---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
       Title: Ciabatta #2
  Categories: Breads, Internation, Hand made, Bread-baker
       Yield: 1 servings
   4 3/4 c  White flour; bread
       2    Cakes compressed fresh
            -yeast -- (0.6 oz each)
   1 3/4 c  Cold water ; (from the tap)
     1/2 c  Extra-virgin olive oil
       1 tb Kosher salt ; or flaked sea
       2    Baking sheets; heavily
   Recipe by: The Bread Book, Linda Collister & Anthony Blake, p 105
   Put 3,1/4 cups of the flour into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center
   of the flour. Crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl.  Stir in 1/2 c.
   of the water until smooth.  Pour the yeast mixture into the well in the
   flour.  Then add the remaining water to the well and mix.  Mix the flour
   from the bowl into the yeast mixture in the well with your hand or a
   wooden spoon to make a very sticky batterlike dough.  Using your hand,
   beat the mixture for 5 minutes until very elastic.  Cover the bowl with a
   damp dish towel and let rise at room temperature, away from drafts, for 4
   hours until it rises and collapses.  The dough will rise up enormously,
   so check that it does not stick to the dish towel. Punch down the dough.
    Add the oil and salt to the dough and mix briefly with your hand.  Then
   gradually work the rest of the flour in the bowl into the dough with your
   hand to make a soft, quite sticky dough.  When all the dough is smooth
   and the flour has been thoroughly combined, cover the bowl with a damp
   dish towel and let rise at room temperature, away from drafts, until
   doubled in size, about 1 hour.
     Using a very sharp knife, divide the dough in half, disturbing the
   dough as little as possible.  Do not punch it down or try to knead or
   shape the dough at all.  Tip a portion of the dough onto each prepared
   baking sheet, nudging it with a spatula, to form 2 rough-looking
   rectangular loaves, about 1 inch thick.  Sprinkle the loaves with flour
   and let rise, uncovered at rm. temp., away from drafts, until doubled in
   size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  During the last 15 min. of rising, heat the
   oven to 425F.
     Bake the loaves for about 35 min., or until they are browned and sound
   hollow when tapped underneath.  Transfer the loaves to wire racks until
   lukewarm, and then serve.  Or, eat within 24 hours, gently warmed.
   Freeze for up to one week only.
   “This new Italian loaf, all the rage in London, comes from the area
   around Lake Como in the north, and it is supposed to resemble a slipper.
    In any case, it is free-form- simply poured out of the bowl in which it
   has risen onto the baking sheet in a rough and ready rectangular loaf.
   It has large holes, and a soft, but chewy, floury crust.  I find that
   many commercial loaves taste of stale olive oil or lack the pungency of
   good extra-virgin oil.
     Finding a good recipe for this bread was difficult, and I made abut 30
   before I was happy with the results.  Taking advice from chef Pierre
   Koffmann, I adapted his baguette recipe...adding a good quantity of olive
   oil to the dough, and altering the final consistency.  As with the
   baguettes, it is not easy to achieve a perfect result the first time,
   even though the final loaf should taste very good.  I have not had good
   results whth easy-blend yeast or dried yeast granules, so I have only
   included instructions for using fresh yeast.”