I have experimented a lot with ciabatta recipes and the hybrid method that I am going to tell you more about really stood out for me. Crunchy crust, soft and airy inside, just how you’d want it to be!
2 x 400g ciabattas
Sourdough starter (night before)
I always feed starter with 90% all purpose flour and 10% rye. Which makes it nice and strong.
Please note, summertime ratio for overnight feeding is higher (1:10:10) compared to wintertime (1:7:7), because of the temperature difference. Depending on the strength of the starter, you can change the ratio.
Learn how to make starter from scratch here.
Poolish (night before)
- 0.5g dry yeast
- 100g water(20%)
- 100g flour(20%)
- 50g sourdough starter (10%)
- 200g poolish
- 350g bread flour (70%)
- 50g whole grain whole wheat flour (10%)
- 250g water (50%)
- – 50g extra water will be added during mixing (bassinage)(10%)
- 10g olive oil (2%)
- 10g salt (2%)
Starter preparation step.
- 10 pm add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let sit at room temp 70-75F till next morning until it reaches the peak (10-12 hours), it should at least double (starter isn’t strong enough), or triple in size(strong starter).
Poolish preparation step.
- 10 pm in container add yeast to water,add flour, whisk all together, cover the lid, let ferment at room temp till next morning.
Ciabatta dough preparation steps.
- 9 am mix water, all poolish and starter with flour, using spoon, cover, let rest 1 hour for autolyse (during the autolyse stage flour absorbs water, becoming fully hydrated. This activates gluten development).
- 10 am add salt.Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 minutes, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 minutes until well incorporated. Add extra water little by little. The process of adding extra water is called bassinage, it helps to tighten up gluten. The dough has to come up together.
- At the end add olive oil. Mix until well incorporated. Total mixing time shouldn’t take longer then 10-15 minutes.
- Oil the container with olive oil, transfer the dough into the container, close the lid.
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes at 74-78F /23-26C.
- 10:30 am wet your hands and perform 1st stretch and fold.
- 11 am 2nd stretch and fold.
- 11:30 am 3rd stretch and fold.
- 12 pm 4th stretch and fold.
Performing stretches and folds will help to continue gluten development.
After the final stretch let the dough rest for 15 minutes. You should see some bubbles on the surface, the dough has to become lighter. We are looking for 30%-40% rise.
Ciabatta preshaping and shaping steps.
- Remove the dough from the fridge.
- Generously sprinkle with flour table and dough, turn container on the floured surface.
- Using the of scraper divide the dough in 2 equal parts, then fold each dough( flourless sides one to each other). Sprinkle more flour all around ciabattas.
- Now transfer each shaped dough onto a proofing couche. Cover ciabattas with kitchen towel. Let them proof for 1 hour.
- Perform poke test to check the readiness. Give the dough a gentle but assertive poke. If the dough springs back right away, let it rise for a few more minutes. If the dough springs back slowly, like it’s waking up from a long nap, and your poke leaves a small indentation, it’s ready to go.
- During proofing time start to preheat oven 500F with baking stone inside and iron tray on the bottom rack for 1 hour.
- When the oven is hot and ciabattas are proofed enough, flip them over on a parchment paper( bottom side should be on the top, and top part should be on the bottom.
- Prepare 10 ice cubes.
- Act fast, open the oven, transfer ciabattas on to the baking stone, dump the ice cubes into the tray and put it on the bottom rack, close the oven door.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 475F, open the oven door, remove the tray with excess water. Bake for 15 more minutes.
- Let your ciabattas cool for 1 hour.