January 2012

Affter three weeks of experimenting with ciabatta, I finally achieved the results I was looking for. I’m afraid that I was not able to take many pictures — the loaves disappeared quickly!

(Based on the formula in the book “Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman, p107)

Bread Formula Calculator

This web page provides a formula calculator to create a recipe for the amount of bread you want.

To use the calculator, enter the amount of bread dough you want (in grams, ounces or pounds) and press the “calculate” button. My ciabattas weigh 500 grams each, so the default recipe will make two loaves..


Overall Formula:

100%Baker’s %GramsOuncesApproximate
white flour100.0%
active dry yeast0.4%


34.1%Baker’s %GramsOuncesApproximate Mixed 12 to 14 hours before the dough (the night before)
white flour100%
active dry yeast0.2%


100%Baker’s %GramsOuncesApproximate This is a wet dough, so the it will be very loose and sticky. Most of it’s strength will come from folding it while it rises.
white flour100.0%
active dry yeast0.5%

Step 1: Mix the poolish

12 to 14 hours before starting the bread, mix up the poolish. Cover the container with a lid or plastic and leave at room temperature. I generally do this on Saturday night.

Step 2: Mix the dough

Combine all ingredients and mix for about 5 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Try estimate the temperature of the ingredients to produce 74 degree dough.

Step 3: Bulk ferment (rise) for 1 hour

Step 4: Fold twice

Transfer the dough to a well-floured bench and fold twice. When you fold the bread stretch the dough and then fold as you would a letter — both horizontally and vertically.

Step 5: Bulk ferment for another hour

Step 6: Fold twice again

Step 7: Bulk ferment for one last hour

Step 8: Divide and rise (NO SHAPING)

Do not “de-gas” the dough or shape in any way. Simply tranfer the dough to the bench, divide into 500 gram pieces, and set aside for final proofing. Try to retain as many of the gas bubbles in the dough as you can.

Step 9: Final proofing (about 1 to 1.5 hours)

Step 10: Bake!

Bake with all the steam you can in a hot (460 degree) oven for 40 to 45 minutes. In my oven, I start at 460, but then turn the temperature down (to around 420) during the bake.
  1. happybreadhouse posted this