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I made a ciabatta using this recipe:

500g bread flour

475g water

2 tsp. yeast

15g salt

In the end my dough was like a pancake mix the entire time until I added some more flour. I don't know where I went wrong.

I measured all of the ingredients with a scale converting my grams to ounces, because the metric unit is bugged on it.

I used a hand mixer machine to beat the dough for a staggering 45 minutes. Then I covered it and let it rest for 20 min.

The instructions said the dough will be pancake like, but will eventually set up and start climbing off the edges of the bowl, onto the hook of the machine. Mine stayed like pancake batter.

Like I said above, I added more flour to it because I was supposed to cut and shape them, but it was utterly impossible due to the dough glooping back together and sticking to my fingers and hands. It is proofing now.

I threw it in the oven anyways to see what would happen. I baked it for 30 minutes. Crumb was dense due to poor handling, but it was really surprising how nice the bread tasted.

So how do I fix this recipe? Is there some way I can handle the dough better, and actually manage to shape it without adding all that extra flour?

  • it is hard to know. Check your math on your grams to ounces. – King-Ink Nov 16 '15 at 13:12
  • 95% would be to high to handle/shape. – Optionparty Nov 17 '15 at 0:09
  • True but I do 100% on occasions. – King-Ink Nov 17 '15 at 21:40
  • Could be math or type of flour (some bread flours will absorb a lot more water). Did you do the initial 10-minute rest before beating? Personally, I don't see the point in a long mix. (Wastes energy and you'll likely over-oxygenate the dough, which lessens flavor.) You'd be better off mixing it loosely, wait 15-20 minutes, mix for a couple minutes, wait 10 minutes, then mix again, repeat until structure develops. Also, you don't really "shape" ciabatta with this level of hydration: you usually dump it out on a bed of flour, throw more flour on top to handle it, and then fold it loosely. – Athanasius Nov 23 '15 at 19:41

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