A few weeks ago I baked for the first time bread from Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery. I chose probably the least time consuming and easiest of the lot two start, the rustic bread, her own version of the Italian ciabatta (slipper in Italian, because of its shape). I intended to write about this bread at the time but my blog posting backlog (still growing) delayed at least in part this entry. What played an even further role was trying to understand what a ciabatta is and where it really comes from. The bread I baked, although delicious, had nothing to do with the ciabattas you get in Italy and this is not the first time I notice this. Recipes from other US, UK and German baking books I tried before gave varying results, some to die for other to kill (the book's author) for, but never anything like what I was used to. So why is this bread so popular (there's even a nice German blog called Chili und Ciabatta) if we're actually talking about completely different breads?