ciabatta 1, me 0
I took my first stab at ciabatta last night. I used the poolish recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice, which seemed simple enough, but I hit a few fateful snags along the way. Snag #1: Because the poolish was so glutenous and full of air pockets, I could not get it to blend completely with the flour. Thus, as with my attempt at pain sur poolish, I ended up with some lumps in my dough. Should I have tried to deflate the poolish before mixing it with the other ingredients? Snag #2: It seemed like I had to add quite a bit of extra water to achieve the desired slack consistency. I did not measure my poolish, but I assumed it was the amount that the ciabatta called for, because the poolish recipe specifically says that it makes enough for the ciabatta. Snag #3: Even though I floured my counter, the dough got quite stuck during primary fermentation. When it came time for me to divide and shape the loaves, I had no choice but to be rough in order to get the dough off the counter. Thus, I wound up with a dense crumb and only a few small holes. I haven't tasted the bread yet, but it smells good and has a decent crust. I will definitely be trying this recipe again soon, and I will be sure to line my counter with parchment and flour it very heavily.