It was looking pretty puffy by then, so I decided to go ahead and divide it up into loaves. The loaves sat in a makeshift couche (one of my kitchen towels) to keep them seperate during the final raising.
To get the crispy crust I was looking for I had to add steam to the oven. I did this by pouring hot water into a preheated pan on the top rack as I added the dough to the bottom rack. I also misted the walls of the oven every thirty seconds for the first two minutes of baking.
The recipe made enough dough for two small loaves and two buns. Since I don't have a baking stone or even a huge pan I decided to bake them individually. The recipe called for a bake time of approximately 22 minutes, but I had to bake each for closer to thirty to get the caramel colored crust I was looking for.
The loaves looked great. I didn't take a photo of the inside this time, though, because I was a little disappointed with how mine turned out. Ciabatta is known for it's light crumb filled with tons of big air pockets. Mine was sadly missing those big holes. The only thing I can figure out is that the house was a little cooler today, and the recipe called for a final stretching ( but no folding) of the dough as it was going into the couche. I think that last stretch probably flattened any air holes that might have formed.
Despite that, the bread tastes great, and looks nice. I'm still going to chalk this one up to success since the buns played an important role in tonight's dinner.Mmmm...salmon burgers (grilled by the BF) with avocado aioli and leaf lettuce. Pretty excellent way to end the three day weekend.
Next up: Cinnamon Rolls