When I was attending pastry school I made beautiful ciabatta. Filled with lovely large holes, a light loaf with a crusty exterior. I lust for that bread . Of course I had the fabulous Chef Harris watching my every step so I pretty much couldn't produce something other than a wonderful ciabatta. So I was feeling a little confident when I found the ciabatta recipe in my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Yes I hear you, artisan anything in 5 minutes is an oxymoron. But it really is a great bread book and I highly recommend it.So off I went in pursuit of my beautiful ciabatta.
My dough looked like a perfect ciabatta dough. All wet and sticky and full of great holes. And when I gently rounded it a bit and placed it on my baking stone it looked so very promising.
It looked perfect when I took it out of the oven . And I could hear that hollow but solid sound when I gave the bread knock knock ! Oh be still my heart-a nice brown crusty exterior.
I could barely contain myself from slicing into it immediately, but I resisted. Then the moment came when I sliced into it-I could see the beginning of the lovely large holes but alas they were far and few between. But the smell and the taste were the same I remembered from class. I love home baked bread no matter how far from perfection it is-big holes, little holes, no holes, it still tasted incredible. And now I'm on a quest for the Holy Grail of Ciabatta. I found a recipe at the King Arthur Flour website (where better to start for the Holy Grail than with King Arthur !) and that will be my next attempt for ciabatta ecstasy! In the meantime I think I'll have another slice of my bread with some sweet butter slathered on it !
PS. Buy the book you won't be disappointed !
You can find the recipe posted here