Ciabatta dough is a bit tricky to work with because of all the extra water, especially when mixing by hand.
We’ve had a copy of David Norman’s excellent book “Bread on the Table” on the telephone table in the kitchen since early March, when the library was officially closed “to support efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19“.
I had just finished reading the thoughtful and well written book, cover to cover, when the library closed. I have to admit that I liked that I could keep leafing through the book again and again from time to time, knowing that the new due date was 31 August. (The library has just announced that we can return our books again. Considering that so many people are interested in bread-making, I returned the book yesterday. Initially, we were going to put it off until today because it was pouring. It wouldn’t do for the book to get drenched as I walk to the library, would it? But the sun came out and the clouds didn’t come rolling in again until we were on our way home, with about half a block to go. )
When I was a college student at the University of Munich, I took advantage of our month long winter break to see more of Europe […] Armed with a student train pass that allowed me to travel for free outside of Germany, I headed south on an overnight train to Verona. […] For several hours, I wandered the ancient streets, drank cappuccino, and ate some gelato before continuing on to Milan and then on a overnight train to Paris.
I do not remember if I ate any bread during that short stop in Italy, years later, when I began to think of baking as a creative and fulfilling career rather than just a stepping-stone to something else, I borrowed a copy of Carol Field’s seminal book The Italian Baker. In it, I recognized something different from the breads I had been making up to that point, what with the use of starters and longer fermentation.
– David Norman, Bread on the Table | Ciabbatta, p.181