What a Difference a Starter Makes!
I made my first attempt of the ciabatta using the poolish. I baked it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprayed the bread as the steaming method. The result was soft with virtually no holes. While it tasted fine, I felt like it was a flop because it did not have the texture or the crust that ciabatta is known for. I then made a second dough using the biga instead. I also baked the bread on a pizza stone with the pan of water. Huge difference! Now this is ciabatta! The crust had a pleasant crunch with an interior riddled with those often elusive holes.
Ciabatta: Version 1
Ciabatta, Version 2 - Now that's Ciabatta!
Look at those glorious holes! I served this at a birthday party for a friend, the "Other Diane." We dunked it into Italian wedding soup. Delish!