Peter Reinhart's Ciabatta Bread, Wild Yeast VersionCiabatta is the next bread in line for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, and I’d been looking forward to making Peter Reinhart’s version from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice for a while. I’d made a couple of others but wasn’t impressed with the results, so wanted to see how this version would turn out.

Plus I’d love to have bragging rights on a really really good ciabatta. πŸ˜€

As usual, I halved the recipe and converted it to grams. And I went with the poolish version using Houdini, my sourdough starter (wild yeast, natural leaven, and so on), 100% hydration entirely in the place of the poolish. I used no commercial yeast in this recipe. I also added some milk powder. I used the maximum amount of water.

My Ingredients:

  • 322 grams (11.375 oz) poolish
  • 191 grams (6.75 oz) bread flour
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 20 grams milk powder
  • 85 grams (3 oz) water

I followed the directions in the book.

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice - ciabatta bread dough - window pane testThis made for quite a goopy dough. Quite goopy. And I did the window pane test just for kicks and giggles and that was quite a mess. πŸ˜€ But it worked while the dough, ah, poured down. πŸ˜€

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta dough - stretch and foldDuring the stretch and fold, I was a leetle beet hesitant – not entirely sure that I would do it properly and give it enough stretch, plus I was a bit worried about the excess flour needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface it was on. Turns out my concern about the flour was warranted – I brushed off as much as I could after the fold and didn’t end up with the line of flour that many others doing the ciabatta got. I did, though, still wind up with little bits and pieces of excess flour lumps here and there due to not getting all the flour off. It didn’t change the flavour of the bread any that I could notice, thankfully.

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta bread dough - first riseI went by the rise times in the book – since I use wild yeast, not commercial, it theoretically takes longer to use than commercial yeast. In reality, since our room temperatures are, oh, 30-35C pretty consistently, I do sometimes get rise timePeter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta dough - end of first rises about on par with commercial yeast. One of the perks of tropical island living. πŸ˜€ Although those who prefer sour sourdough would argue with me. Alas, I am not one of them. πŸ˜‰ 

And boy, had that dough risen! Swelled? Uh, no. Poofed. Nearly falling off the cookie sheet. Pudgy. And ridiculously full of air bubbles. πŸ˜€

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta dough - shaped and in a coucheSo I shaped it in my fake makeshift couche consisting of a cake pan and towels rolled up on either side of the bread dough and slapped it to rest.

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta bread dough - shaped and after second riseIt rose more than admirably well. So I slapped it onto the cookie sheet and shoved ‘er in the oven.

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta bread dough - before bakingIn retrospect, I probably should have slashed it. I likely would have gotten even more oven spring. But the recipe didn’t say to, so, me=sheep. *le sigh*

Still, it got decent oven spring and turned out looking rather nice, I think. Not so much like a slipper, having too much form rather than being a glob sitting on the cookie sheet, but, eh, you can’t have everything, Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice - ciabatta breadright? πŸ˜›

Thar she blows! bakes!

Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice ciabatta bread - sliced, crumb & hole viewWhile it doesn’t have the huge holes that ciabatta is known for, it still had respectable holes. Even better, it tasted very nice. Fahim and I both loved it. πŸ˜€

Theoretically, I’ll start including a recipe analysys for the ingredients I’ve used in making bread like the analysis below. It ought to help me analyze the breads better and troubleshoot more effectively. And if, as a bonus, it helps you, even better! πŸ˜€ Please ask if anything is in any way unclear.

My Ingredients Weights Flour Weights Water Weights Other Weights     Ingredients Expressed As A Formula
322 grams sourdough starter, 100 hydration 322 161.00 161.00 168.59%
191 grams (6.75 oz) bread     flour 191 191.00 100.00%
5 grams salt 5 5.00 2.62%
20 grams milk powder 20 20.00 10.47%
85 grams (3 oz) water 85 85.00 44.50%
Totals 352.00 246.00
Hydration (water/flour) 69.89%

I’m also submitting this post to Yeastspotting, hosted by Nick this week. Yeastspotting is a weekly showcase of truly drool-worthy breads. In addition to this being part of Sourdough Saturday here on my blog. πŸ˜€

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10 Replies to “The Wild Yeast Version of Peter Reinhart’s Poolish Ciabatta”

  1. Susie, thanks! πŸ™‚

    Barb – used to be, in the first few decades of commercial yeast, that the converting process ran the other way. πŸ˜‰ I’m glad it’s helpful. πŸ™‚

    1. You should! Wild yeast is not difficult. Leavened bread has existed for thousands of years, but commercial yeast for only the last hundred or so. Before commercial yeast, wild yeast was used for leavening.

      If all those people, who didn’t have the education and resources and varieties of flour and other ingredients, could master bread, we can, too. πŸ™‚

      You can do it! You can do it! You can do it! πŸ˜€

  2. Interesting, isn’t it. We correct our new ways by going back to old ways. It’s like cd’s over vinyl. Suddenly we adore vinyl πŸ™‚

  3. Woo hoo!!! Another ciabatta success story!! Looks awesome and yeah I loved this dough. Going to do it again just because it was so much fun. Good luck with the cinnamon rolls.
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Pork chops with wild raspberry port sauce =-.

  4. I appreciate the scientific approach to bread baking, I strive to do this more myself but it seems that every time I write out the formula I fail to store them properly/keep good notes. If only I had a blog where I could write all this stuff down in one place… πŸ™‚
    .-= nick´s last blog ..Yeastspotting 07/17/09 =-.

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