Ciabatta (Take Two)

Weeellll... I seem to have a hard time following directions.  At least following really specific directions.  The bread was very tasty, but not neccessarily ciabatta-y. :)

To start out, you have to make the poolish one day ahead.  Check.  Poolish made - yeast, flour, water.  So far, so good!  Then you let it ferment for a couple hours and then put the poolish in the fridge overnight... oh dear.  Problem number one:  I was overcome by bedtime before I managed to put it in the fridge.  Doh!  Oh well, we'll just go with it and see what happens.  The poolish looked fine in the morning (was still bubbling and hadn't collapsed onto itself), so it went into the fridge for the day.

Upon returning from a long day of work, I took the poolish out to adjust to room temperature and got everything ready for the rest of the dough-making.  After a good amount of time, I combined the poolish and remaining ingredients and began the rising and shaping process that seems to be pretty specific to ciabatta.  I thought that I had read and followed the directions well enough to not screw it up, but I guess not.  Besides, by the time the last rise had rolled around, it was already coming up on 11pm (someday I really will give this bread thing a try on the weekend!).  At that point, all bets are off as far as direction-following is concerned.  I think part of the problem is that usually I scan a couple recipes, get the basics, and then wing it... I know enough about creaming butter and sauteing garlic that I don't usually read the recipe instructions, so it's really hard for me to focus on every single detail in the directions.  Apparently the details matter in the world of bread!  :)

Anyway, the resulting bread was really quite flavorful (actually tasted similar to knedliky to me) and had a beautifully soft, springy texture inside and a nice, crusty outside, but it didn't have the signature airy crumb of ciabatta.  Well, at least I can say that I tried.  Twice.

Bo and I had this bread with some fresh chevre from Sweet Grass dairy in southern Georgia and some local garlic cheddar made from raw milk.  Hooray for the farmers' market!

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