This week I made ciabatta. This is a bread that has been around Italy for years, but just got the name ciabatta in the mid-twentieth century when a baker decided the loaves look like the slippers of a dancer. He named the loaf ciabatta and now everyone wants a piece.
This is the first bread where I've simulated a steam oven by spraying the sides of the oven with water every 30 seconds for the first two minutes the bread is in the oven. It makes for a nice chewy crust. It actually looks like real bread.
One of the traits of ciabatta is large holes in the bread. Mine failed in that department. The crumb was more like a dinner roll than a traditional ciabatta. Luckily it tasted great so I just dunked it in my 44-clove garlic soup and pretended not to mind.
I normally love making bread, but this weekend I really had to work to fit it in. I couldn't make it on Saturday because the baby shower led to hanging out with my good friend Sarah (and I wasn't about to give up martinis and shopping just to make bread). So today I pulled the poolish out of the refrigerator about nine to get started. I didn't finish up until a little after 2. I am hopefully the next bread won't suck up as much of my Sunday.