I still don't quite have Ciabatta down, but I came pretty close today using the Ciabatta with Poolish recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's book Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes.
I'm not going to write in depth about kneading, folding, and shaping in this post since I'm mainly just jotting this recipe down for my own reference. Take a look at one of the lessons on this site if you need more details on the process (or feel free to post questions as replies to this post).
Ciabatta with Poolish
Makes 3 loaves
2 1/4 cup bread flour
1 1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
5 cups bread flour
1 3/4 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
all of the Poolish
Mix the yeast, flour, and water for the poolish in a bowl, cover, and let stand at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.
The next day, mix all of the ingredients and mix for 5 minutes or so. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit one hour then fold the dough (like an envelope, stretching it slightly to increase tension). Let it sit for another hour and fold again. Let sit a third hour then shape the dough into rectangular shapes and let rise a final time for approximately 90 minutes.
Bake at 460 for 35 to 40 minutes until the center of the loaf measures over 200 degrees. When first putting it in the oven, be sure to create a lot of steam using whatever trick you use (squirt bottle, hot pan full of water, a drip onto the bottom of the oven, etc).
The most interesting thing to me is how similar this is to the Pain sur Poolish I've been writing about in my bread blog yet how different the flavor was. The Pain sur Poolish, which I've been making with a much moister poolish, had a sweet nutty taste to it. This one had a slightly drier poolish and it came out having a sourness to it. I though I was just imagining this until my wife, without prompting, said that it tasted sour to her to. So either the slightly drier poolish or the slightly different process resulted in quite a different flavor. Fascinating.