Ciabatta: The ciabatta has tripled in size. I am not kidding. I unfortunately don't have a picture of the original for comparison (clearly I don't have real foodblogging chops) but I have the doubled and the tripled photos:
|Doubled in size.|
|Tripled in size.|
I just split the dough and turned it into two ciabatta rolls. It's possible that I over-degassed the dough because I had to maneuver the dough a lot and I had to cut it with a knife which was more difficult than I anticipated (I really need a pastry scraper). I'm hoping they turn out ok. Wish me luck!
No Knead Pizza Dough: So this is probably a dough I should have given up on a long time ago. I guess I just have too much baker's optimism because so many of my slightly-botched creations turned out beautifully at my Alma Mater . On the other hand, although the dough had not changed in size, it was bubbly on the top and a little on the sides (a sign of fairly healthy sourdough starter). So, I followed Rayner's instructions and took a cast-iron skillet (one that has been in the family for at least 3 generations!) coated it with olive oil and semolina flour and poured in the bubbly, goupy mass. Letting it rise for another two hours and them I'm going to bake it. We shall see!
|Pizza Goup: Phase 2.|
- If you like cooking science, Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor is a fabulous book. I learned all that I know about wheats, starches, crusts, and enzymes from this book and I highly recommend it as, at the very least, good reading to make yourself more knowledgeable.
- I recently found out that the city of my Alma Mater is one of the best places for sourdough. It may have been the weather and the "yeasty beasties" (as Cerinthus calls them) in the region that helped more than my own personal luck or skill.
- Obviously an understanding of the chemistry of bread is essential and as I mentioned before, Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor is fabulous in this regard. Understanding Baking is another wonderful text that even has a chart telling you the possible problems to diagnose your problematic loaves. Wild Bread has a similar appendix, but it is only focuses on sourdoughs (Rayner 152-155).
- For the biology of sourdough and how to take care of it, see "Caring for a Sourdough Starter" (Rayner 32-40).