I had the choice of two pre-ferments to use with this ciabatta recipe... a poolish or a biga. I've never made either one so I chose the first one that appeared in the book. The poolish is made a day in advance and cools it's heels in in the fridge overnight while it develops all that wonderful flavor.
My first poolish. Isn't it cute? It's smells wonderful. ...well, for poolish anyway.
While the onions were carmelizing, I chopped up parsley and basil fresh from my herb garden. I tossed them in with the onions and balsamic vinegar until they wilted. I put the mixture to the side to cool while I mixed up the dough.
The dough was fast and easy to mix. Stir the flour, salt and yeast together, add the poolish and water. Mix for 7 minutes. I had to use the maximum amount of water plus 6 more TBs to get the dough to clear the sides but stick to the bottom as Peter describes in his book.
One more stretch & folded and onto the couche they go. Don't they look cute?
- Use more water for bigger holes
- Use AP flour for bigger holes
- brush excess flour from dough before stretching & folding
- Use a parchment sheet before putting them on the couche
- Cut the recipe in half
For your viewing pleasure, here's someone demonstrating making ciabatta with a different recipe.