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Ciabatta is a small, very soft Italian bread. The name means "slipper". It normally takes a long time to prepare as a special leaven called "biga" is used, but this simplified version is quicker and just as good.
215,3613.9/5 for 26 ratings
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Last modified on: October 24th 2017

For 15 Ciabattas, you will need:

Change those ingredients for: 5 Ciabattas 15 Ciabattas 30 Ciabattas 45 Ciabattas

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
1 hour 1 min.2 hours20 min.3 hours 21 min.
Keeping: Several days in a towel bag.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #1
Pour 200 ml milk, 150 ml water, 9 g salt, 15 g caster sugar and 50 ml olive oil into a pan, and warm over gentle heat.

You can also melt all these ingredients in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minute.

Stage 2 - 3 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #2
Tip 500 g flour and 20 g yeast into the bowl of a food processor, then add the warmed liquid.

Stage 3 - 6 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #3
Knead on minimum speed for 5 to 8 minutes, until the dough is evenly mixed and elastic.

Note: For the best way to knead, see: A few tips for effective kneading at home.

Stage 4 - 5 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #4
Tip out onto the worktop without flour, and stretch...

Stage 5 - 5 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #5
... then fold back on itself a number of times.

You can see how to do this in the recipe for leavened bread which has videos showing the movement.

Stage 6 - 2 hours
Ciabatta : Photo of step #6
Next place the dough in a bowl, cover with a plastic sheet, and leave in a warm place until doubled in volume, which will take 2-3 hours.

Stage 7 - 5 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #7
After this time, tip the dough out onto the worktop, press to expell the CO2 gas that has formed, and shape into a ball.

Stage 8 - 10 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #8
Cut the ball of dough into smaller pieces of about 50 g.

Stage 9 - 10 min.
Then roll each piece under your hand to make a nice ball and place on a baking sheet, as shown in this short video.

You will see that you should try to keep both thumb and little finger straight (these roll the ball), and the other 3 fingers curved over the top.

Stage 10 - 5 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #10
The dough is very sticky, which is quite normal, but means that they risk sticking to the plastic sheet when covered again.

This little trick will help to avoid this: place a glass in the middle of each sheet between the rolls...

Stage 11 - 2 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #11
And lay the plastic sheet over the glasses, so that the dough does not stick to it.

Stage 12 - 5 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #12
Leave the rolls to rise and double in volume for 1 or 2 hours in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F).

Just before baking, brush the rolls with a little milk to help them brown.

Stage 13 - 20 min.
Ciabatta : Photo of step #13
Cook for about 20 minutes until golden brown, then leave to cool on a wire rack.


Ciabattas are great on their own, but you can use them to make delicious sandwiches, or for hamburgers.

Nutritional information

% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

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Home made.

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This recipe uses (among others)
FlourFlour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Toffee apple upside-down cake, Pizza dough, Gâteau Nantais, Cheese Soufflé, Meatballs, ... All
MilkMilk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Chocolate eclairs, "Psychedelic" sandwich bread, Chocolate rolls (petits pains), Chocolate cream, Potato gratin, ... All
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Fougasse with bacon and Comté, Ali Baba bread, Puff or flaky pastry (pâte feuilletée), Citrus crunch, Chicken nems, ... All
Olive oilOlive oil: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Avocado and smoked salmon terrine , Vol-au-vent, Melt-in-the mouth meat and vegetables in a sealed casserole, Endives "bonne femme", Seared tuna with lemon and lime, ... All

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