Well I'm starting a self-directed course of study in bread making. I'm taking inspiration from the products of the very accomplished bakers of The Fresh Loaf community and plotting a course to learn what they know-and-can-do in their kitchens. I plan to document my efforts in this space.
This week I have revived my tired and sluggish sourdough starter with two feedings at better ratios. I'm happy that the starter doubled vigorously this morning in three or four hours. It is day three for the rye and grapefruit gruel; patience required there.
Yesterday I baked two ciabatta recipes after preparing the preferments for each the night before. The first is a yeast leavened white that was very successful when I first made it last year. I experimented by adding unrefreshed sourdough starter in place of the liquid to add flavor. My recipe calls for very little handling, just dividing, shaping and dimpling after the first rise. The bread baked up very moist and light with a gazillion small holes. The flavor is so good; the sourdough really did the trick. I wonder, do the large holes come from a longer final proof? I've been afraid of letting it go too long and falling flat.
Simple Ciabatta: Baking of 4-11-07
Next Ciabatta Integrale as shared by JMonkey. I followed his KA recipe and notes exactly with one exception. When I mixed all of the ingredients I felt the mix was too dry so I added two teaspoons of water before the autolyse. The hand mixing worked fine for me and allowed me to determine when I thought the hydration was right. As promised, this dough really rises actively! I enjoyed learning the stretch-and-fold technique; that was new to me. My result is a really light and moist wheat bread that is much more like sandwich loaf than a chewy ciabatta. My husband will love it when he comes home because that is what he prefers!
Whole Wheat Ciabatta
I hope to refer back to these ciabattas once I have found my baker's mojo. To end on a positive note; I haven't baked anything inedible for almost a year!