Ciabatta with old dough starter (Pâte Fermentée)
Author: Pizza Today
Recipe type: bread
Equipment needed: Large mixing bowl, plastic dough scraper, extra flour for dusting, half sheet pan and baker’s parchment.
- 5 cups high-gluten flour
- 8 ounce room temperature pizza dough ball, preferably 48 hours old 3½ cups warm water (70 to 75 degrees)
- 1½ teaspoons yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Place the warm water into the mixing bowl.
- Cut the pâte fermentée into small chunks the size of nickels and immerse in the water.
- Mix with your hands to break up the chunks.
- Once the old dough is incorporated into the water, add the flour, salt, yeast and extra virgin olive oil and mix with your hand for 10 minutes.
- If you are using a stand mixer, mix on low for 10 minutes. Remember that this dough is more hydrated than the usual pizza dough so you will have to use a wet dough scraper to keep it together.
- Once mixed, place plastic wrap over the bowl and write the time on the plastic.
- Let the dough rest at room temperature for 1.5 hours.
- After the initial rest, wet your hands and dough scraper and gently reach under the dough and folding the dough over into the center while turning the bowl.
- Continue for 10 folds and recover with plastic.
- Every 15 minutes repeat this fold for 2 to 3 more times to fortify the structure of this dough while taking care not to disturb the fragile structure.
- After the last fold, cover with flour and let sit covered with plastic wrap for 4.5 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 500 F after 4 hours of rest.
- After this secondary rest, the dough will be very airy and delicate.
- Gently pour the dough on the table using a plastic scraper to loosen the dough from the bowl.
- Once the dough is on the table, dust heavily with flour and try to form a rectangle from which you will cut 3 ciabatta measuring approximately 15 inches long. (you may cut smaller ciabatta also. Don’t worry about the shape of the ciabatta. Your most important job is to not disturb the structure and large alveoli or cells that have formed.)
- Using the scraper, cut through the loose dough and flip or dust flour on to the sticky cuts.
- Flour your hands and gently push your fingers all the way under each ciabatta from each side and gently transfer to the parchment covered tray.
- Leave on the tray for one last proof for 15 minutes.
- Place the tray in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.