I’ve said it before, I’ll never leave Team USA ciabatta again. I’ve tried other recipes and always come back to the Team, finding it has the best flavor, texture, and structure of any ciabatta. And now I’m ready to be unfaithful again. Why, you ask, would I leave this?
Well, this is what you do as a baker. You find something you really love, then you begin to think there’s a way to improve it. I’ve tried Jeffrey Hamelman’s ciabbata from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes. It was soft and didn’t have the open structure a good ciabatta should have. I tried Peter Reinhart’s ciabatta from Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bakers, and it was good but…in the back of the book he had the recipe for ciabatta used by Team USA in the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie and I thought, why not aim for the top. Sure enough, the Team USA ciabatta is brilliant. Then I came across this, a no-knead simple ciabatta that looks like it has good structure. I’m tempted, so I have a bowl of the dough bubbling away on my counter today and I’ll bake it tonight. Then most likely I’ll come back to Team USA again on my knees with teary eyes and my hands clasped in supplication. “Please take me back! Pleeeeeease!”