Interesting fact about Italian ciabatta bread: it was made by a baker in Italy in response to the popular French baguette. Whether this was a copycat case or genuinely created to introduce something new, we can all agree that this bread is pretty tasty. What’s even better is when you learn how to make from scratch in your very own kitchen. With my step-by-step instructions, you’ll be well on your way to making this delicious bread (all the time)!
Details About This Recipe
There are no eggs in this recipe. It is made with flour, yeast, water and salt. The flour is how you get the texture of the ciabatta bread, yeast will make it rise, salt boosts the flavor, and water brings everything together.
What is Italian ciabatta bread good for?
You’ve most likely already had this bread with a soup from places like Panera Bread or on an Italian-like sandwich pressed with cured meat and cheese. In addition to these classic ways of having ciabatta bread, it can also be used for:
- an appetizer
- dipping into a sauce
- a burger bun
- garlic bread
Ciabatta bread can be made into small squares, rolls, or a long rectangle. Next time you have a soup, stew, or salad on your menu, don’t forget to make your own loaf of Italian ciabatta bread.
How to Make Italian Ciabatta step by step:
Beforehand (Making the Sponge)
In a mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours. During this time a sponge will form. The longer the mixture sits, the more structure and flavor your bread will have.
Add water and milk into sponge. Stir until combined.
Steps 2 & 3
Steps 5 & 6
Repeat folding the dough over 2 more times.
Preheat your oven to 450F.
Step 10 & 11
Transfer the dough to a heavily greased surface. Then dust the top of with more flour. Use a scraper and cut the dough in half. Work with 1 piece of dough at a time. Flour your hands well and stretch the first dough into 8×11 in rectangle, don’t put too much force on the dough, work very gently.
Then fold one third of the dough on the right side toward the middle. Then repeat the step with the other third on the left side. And carefully pinch the seams together. The size of the dough after the folds is about 4×8 in.
Step 13 – 16
Repeat steps 11 & 12 for the second dough. Cover and rest 30-45 min. Prepare the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
And there you have it! Your very own loaf of Italian ciabatta bread. Your house will smell amazing. Enjoy!Print
- ⅔ Cup Flour
- ⅓ Cup Water, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon Instant yeast
- 2 ⅓ Cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Instant yeast
- ¾ Cup Water, room temperature
- ¼ Cup Milk, room temperature
- In a mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours (maximum 24 hours). (Photo 01)
- The sponge is ready when it is at least double in size and has bubbles on the surface. (Photo 02)
- Add water and milk into sponge. Use a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the mixture until well combined (Photo 06).
- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, salt (Photo 04). Use a dough hook on medium-low speed, slowly add sponge mixture to the flour and mix everything together. The dough will start to form and almost pull away from the sides after 4-5 minutes (Photo 08, 09, 10).
- Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead until the dough is completely smooth and there is no dry ingredients left. Note: the dough is supposed to be very sticky (Photo 11).
- Transfer the dough to a lightly grease bowl (Photo 12), cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size, about 1 to 1.5 hours (Photo 13).
- Using a spatula (grease it generously with flour) to fold the dough over by lifting the edge of dough toward the middle (Photo 14). Turn the bowl 90 degree and fold again (Photo 15).
- Repeat the process until you completely fold the dough for 2 whole circles (Photo 16).
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size, about 30 minutes (Photo 17, 18).
- Repeat step 5, 6, 7 for 2 more times.
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Transfer the dough to a heavily greased surface (Photo 19). Then dust the top of with more flour (Photo 20). Use a scraper and cut the dough in half (Photo 21). Work with 1 piece of dough at a time.
- Flour your hands well and stretch the first dough into 8×11 in rectangle (Photo 22), don’t put too much force on the dough, work very gently.
- Then fold one third of the dough on the right side toward the middle. Then repeat the step with the other third on the left side. And carefully pinch the seams together (Photo 23). The size of the dough after the folds is about 4×8 in.
- Repeat step 11, 12 for the second dough.
- Cover both loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let them rest and develop small bubbles on the surface, about 30-45 minutes.
- In a mean time place a big bow of hot water inside the oven, at the bottom rack, let it create steam before baking the bread.
- When the loaves are ready, generously spray them with water (Photo 25). Don’t spray directly onto the loaves, instead spray 5~6 inches above them. (You have the option to dust the top with 50% rice flour & 50% flour to create a white surface effect. If so, do this step before spray with water. As you can see in the photo, I did this with one of the loaves).
- Put the loaves into the oven immediately. Bake until the top crusts turn almost dark brown for 20-25 minutes.
- Let the bread cool down completely to room temperature before serving.
- Method: Baking