Although spring is in the air and the air is heating up quite a bit here in Florida, it has still been raining and raining, and then for good measure, raining some more. There is not much I can do in the yard or garden, the chickens are getting webbed feet and learning a second language (quack) so I may as well work on my bread baking skills.
The kitchen manager where I work is enamored with all things Italian and serves ciabatta on a regular basis at the Wednesdays lunches but it's big box store ciabatta. Rather tasteless and bland. I don't work with too many high hydration doughs other than the rye bread I make from time to time but I feel comfortable working with the wet, sticky doughs since I've learned how to handle them. I figured ciabatta shouldn't be any different.
The ciabatta starts with a pre-ferment that you start 12 hours before you plan to bake. I'm not familiar with bigga's but I think that's what it would be called. I make it the night before and put everything else together in the morning. I found a video with recipe on youtube that I watched and then downloaded the recipe. The recipe is a yeasted one and that's how I make the 1st batch just to get a feel for it but it wasn't hard to convert it to a sourdough version by eliminating the yeast and substituting 1 cup (190g) of starter. My cellphone pictures do not do it justice. They came out light and airy with nice big holes just like ciabatta should and best of all, the cook at work gave me the highest compliment by telling me they had an Italian soul after I brought her some.