BBA #6: Ciabatta

by Holly on July 8, 2009

I made the poolish version first, found it delicious and easy to work with.

I did use some milk in the dough as well, as one of the options.

Sometimes life just happens in funny ways. Sometimes bread is just made in funny ways. Sometimes bread just looks kind of funny. In this instance, that is pretty much what this Ciabatta bread was all about for me.

The sixth recipe section in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is the Ciabatta, which had several different options for how to make it. I have actually made Ciabatta a few times in the past, but these recipes were vastly different than the one I used before. The funny thing about this for me is the fact that I am just now finally posting this bread. You see, I actually made this in week one – but the past few weeks have just been filled with other things going on and I am just finally getting around to posting this. Thankfully, I’m not the only one!

What is funnier to me is that I actually made this twice since we started the challenge. You know, sometimes things just work out that way. So, since it is very late at night and I just don’t want to wait any longer before I get this going (because I have the next challenge all ready to post too!) I am just adding my rather weak thoughts and notes about the Ciabatta bread under each photo and hope you will forgive my total lack of writing prowess and wit tonight.

Perfect holes and beautiful texture – this tasted soooo good!
Ciabatta made with biga mixture – didn’t go so well and didn’t taste as good to me.
The loaves I made with the biga were more difficult to work with and didn’t end
up with the proper texture at all – probably more my fault in not handling gently
enough or something, but I really didn’t like this version.

Totally just personal preference for me here but I loved the version made with the poolish. It was easy to work with, turned out just right, tasted lovely and we really enjoyed it. The biga was not quite as easy to work with for me and I really didn’t enjoy the results for all the extra steps that were involved.

We ate the first loaves from the poolish with butter and just scarfed it down. The other loaves we turned into french toast since the texture was already rather heavy anyway. I will definitely make the poolish version again in the future!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Chavi July 8, 2009 at 8:14 am

Those poolish ciabatta are the most beautiful loaves ever! Such stunning holes! Can I have some?!

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Snooky doodle July 8, 2009 at 8:29 am

wow your ciabatta is perfect!

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Barbara Bakes July 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I love that you made french toast with the other bread you didn't like as well. Great idea!

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Madam Chow July 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I still have to make this one, so I'm going with the poolish version after reading this. Love the holes!
Madam Chow

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Manggy July 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Aha! I think I will go for a poolish to if I ever make one. It looks PEEERfect! 🙂 Very masterfully done!

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Frieda July 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm

It's funny when you bake, bread turns out differently each time! Love the holes in your ciabatta….congratulations on a successful bread!

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pinkstripes July 8, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Wow! Your poolish version is perfect! I wonder what happened with the biga version.

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Katrina July 8, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Ooh, yum! The holes look awesome and perfect.

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susies1955 July 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Perfectly perfect. Color, crust, crumb…………everything perfect.
Nice baking with you,
Susie

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Leslie July 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm

It's amazing how different the results were! I'm making a mental note to go with the poolish when I make this one–it looks wonderful!

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haleysuzanne July 8, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Wow. That's an outstanding ciabatta right there! You should be proud – it looks beautiful.

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Engineer Baker July 9, 2009 at 12:17 am

I always have an easier time with looser preferments – anything where you have to cut the preferment and incorporate it, bad things happen. Your poolish version looks fabulous!

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Tracey July 9, 2009 at 3:09 am

Yum, it looks so good! I've never made ciabatta but I keep meaning to open the BBA and get going on it!

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Nancy/n.o.e July 9, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Poolish it is! Whatever the reason is that you made both versions, I'm glad you did and that you posted it. So helpful to us slow-poke BBA Challenge types. Great looking breads, both really, but gotta love those big holes in the poolish version.

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Hanaâ July 9, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Love the holes in your ciabatta made with the poolish starter. I can't tell you how I would LOVE to be able to make a good ciabatta. I will definitely have to try your recipe.

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Di July 12, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Neat to see how both versions turned out for you. Both look good, but the holes in the poolish version look terrific. I'm still trying to decide which one I want to try first.

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