Ciabatta bread. Am I too impatient?

edlin, Jan 20, 9:31pm
I have now made the 18 hour recipe about four times. The taste is great and the texture not bad but the bread is very heavy. It is like lifting a shot put. What am I doing wrong? Not using a breadmaker and being very careful to follow the instructions so don't know how to improve it

harrislucinda, Jan 20, 9:53pm
Have you a microwave . as as I have said if you start the one I have it will be ready this afternoon and it is light and soft

carlosjackal, Jan 21, 12:32am
The reason why Ciabatta can turn out heavy could possibly be a result of using too much flour :-/ and/or possibly not allowing it enough time to triple in bulk - here's my recipe anyway, for what it's worth (it takes nearly 5 hours from start to finish) :

Sourdough Ciabatta

2 tsp yeast (Active yeast granules)
2 cups (280g) flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. Extra Light Olive Oil (or Extra Virgin if you want a stronger flavour)
1 cup sourdough starter (4-6 hours after last fed)
3/4 cup warm water (US measure - not sure what it equates to; I use a US measure cup, so don't know.

Place all ingredients in bread machine and select dough cycle.
When dough cycle complete, empty into lightly grease bowl, (Don't panic; it will be very soft - somewhere between a batter and a runny dough!) Cover with lightly greased/oiled plastic wrap - the Glad plastic covers are great for this - the reason for oiling the plastic wrap is so that it is easy to remove from the dough after it has risen)
Leave dough in a draught free place (I use hot water cupboard) and forget all about it for 2 - 2.5 hours until it has tripled in bulk (dough will be sticky and full of bubbles).
Before the 2 - 2.5 hours is up, pre-heat your oven to 250.C
Turn dough out onto floured baking tray (or lined baking tray - doesn't really matter!) Gently pat into shape with a floured dough scraper or something similar - DO NOT PUNCH DOWN! Be very gentle with the dough.
Sprinkle with four and make 3-4 slits on top (helps to release gas).
Spray the oven with water just before placing the dough in the oven.
Quickly close the door - (the water causes steam which aids in making a nice crust) - spray several times for the first few minutes of baking.
Turn oven temperature down to about 220'C and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Edited to say: the trick to getting a light loaf with a holey crumb is:
a) using sourdough starter no later than 6 hours after last feed
b) allowing extra time for proving.

davidt4, Jan 21, 12:39am
Maybe it is the way you are handling the dough after its final rise. Properly made Ciabatta dough is very soft, and when you transfer the risen loaves to a baking sheet you need to be very gentle and make sure you don't knock any of the air out.

bev00, Jan 21, 11:16am

edlin, Nov 30, 7:32pm
I made the dough last night from a recipe here and it said to leave for 18 hours. After 12 hours mine is a bit dry in places,has risen a bit only and I really really want to knead it although the recipe gives the impression that you do not do this. Help please from all you experienced bread bakers

harrislucinda, Nov 30, 8:53pm
no need to knead I have a quick recipe that starts in breadmaker and in the microwave go onto search my recipe there under last year and active yeast

beaker59, Nov 30, 9:07pm

Most likely this is the recipe you got from here this guy explains it very well. I make this quite often and it works very very well.

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