Ciabatta bread recipe that's easy to make, 4 staple kitchen ingredients and yields the best most crunchy crusted ciabatta. Before we go any further, this is not a traditional Italian ciabatta recipe that's made with a biga but it is our amazing homemade ciabatta bread recipe. Incase you're wondering, a biga is a pre-fermentation process made with yeast, flour and water.
This morning I have made two bowls of bread dough and am excited to be sharing them with you since my Easy No Knead Bread Recipe has received a whole lot of love! This easy ciabatta recipe was made in a stand mixer but this recipe is as effective without a mixer. It's really easy all you need to do is combine the ingredients I didn't even knead the dough! Actually the less you fiddle the better since there's enough hands on when you're rolling and folding later.
The thing with me and bread is that it's my great love! Bread is one of those foods that you look at and simply cannot resist, for me at least. I'm definitely a bread snob and that's okay because when you've been making your own bread for most of your life you know what to expect. This ciabatta bread will give you the same expectancy, only the very best bread.
How To Make My Version of Homemade Ciabatta Bread
The reason I say 'my version' is because it's my homemade ciabatta version and may not be the 'right way' for a professional baker but it works for us. It's simple, doesn't take long and is the best ciabatta bread recipe that you will make and eat the same day.
We all have these basics in the kitchen and these are the only ingredients you need.
Flour I used bread flour here and we get that into the bowl of a stand mixer or whatever bowl you're using for your dough. Whenever possible, use unbleached flour, bread or cake wheat.
Salt Add the salt to the flour and mix. My suggestion is to use sea salt but not coarse salt it doesn't measure the same as fine.
Yeast Instant dry yeast, add it into the bowl.
Water Pour the water in, I don't use a thermometer or feel the water. I run the tap water till hot, pour into a measuring jug to measure (1 and a half cups). Same as my Easy No Knead Bread Recipe.
Method For Making Homemade Ciabatta Bread
Mix the ingredients Get the dough hook on and start mixing to combine the ingredients. When making anything with more than liquid start on a low setting to control the flour from spilling out.
Check the combination To make sure that all the flour is being used, check with a spoon by sliding it under the flour. There's probably going to be flour underneath the wet dough on top.
Hands off dough Flour the spoon a few times as you dip it into the flour to lift and scrape from underneath. You try not to use your hands.
By hand If you are doing this without a stand mixer it's exactly the same process, use a spoon to fold and mix.
Preparing The Dough To Rise
The dough has to rise to an hour or so. I say 'or so' because I don't work on less than an hour but I also don't work on exactly an hour. If I have other things to attend to I do that so the dough can stay for up to 2 hours. That's why this homemade ciabatta bread is so wonderful!
You can use just a kitchen cloth (tea towel) to cover the dough but I like using cling wrap first. I poke a couple of holes in the cling wrap as well (to release any trapped gasses) and a cloth over.
As you can see in the image above it has already risen quite substantially, actually doubled in size and it's only been about 40 minutes while I write this post.
This is our dough just over an hour later....
Prepare The Tins and Water Spray Bottle
Not everyone uses the spray bottle but this is something that I've been using for years and years now and I think I mentioned it in one of my very first bread recipes. Keep a spray bottle of water to spray the oven as soon as you put the bread in, it helps keep moisture and the bread doesn't dry up so easily.
There is a generous amount of flour used here both on the tray and on the kitchen cloth. Keeping the dough floured helps it from sticking. Flour the tray and flour the cloth.
Shaping the Ciabatta
First you remove the risen dough from the bowl and get it onto a floured surface. Let if fall naturally onto the countertop.
Flour your hands and start shaping the dough into a ball.
You cut the ball into 3 parts, equal parts but please don't focus on measuring and weighing each part, it's not the focus of the recipe, The focus of the recipe is a crunchy crust with sufficient salt in the bread and In order to cut the dough into 3 equal-ish parts you need it to be a bit flat so you flatten it out a little.
You should end up with a rectangle shape that's not too long. To try and keep the shape I use the dough cutter to push it a little from the sides is one side is too long. You can use the back of a knife too or any flat edge something 🙂
Once you've managed to get the dough into a rectangle you cut it into 3 parts.
Take each part and roll it. That's it for now. Just roll it in. As you can see in the image below, they are not perfect but they are rolled, that's the point.
Folding Our Homemade Ciabatta Bread
Now we have to start shaping the ciabatta. In order to do that we have to fold each one but to fold we need to first flatten it out just a bit. So take each piece and gently press it (flatten it).
Now take the flattened piece of dough and roll it into the shape of a ciabatta bread. So you start at the longer end of the dough and fold it, essentially you're rolling it in.
Roll one piece at a time into a long ciabatta shape.
How To Roll Ciabatta
Place the dough seam side down on a floured work surface.
Roll to try and close the seam so with back and forth movements, just a few times.
You should end up with a thicker middle and thinner sides. Sometimes that doesn't happen so simply hold the ends and roll them thinner.
Rest The Ciabbata Bread
Place the rolled logs onto the prepared floured baking tray with a floured kitchen towel that we prepared earlier.
The loaves shouldn't touch so they don't stick together in the oven. Use the floured cloth to help separate them.
Now the loaves will rest covered for 30 minutes.
Preheat The Oven
Preheat the oven and if the oven tray that the bread is resting in is not big enough this is the time to flour a larger one. One where the loaves will have enough space.
If you're transferring the ciabatta from one tray to another just make sure to use a dough cutter or an egg lifter (also works really well) to make sure the ciabatta hold their shape. See images above. So you move them from the kitchen towel to another baking tray. If however you're baking the ciabatta in the same oven tray that they were resting in then its just a matter of rolling them off the kitchen towel onto the tray.
Just before you bake the ciabatta bread cut some slashes on the top. You need to cover the baking tray so I use another tray of equal size to cover the doughy ciabatta. See image below.
Once the ciabatta is ready to be baked don't forget to reach out for the water spray bottle and squirt water everywhere inside the oven, them immediately put the ciabatta in. Once the ciabatta is in, spray again inside the oven and shut the door closed.
Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking until as golden brown as you want. Cool properly on a cooling rack.
More Bread Recipes
- How To Make Pita Bread
- Naan Bread
- Easy No Knead Bread Recipe
- Easy Naan Flatbread
- The Best Easy Homemade Bread Recipe
- Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Tips and Suggestions
The simpler the recipe the less the tips and suggestions however, there's always one or two.
Flour Both bread and cake flour or AP flour (which is all purpose flour) can be used. Personally I find that bread flour gives a much more crunchier bite as opposed to cake flour. Yes there are other factors that contribute to this like oven temperature, rising etc but essentially I love the texture that bread flour gives you. After all it is bread that we're making! 🙂
Cooling Get the ciabatta off the baking tray and onto a cooling rack / board the minute you take them out the oven so that they can stop baking.
If you try this Ciabatta recipe please feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @anosmickitchen and use the hashtag #anosmickitchen because I love seeing your remakes!
If you try this Homemade Ciabatta Bread please feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @anosmickitchen and use the hashtag #anosmickitchen because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking😀
Homemade Ciabatta Bread, One Bowl
- 3 ¼ cups bread flour
- 7 grams yeast
- 1 ½ Tsps. salt
- 1 ½ cups water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer / without a stand mixer using a bowl and wooden spoon, add the flour, salt, yeast and water.
- Insert the dough hook and mix until a soft sticky dough is formed. You may have to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the ingredients combined. Keep dipping the spoon into flour to scrape the sides (the flour prevents the dough sticking to the spoon) until you've managed to scrape the bowl down. Continue with the mixer for another minute or by hand until you have that sticky dough.
- Flour your hand to scoop the dough out and sprinkle extra flour into the bowl then gently place the dough back into the bowl. You can turn it around a few times with your hand while it's in the bowl to get sort of a ball shape.
- Cover and let the dough rise 45 minutes to an hour.
- While the dough rises, place a clean cloth (kitchen towel) over a baking tray (the tray you're going to bake them in) and give the cloth a generous sprinkle with flour, set aside.
- Sprinkle your work surface (kitchen counter top or board) with flour. Remove the dough from the bowl onto the floured work surface.
- Use your hands to deflate the dough and spread it out a little. No pressing or rolling!
- Cut the dough into 3 equal parts.
- Take each part and roll it.
- Now take that folded dough and use your fingers to slightly flatten it out a little. Just enough to create a flat surface of dough.
- Starting at one end, fold the dough in towards itself until you've folded it to the end. Now start folding the next row from the beginning to the end of the dough surface. Repeat until you've fold the whole piece of dough, that's one part.
- Roll that part out into kind of a loaf / log shape so that you end up with a bulky middle and thinner edges on both ends.
- Place the finished ciabatta log onto the flour kitchen cloth (seam side down) and repeat the same process for the next dough part.
- Make sure that the ciabatta logs are not touching one another. They should be protected by the floured tea towel. Sprinkle flour over the ciabatta logs and cover. Rest for 30 minutes.
- Somewhere in that time, preheat your oven to 250 C / 482 F
- Remove each bread log by rolling it from the floured cloth to the baking tray which should also be floured. Work gently.
- Once they are all on the tray make sure they are again, not touching one another. You can use a knife or bread baking tool to slash 2 or 3 cuts (slashes) lengthwise across the ciabatta logs.
- Cover the baking tray with another tray and bake.
- Remove the tray from the oven, remove the lid or top tray and return the ciabatta logs to the oven to finish baking till golden brown.