Ciabatta Harry B
Ciabatta was first produced in 1976 by Favaron Francesco, a baker from Verona, in collaboration with Molini Adriesi who provided the flour to produce the bread. Mr. Favaron named the bread Ciabatta as he said that the shape of the bread reminded him of the slipper (Ciabatta) of his wife Andreina.
Ciabatta makes the best crunchy toast. It is very hard on the outside and soft in the centre.
1 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
2 cups bread flour
The poolish should be made the night before, or 14-18 hours in advance.
Combine ingredients and mix with an electric mixer on low for 3 minutes. The mixture should be wet. Cover and leave overnight. Mixture should be bubbly.
Final dough ingredients:
2 cups water
5 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 teaspoons salt
Combine poolish, water, and flour. Mix with an electric mixer on low until smooth. Add the yeast, and mix for 4 minutes. Add the salt and mix a further 8 minutes. The dough will be rather wet.
Cover and allow dough to rise. After one hour, punch and fold the dough down, knocking as much of the air from it as possible. You may want to use flour on your hands or sprinkle some on the dough, because it will be sticky. Repeat this process again, letting it rise for another hour, then punching it down again.
Allow dough to rise for the third time but do not punch down. Divide dough into two flat loaves, or several rolls or bread sticks.
Place on a greased baking sheet or floured baking stone, and bake at 220C 425F for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the dough puffs up like a pillow.