Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ciabatta Saga (cont'd)

Being on vacation with a mixer and having a crowd to feed is definitely a plus as it gives a baker plenty of opportunities to experiment and this summer being the Summer of the Ciabatta here in our little home by the river, ciabattas come out of the oven with astonishing regularity to disappear just as speedily from the bread basket. I am trying my hand at different variations of the same recipe but so far, I haven't found one we like better than the original tweaked one.
I tried using a kamut preferment (I made a kamut starter and used 100% kamut flour in the levain) with all-purpose flour in the final dough and no whole wheat.
The ciabatta came out fine and the crumb had this mellowness which, in my experience, is unique to kamut...
...but, while pleasant, the flavor was not up to par.
So I made another ciabatta using only white whole wheat both in the levain (made from a white starter) and in the final dough. The dough smelled deliciously like honey and was a pleasure to work with (I added considerably more water than in the original recipe) but I was a bit disappointed at the end result as I found the flavor of whole wheat to be overpowering.

Sunset light was pouring through the window as I took this picture
which accentuated the reddish gold of the crust
Also, I could taste the acidic tang of the levain in the crumb and I do not like my ciabattas to be acidic.

Here too sunset light is only partly responsible for the golden glow
as the crumb did come out the color of honey
Technical info: 
For the kamut ciabatta, I used 340 g kamut flour in the levain and 12 g more water in the final dough than in the original tweaked recipe (all other ingredients and quantities remaining the same).

For the white whole wheat ciabatta, I used 340 g white whole wheat in the levain and 976 g white whole wheat in the final dough. I also used 227 g more water in the final dough than in the original tweaked recipe and I could probably have used even more.
So the quest for variety goes on. I'll keep you posted!

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