in the oven quite a bit but the taste will be the real test.


(Melissa) #38

How did your ciabatta come out?

I can’t promise you’ll like my version of ciabatta, but I recently watched the Chef’s Table episode featuring Nancy Silverton, and I CAN guarantee that I also do the focused recipe tweaking and repetition that the documentary shows her doing​:nerd_face::grin:


(Phyllis) #39

The ciabatta is wonderful. This recipe is one I will definitely keep in my rotation.


(KarenN621) #40

I just made this recipe - it is perfect!! I’m really pleased with the amazing results I was able to achieve on my first try - thank you for your clear explanations and all the hints and tips you offered. Attached is a picture of my bake today. I know I need to work on shaping, but otherwise, it looks great and tastes great too!


(nickg) #41

Hi!
I saw that a different recipe was listed on this forum using much less starter than what is posted on the original recipe. I think the original called for 550g of starter–which was 100%–and the one in the forum used 50%.

Can you explain how the affects bulk fermentation time? Would the one with more starter ferment quicker?

Thank you!!


(Melissa) #42

Yes, more starter will ferment faster. However, using some sprouted flour can speed things up too. That concern and convenience (inventory) were why I experimented with a lower percentage in the 50% starter recipe.

Both worked quite well, and you’d be fine doing either ratio, depending on your schedule and interesting building a vat of starter.


(nickg) #43

That’s great–thank you!
I might give the 50% a try. 550g seems like quite a build.

Do you think that using all AP flour or a mix of AP and bread flour or a mix of AP and Whole Wheat would work? I’m not sure if I have access to sprouted wheat.

Thanks again!!


(Melissa) #44

Absolutely play with flour types. Different wheats and percentages of whole wheat can absorb more or less water (if you went, for example, 80% whole grain I’d maybe add a little more water). Take a look at the photo gallery in the recipe and you can get a sense of hydration.


(nickg) #45

Cool, thanks!!


(nickg) #46

Last question from me on this.
Is this 50% starter of the total flour or final dough weight? (i.e., 500g flour uses 250g starter)
I’ve seen people use both in various recipes, just want to make sure I am using the correct amount!

Thank you!


Is a wet starter better for sourdough?
(Melissa) #47

It’s % of flour.

Here’s the recipe with 50% starter – so you can see all the ingredient volumes and weights.


(nickg) #48

Perfect, thanks so much!


(kraj) #49

Sometimes you don’t want to make so much bread in one go.
With this current recipe how is it possible to reduce the final loaf weight by say 50%?
Is there a formula you can use to manipulate the ratios of flour to water to choose the best final loaf weight to suit your needs?
Great recipe btw.


(Melissa) #50

Sure, just decide how much you want, for example half, and divide each ingredient by 2 … or multiply by 0.5


(kraj) #51

Thanks for the reply Melissa.
I have been reading about the “bakers percentage” and without getting to mathematical does simply dividing each ingredients by the same amount maintain the correct percentage of flour to water for the particular recipe?
Out of curiosity, for the original recipe you outlined, what is the bakers percentage?


(Melissa) #52

There’s kinda no way to avoid the math. I’ll try to give you the starting point so you feel comfortable with the process, as it’ll be useful to be able to do the math whenever you want.

Take each ingredient and divide it by the weight of the flour e.g. 550 g in this recipe

550/550 = 1 or 100% flour
550/550 = 1 or 100% sourdough starter
280/550 = .51 or 51% water
24/550 = .04 or 4% olive oil
and so on

Now if you want to use only 200g flour, you recreate the ingredient list from there.

1.00 x 200 = 200 g flour
1.00 x 200 = 200 g starter
0.51 x 200 = 102 g water
0.04 x 200 = 8g olive oil


(kraj) #53

Wow! How easy is that. Thanks


(Melissa) #54

You’re welcome


(kraj) #55

In the recipe you mention bulk fermentation at room temperature until double in size. Can you also complete bulk fermentation overnight in the fridge? Does that change anything (flavour/oven rise etc)


(Melissa) #56

Sorry I’m just seeing this now. Completing the bulk fermentation in the fridge is fine. Aim for close to the same volume increase. Cold does compress gases a bit so the dough may look a little smaller and still be developed. The sourness may increase too. Also, shaping cold is easier but be careful not to tear the dough.