Author Topic: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter  (Read 308 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« on: February 14, 2009, 01:50:45 PM »
I'd pretty much given up on ciabatta, but a recipe in the March/April Cook's Illustrated caught my eye. I substituted a starter culture for the biga and made a few other tweaks and it was a great success in terms of texture and flavor. I had to add a little more flour to compensate for the wetness of the starter - I'll weigh it out next time. I won't have time any time soon to convert to baker's %. Still not perfect, but better than any attempt to date.

9 ounces activated starter culture
10 ounces AP flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
6 ounces water
2 ounces milk

Kneaded into a smooth dough. Ferment for 3 hours. Fold. Ferment another 3 hours. Place in fridge overnight. Fold. Ferment another 3 hours. Shape. Proof for 2 hours. Bake at 450 15-20 minutes (steam for first 5 minutes). CI has much more detailed instructions.




Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 02:13:13 PM »
Beautiful ciabatta, Bill!

I have also read that article and must say that it has inspired me to try ciabatta again using my own Puget Sound starter.  I've not had good luck with ciabatta in the past, for the reasons they mention, and have stuck with making Peter Reinhart's focaccia.

Your photo serves as further inspiration.  Thank you!

~sd
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Offline apizza

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009, 07:09:07 PM »
I find CI to be just a little too scientific for me. Right now this is my favorite.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7779.0.html

Still a work in progress, maybe a little less water.  I usually use a biga, but this is same day an pretty close to the starter types I've tried.

Offline November

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 10:39:03 PM »
Bill,

2 ounces milk

I have noticed that all the formulas you've posted since 2006 have included milk.  Have you ever made plain ciabatta, and not ciabatta al latte?

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 08:45:30 AM »
Bill,

I have noticed that all the formulas you've posted since 2006 have included milk.  Have you ever made plain ciabatta, and not ciabatta al latte?

- red.november

red.november,

Yes, I've made made it at least dozen ways over the years using every recipe I've got. I think the CI one may have worked so well, not because of the milk, but because of the dough development technique. Perhaps I should try to make it without milk next time. Very heavy travel schedule right now. Maybe in a few weeks. Do you have a preference for ciabatta without milk?

Bill

Offline David

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 11:23:44 AM »
Bill,
Have you tried this approach?

http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=162
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 11:42:11 AM »
Bill,
Have you tried this approach?

http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=162
No, David, I haven't, but it looks interesting and worth a try. I'm using the Santos mixer which is not optimal for really wet doughs. It takes a very long time for it to develop the gluten, but maybe that is why the latest loaves came out so well. For now, I'll take the CI recipe as far as I can with a few tweaks I have in mind.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 11:44:35 AM »
As a follow-up to the original post, I made some panini-styled grilled sandwiches with a day-old ciabatta. So good, that I will definitely make extra loaves next time.

Offline November

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 04:33:48 PM »
Bill,

Do you have a preference for ciabatta without milk?

I suppose you could call it a preference as I think of ciabatta as more of a rustic bread, and milk softens the crumb beyond my coarser expectations for rustic breads.  I also avoid preferments and starters with milk in them unless I'm making sourdough.  Otherwise I prefer to use dairy in bread applications that have a short fermentation period where yeast, and not bacteria, are primarily responsible for the flavor.

More than anything though, I asked just because I was curious and was preparing to make some ciabatta today or tomorrow.  The construction going on around me right now is making several things inconvenient as I'm trying to keep an eye on the work being done.  So today is out, but I may bake some soon.

- red.november

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 02:23:46 PM »
Making burgers for July 4 party and think a "ciabatta roll" might work well. Did a dry run today using the method I adapted from CI. Buns of 115g were formed. I think they'll be perfect:


Offline andreguidon

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 03:03:54 PM »
those look good bill ! ive had burgers on ciabatta, its different but very nice...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2009, 03:14:33 PM »
those look good bill ! ive had burgers on ciabatta, its different but very nice...

Thanks. These will be "different" burgers - the New York Strip Surprise Burger from Hubert Keller's new book, Burger Bar. The surprise is they are stuffed with shredded braised short rib meat. This is a simplified version of the famous DB burger which also includes foie gras in the stuffing. The recipe specifically calls for ciabatta buns. If they come out good, I'll post pictures here this weekend.


Offline andreguidon

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2009, 04:46:42 PM »
will call it a gourmet burger !!! :chef:

ill be very interested to see how it will come out !
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline jeff v

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2009, 07:02:42 PM »
Thanks. These will be "different" burgers - the New York Strip Surprise Burger from Hubert Keller's new book, Burger Bar. The surprise is they are stuffed with shredded braised short rib meat.



Bill,

That sounds awesome. How do you like the book over all? Good photog?

Jeff
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2009, 08:45:59 PM »
Bill,

That sounds awesome. How do you like the book over all? Good photog?

Jeff

Book seems fine; this weekend will be my first try using it. BTW, the recipe calls for ground NY steak. No way I would do this. I make my own ground beef using brisket. Love the flavor. Plenty of fat.

Stay tuned.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2009, 09:40:49 PM »
These were without question the best burgers I have ever eaten. The ciabatta buns were perfect. Rather than baking on the stone, I baked them in a pan on a rack in the oven so that the bottom wouldn't be crispy. Came out nice and soft all over.


Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2009, 11:55:32 PM »
Bill,  just wondering what you think the fat percentages are on your ground brisket? It looks fattier than I was picturing.  I am going to be trying this soon.  Thanks -marc

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2009, 11:59:58 PM »
Bill,  just wondering what you think the fat percentages are on your ground brisket? It looks fattier than I was picturing.  I am going to be trying this soon.  Thanks -marc

marc,

I separate the fat from the flesh before grinding. In this case, it was about 25% fat. I have no problem using 30% or more since much of the fat renders out during grilling.

Offline David

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Re: Cook's Illustrated ciabatta using natural starter
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2009, 11:25:50 AM »
By coincidence I just saw this in the NYT this morning:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/dining/01burg.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
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