These pictures show my hands as if they belong to an Italian mama, stretching and pulling dough. Give me a while more and I'll develop the hips and upper arms that go with it as well (believe me, those are on their way, I've taken up the habit of just elegantly wiggling my fingers as a greeting instead of a full length arm wave). As an aside: I hereby solemnly declare that we -DH and I!- are going to the gym as soon as we're back from our vacation.*cough* Let's go back to bread, I used Peter Reinharts recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice for the dough, apart from tweaking the amount of flour a little, everything went smoothly. In fact I smoothed all over one step in proofing the dough. Ahem. How can I just skip an entire step in the proofing process and not notice? Too busy looking at the pictures that explained how to stretch and fold the dough I think.
Am I the only one who wonders if the pretty assistent is a real human being or a mannequin doll? She is so flawless! I wonder where they found her, in the bakery? On the street? Out of a model agency book that specializes in baker's apprentices?
Anyway, despite missing one proof, we had lovely ciabatta that weekend. Light and open crumb, crackly crust. My main point of telling you this besides showing a pic is that I used a linen cloth to proof the bread. (Act amazed, thank you). Kidding aside, my friend Monique and I were on the market in Utrecht some time ago and bought very heavy linen, meaning to use it as a makeshift couche, it went into the washing machine and in the basement ... going unused for months.
Mostly I use plain plastic bags to proof my dough and that works fine. I am always a bit weary to use cloth for fear that it would dry my dough and make this ugly tough skin on top thereby ruining the chance of ovenspring. I used cotton tea towels before and I wasn't satisfied with the results. I was indeed happy with this undertaking, floured thoroughly the cloth made the folds I wanted and my ciabatta's rolled off perfectly.