I’ve always wanted to try this but I also wanted to go partly whole wheat so I used Peter Reinhart’s “transitional” recipe. I think the shape isn’t quite right (definitely “rustic” though) and don’t yet know about the crumb since this is just out of the oven.
I’d prefer a bit lighted color but that’s probably only possible with the white flour version so the dull brown is probably what I’m stuck with.
I should have taken a picture but what was interesting was the overnight rise in the fridge. This recipe is the à l’ancienne adaptation which is a very wet dough and immediate refrigeration. I was surprised to see how much it had risen this morning but even more interesting was the pattern (since I used my transparent container) where very large holes appeared at the bottom (when the dough was still warm from mixing) and much finer holes at the top as the dough chilled. This was all cultured yeast (instant) so technically not a sourdough even though this technique is often considered a sourdough technique since the long ferment should bring out a little acid. I wonder about the America’s Test Kitchen approach of adding a little lager and/or vinegar to drive further toward the tangy side on flavor, but we’ll see.
The shaping requires minimal handling which is still a bit tricky for me so I ended up with three very different and irregular loaves, none of which exactly look like a little slipper, but oh well, let’s hope the taste is the rustic version I’m after. The high volume ciabatta used a lot in restaurants looks quite a bit different than these which might mean I need a bit more hydration and/or oil to get a bit lower rise and wider spread.
But it’s always fun to try a new shape and recipe.