I have such a love affair with baking homemade bread, yet sometimes I need a reminder to do it more often. This loaf of bread was my kick in the pants to make homemade bread a habit instead of a hobby. The smell of yeast and fresh, rising dough has such a calming effect. It makes me want to curl up on a covered wrap-around porch and read during a rainstorm. Ciabatta has been on my list of recipes to try for years, and I really wish I had made it sooner. I honestly had no idea how relatively simple ciabatta is to make. If I had known, I would have been churning out loaves of ciabatta on a weekly basis for years. Now that I know… look out!
I’ve long loved ciabatta bread for its chewy exterior and soft crumb speckled with air holes. It’s the perfect bread for dunking into soup, slicing horizontally and making a sandwich, or for simply slathering with butter and eating until your heart’s content.
This recipe is really not complicated at all, although it does take a little bit of planning ahead since the sponge needs to be made the night before you plan to bake the bread. Actual hands-on time is less than an hour total, and the dough is very forgiving. Once you bite into these loaves for the first time, I’m sure you’ll also wonder what took you so long.
Be forewarned – my husband and I polished off an entire loaf ourselves in less than one day. Fresh bread and butter is just too good to resist!
One year ago: Six-Layer Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling & Malted Chocolate Frosting
Two years ago: Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Three years ago: Fruit and Almond Granola and Salted Peanut Chews
Six years ago: Caramel-Topped Flan
For the Sponge:
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) instant, rapid-rise yeast
- ½ cup (125 ml) water, at room temperature
For the Dough:
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) salt
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) instant, rapid-rise yeast
- ¾ cup (187.5 ml) water, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (61 ml) whole or 2% milk, at room temperature
- Make the Sponge: Combine the flour, yeast and water in a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a uniform mass forms. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Make the Dough: Place the sponge and the dough ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, water and milk) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined and a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue mixing until the dough becomes a uniform mass that collects on the paddle and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Change to the dough hook and knead the bread on medium speed until smooth and shiny (the dough will be very sticky), about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Spray a rubber spatula or bowl scraper with non-stick cooking spray. Fold the dough over itself by gently lifting and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, and fold again. Turn the bowl and fold the dough 6 more times (for a total of 8 times).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the folding as in step #3, replace the plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- One hour before baking, adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking stone on the rack and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cut two 12x6-inch pieces of parchment paper and dust liberally with flour. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, being careful not to deflate it completely. Liberally flour the top of the dough and divide it in half with a bench scraper. Turn 1 piece of dough cut-side-up and dust with flour. With well-floured hands, press the dough into a rough 12x6-inch rectangle. Fold the shorter sides of the dough toward center, overlapping them like you would fold a letter in thirds, to form a 7x4-inch rectangle. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
- Gently transfer each loaf, seam-side-down, to the parchment sheets, dust with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loaves sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (the surface of the loaves will develop small bubbles).
- Slide the parchment pieces with the loaves onto a pizza peel. Using floured fingertips, evenly poke the entire surface of each loaf to form a 10x6-inch rectangle; spray the loaves lightly with water. Slides the loaves and parchment onto the baking stone. Bake, spraying the loaves with water twice more during the first 5 minutes of baking time, until the crust is deep golden brown and the loaves register 210 degrees F, 22 to 27 minutes.
- Transfer the loaves to a wire rack, discard the parchment, and let cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. The bread can be wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped with an additional layer of foil, the bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. To recrisp the crust, thaw the bread at room temperature (if frozen), and place unwrapped bread in 450-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Recipe from Baking Illustrated
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I make Sourdough ciabatta every week it starts a a bit different but basically the same recipe. First, if you like sourdough, make the starter and leave on counter (combine water and flour covered with cheesecloth) leave for 10 days or more feeding everyday with same amounts of water and flour and it will become sourdough starter ( will keep for years). Then use a cup of starter in place of some of the liquid called for in the original recipe. The other change is place the entire dough on parchment and when the oven is preheating I place a covered cast iron dutch oven in oven to preheat and transfer the entire bread dough ball into dutch oven, cover and bake at 450 for 20 min take off cover and bake another 15 minutes! Crispy and delightful. Big round loaf!
Learned something new from here.
I love ciabatta bread! it so amazing!
Learned something new from here.
I’m making this a one star so that newer bakers notice this. DO NOT USE THE METRIC MEASUREMENTS. This my go to recipe for 2 years for ciabatta. I recently used the metric measurements and have consistently had an unworkable soggy mess to work with once the dough leaves the bowl. Stick to the measuring cups. There’s another comment on here that points out the error in the metric measurements.
Today I made this bread for the first time according to your recipe. The result was wonderful .I took a picture of it .I am sure I will try more recipes from you . Considering that we don’t have good flour in Iran, but your recipe was perfect for me. You gave me a lot of excitement to bake bread
Today I made this bread for the first time according to your recipe. The result was wonderful . I took a picture of it . I am sure I will try more recipes from you . Considering that we don’t have good flour in Iran, but your recipe was perfect for me..You gave me a lot of excitement to bake bread.
I love this bread, so easy to make,
Lovely baker! Loving it!
Hi….thanks for posting this but the metric measurements don’t work. You have a total liquid of 373.5 g/ml & flour 375g. This gives a bakers percentage of 99%. Totally impossible to make bread at this ratio. A ciabatta should be at around 75/80%. Fortunately I was able to correct the recipe at the mixer stage but for a beginner it would have ended in the bin. I can’t see how your followers got any results as professed if using metric results.
One question, the baking temperature is 450 degrees F or 210 degrees F?
Preheating oven is at 450 and baking is at 210 degrees F for 22 to 27 min?
Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
Thanks for the post! Great ciabatta recipe! This is in my opinion the most versatile bread that is suitable for breakfast and other meals. After all, how wonderful it is to eat ciabatta with curd cheese, avocado and slightly salted fish in the morning, you will lick your fingers. ulive.chat
Ooo I do love this ciabatta recipe! Made it 5 times now and it’s always a winner. Excellent clear instructions and a beautiful result. No need to ever buy ciabatta again ❤️
i don’t have a baking stone. Can i use a cookie sheet instead of baking stone?
Ciabatta Bread recipe is the best. First try at ciabatta and it was delicious. Dough was so silky & smooth after kneading. My go to recipe from now on. Thank You for tasty Ciabatta bread.
THE BEST Ciabatta Bread I’ve tried. I doubled the recipe and hoped for the best and got it! I reduced the salt to half. I didn’t have whole milk so I used 1/8 cup 5% cream and 1/8 cup 1 % milk. Soft inside, lots of sponges and crusty on the outside. Rose beautifully. Amazing! Thank you!!!
My first time making a bread that wasn’t garlic knots and it turned out AMAZING, this will definitely be a forever recipe of mine. Made it about two weeks ago now I’m doubling it so I can give a loaf to a friend. I wish I could upload a picture!
This was an excellent recipe! I can’t post a picture either. I used to have a request to post a picture but now it doesn’t ask. Odd….
interested in breads
Do you have any move bread recipies other than ciabatta
There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate
your content. Please let me know. Thanks
Curious if you made this with olives. A restaurant nearby has olive ciabatta and I would love to make this at home. Any suggestions for when to add olives?
Just so you know I’m not that other Robert ^*
I made this recipe into six buns instead of two loaves. Amazing, I still can’t believe I made them myself. Thanks so much for the recipe!
You need to charge your measurements. I made your dough based on your weights and there was not enough flour. 2 cups weighs more than 250g it’s at least 338gm.
This is the fourth time I’ve made this recipe. I love it. So easy and good. Hasn’t failed me yet.
Do you have to add the milk and if so I was wondering what is the purpose of adding milk? Thanks
Hi Sandra, Yes, milk adds moisture and fat. Enjoy the bread!
I found that it was quite a bit of work to obtain a foccacia. Starting with the overnight biga. The end product was just ok.
Can the recipe be doubled? I’m working on my first batch-still in the mixing stage- but if it turns out I want to make more so I have enough for chicken BLTs for 14 people or so, so I’m gonna need lots!
Hi Karen, Yes you can double it!
Seemed like a lot of work but I eventually baked a loaf and it turned out great, in fact better than some of the shop bought ciabattas I’ve had. I did cheat though as I used a bread maker to make the dough.
I don’t have a spray bottle.
What can I use ?
Hi Vickie, You can place a shallow metal pan on the bottom rack and pour water into it when you put the bread in the oven – it will create steam and mimic the spray effect. Enjoy!
I feel like I always come back to your recipe, it’s been years! One question? Can I store the second loaf to back the next day? Store in the fridge or leave out? Have you ever attempted this?
Hi Octavia, I haven’t tried that. I might move the dough to the fridge after the first rise if you’re looking to shave some time.
How does the yeast activate if the water is at room temperature?
Hi Jan, Instant yeast is used in this recipe, which does not require activation with warm water.
Hi, Jan. I used regular yeast in this recipe and altered it slightly:
I followed this recipe except I got all the liquids (water and milk) to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, let the starter rise for the full 24 hours and added 30 minutes to each rising step. Came out great!
Oops, I meant to say I added 30 minutes to the first rise the next day when I added the starter to the 2 cups of flour and new yeast.
This is the best ciabatta I’ve made so far. And I’ve been experimenting a lot since I got a stand mixer. Everything was perfect, except the crust didn’t stay crisp. After cooling, it got more rubbery. I sprayed it 3 times as directed. I need to figure out how to crusty it up a bit.
Will try this Ciabatta recipe. Your recipes have been just right so far. And so many of them I make regularly now. I really should post some photos. Haven’t made this yet but everything seems right so I will try tomorrow.
This is by far the best bread recipe I have ever made. Yes, it was a little difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it is very simple and extremely tasty. Today. I made ciabatta rolls and they turned out wonderful. Thank you so much.
Holy smokes this is good bread! I’ve made a lot of bread but had never made ciabatta before. I had a pot of beef stew cooking and was looking for a good bread to go with it. I saw the recipe pop up on Facebook recently and decided to give it a try. The directions were easy to follow, and I was very pleased with the results. It was only by great restraint that we didn’t eat both loaves.
Can this be made in a bread machine?
Hi Sara, I haven’t tried it, as I don’t have a bread machine, but if you do, please let me know how it turns out!
Holy smokes, I made ciabatta! Thank you so much for this recipe. Easy to follow and the video really helped. This bread is absolutely amazing. It lasted about 10 minutes.
I’ve read through many of the comments and no one mentioned that you have somehow double numbered the steps. The number 3 step referred to in a later step is has a 5 in front, then if you look closer, then there’s a 3. Confusing!
I love your recipes and have never seen this before. I look forward to trying this soon!
Not sure what happened, the bread came out tasting ok but no big holes as in real ciabatta bread, I’m so disappointed! What could have happened? I followed directions except used active dried yeast and not instant. Could that have made the difference?
Hi Linda, The yeast substitution definitely could have been the culprit; since the recipe calls for instant yeast, we don’t need to activate it with warm water, instead it is mixed into the dry ingredients and we use room temperature water. In addition, instant yeast gets by with shorter rise times, so it’s likely your active dry yeast may not have had enough time to develop and that airy, holey look.
What is the role of milk in this recipe and can non-dairy be substituted? Does milk help with gluten development from something in the dairy milk or is it mainly for adding fat and liquid?
I tried to make the ciabatta bread, but the dough never rose. It was basically liquid and never formed a dough. Because the water was at room temperature, it did not activate the yeast. Or did I do something wrong?
What altitude are you doing this?
I am at close to 5,000 ft.
It’s a skill to bake at this altitude
This recipe is remarkable in its simplicity and I think anyone can make a spectacular loaf with it regardless of skill level. The biga is an important part of the recipe for taste and gluten development.
Made this todayit seemed to turn out pretty good. Still could use some tweaking on my baking. Family says it tastes great.
1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water? Is that right? The sponge will not be liquidy.. it will be a think piece of dough. Could you confirm the proportions for the dough?
I Love this bread! It is great with dinner or toasted for breakfast. It is now my go to bread. Love the crisp outer and the airy, light inner part. I have made it 3 times now and just decided to figure out how to convert the recipe to make 3 loaves instead of just 2. Freezes great!
Thank you so much for the recipe and clear instructions! I made the bread today and it turned out just perfect. I didn’t have high hopes since I don’t have a stand mixer and used a hand mixer with dough hooks attachments instead. Still the end result was amazing.
This turned out great, true about the really sticky part but as it’s the first time I’ve tried making ciabatta I daresay it gets easier with practice. The loaf lasted about 5 mins, I had to put the second one in the freezer to resist the temptation to eat it straight away! Won’t be eating shop bought again!!!
I’ll have to admit it takes a bit to get used to the very wet dough, but I think I’ve conquered it! I measure everything in grams, and I didn’t have to adjust a thing. Nice rise, baked up beautifully, excellent texture and flavor. Super easy and reliable.
Hi, it was good
Why didn’t my bread turn out brown like you? That’s problem of me. help me. thanks you!
Just took out 2 loaves from my oven…flavor is delicious. Batter is very very soupy….I added about total 2 TBLSP of flour while folding the dough after the first rise. Also…with the heavy flouring of my parchment paper…the dough did “stiffen” a bit more. I baked a wee bit longer (3 minutes) so my loaf tops were just starting to turn brown. Will be making another batch tonight!
Baked my first ciabatta bread today. Great recipe – very easy. I live in a high elevation location which usually requires recipe adjustments. I made the recipe as written this time. It turned out nicely, but maybe a little too light and airy inside due to yeast and flour amounts. Next time I will make my elevation adjustments. No complaints about the crust and flavor!
I am anxious to try your ciabatta bread recipe – especially since my new baking stone FINALLY arrived! ( HA!)
The link to the video doesn’t seem to work for me. Is it posted somewhere else?
I didn’t see it listed in the video section of the site. Thanks in advance, and thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes with all of us!!
Hi! If I leave the sponge out for more than 24 hours is it okay?
Why didn’t my bread turn out brown?🙂 I’m in a middle of a breakdown right now🙂😂
My bread didn’t brown at all either, I followed directions and sprayed with water, etc.
I just made this for the first time and have a couple of quick questions! First of all, it turned out great, but a little flatter than your picture and not quite as airy. I had to mix and knead my hand, and I used an upside down baking pan instead of oven stone. I wonder what went “wrong” here or if you had any advice. I notice my bread didn’t rise quite as much as yours either time, and was VERY sticky. I was nervous to add too much flour, but do you think I should have? Again, the flavor and spongy-ness of the dough was great, just not quite as “tall” as yours after baking
Hi Mariel, Kneading using a stand mixer usually requires less flour to work the dough, so you may need to add a bit more. Baking on the inverted sheet pan shouldn’t be an issue though. I hope you’ll give it another go!
Yeast is a commodity right now. Can you use instant yeast if you don’t have rapid rise?
Hi Pat, Instant and rapid rise are the same! You’re perfectly fine :)
Is the oven 450 convention or convection?!
Hello i made it yesterday it was a success my kids and i loved it! I have just 1 question when I started mixing everything in the mixer it formed a ball quickly even before changing the paddle to a hook. But I continued mixing to reach the same timing u mixed your dough. Next time do i stop once its a ball? Even though it was less than a minute? And the other question my bread was not so puffy it was quite less tha your picture after baking is it because i may shapped it alot with my fingers? Thats all i hope to hear from you soon as im planning to make it again tomorrow. Best Regards
Hi Maria, That’s a conventional oven temperature.
I do not have a mixer with a dough hook can I make ciabatta bread by hand. I would love to have the one as shown in your picture with the large air holes.
Yes, you absolutely can! If you have a silicone dough scraper, that’s helpful in kneading a sticky dough by hand, otherwise use your hands and as little extra flour as necessary.
Great recipe! Luckily I already was used to working with sourdough which is very wet so I knew how to handle it. Next attempt will be with olives.
I’ve made this recipe several times and it never ceases to impress! I don’t have a baking stone, so I baked in my dutch oven (no lid) and it was AMAZING! Thank you for this recipe!
WOW! It seemed like it would be complicated, but your directions are very good. I followed the recipe as written and it was outstanding! Definitely adding this to my bread-making rotation. Bread flour is hard to find in our local stores, so using all purpose was an added plus. Thanks for sharing!
How long should this be kneaded for if doing it by hand?
Hi Katrina, There is no set time, just until the dough reaches the right consistency (smooth, shiny, and sticky). Hope that helps!
Can I still make this if I don’t have an oven stone?
A lot of times they say you can use a baking sheet placed upside down in place of a baking stone.
Yes! Use a baking sheet turned upside down and a piece of parchment on top.
excellent, thank you very much. perfect ciabatta recipe that I found so far
The link to the video is not working for me.
Thank you Michelle , just took two of these out of the oven and they are Fabulous , followed your recipe to a “T” , this will now be my go to bred recipe !!!
This was my first time making this bread. It came out beautifully! We can’t wait to cut into it!
The video was very helpful.
If my dough doesn’t get dry enough to come off the sides of the bill as it does in your video (while in the mixer), and I read everyone saying you shouldn’t be adding more dough, why should I do? Also, my dough is a bit too wet and isn’t rising properly. So when I bake, it’s short and seems undercooked. I don’t have the bubbly consistency that you have inside.
Hi Alex, You can add a bit of flour at a time (just a tablespoon) to get it to clear the bowl, but it should still be sticky at the end of kneading. I hope that helps!
Advice needed, first off, I started the recipe before seeing the video. I weighed my flour and measured my liquid with a glass measuring cup. Only difference, was using King Arthur Flour which equals 120 grams per cup, (for reference I covert all recipes using this measurement) also I used active dry yeast. I made the dough with my dough hook, and resisted the urge to add more flour. Now, seeing the video, I realize my dough was too soupy. I tried adding more flour to later on to save it, but in didn’t raise enough and the crust was quite hard. How much flour can I safely add to get the right dough consistency? I have been
trying a lot of new bread recipes lately, and this was my first fail.
Hi Kristin, I’m so sorry this didn’t quite work for you! The dough is quite soft, so you definitely want to be light with the additional flour and only add as much as is needed – note that it will still be very sticky after kneading. There really isn’t an exact amount as temperature and humidity all play a factor.
I followed your recipe exactly and both times my batter was way too runny – even though I managed to bake them both. One turned out good, other one was eh….is it better to wait over 8 hours for the sponge?
Bread recipes shouldn’t be followed exactly – you sometimes need more or less flour or water, depending on the environment in your kitchen. If it’s too runny, add more flour. It takes time to know for sure how much additional you may need. It may also have needed more mixing.
Hi Nancy, Sam described it perfectly. With my basic white bread recipe, I always need more flour in the summer (warmer, more humid) than in the winter (drier, colder). It just takes some practice to troubleshoot on the fly but the more you bake bread, the better feel for it you will get! Keep on baking! :)
This was really tasty and chewy – it came out great! I used active dry yeast so made a couple tweaks: I dissolved the yeast it in the water and added 10-15 min to each rise. Definitely will make again.
Active dry yeast doesn’t have to be dissolved. It’s added directly to the flour. It’s regular dry yeast (so non-active) and fresh yeast that have to be activated in water/milk for 10-15min before adding it.
Can’t wait to try your Italian Bread and Ciabatta Bread
recipes tomorrow. Thank you
My dough is so pretty and perfect. As soon as I got ready to turn the oven on, my oven decides to not cooperate. Is it possible to refrigerate the dough until my oven gets fixed (hopefully tomorrow)? Crossing my fingers that it won’t lose the fluffiness in the fridge.
I placed the dough in the fridge and miraculously, my oven decided to work today! I let the dough come to room temperature and proceeding with your recipe! OMG! My first loaf of bread ever and it’s delicious! Thank you!
Ahhhh I’m so thrilled that it turned out!! :)
I felt like a hero! I want to double the recipe. Can I make the same amount of sponge (1 cup flour…) but double the dough amount (4 cups flour…) to make 4 loaves or do I also have to double the sponge?
I too doubled the recipe but I doubled the sponge part as well and it came out fine. I would advise to double the entire recipe to include the sponge part.
I would double the entire recipe (including the sponge).
Would this work with dairy free milk? Like almond milk?
I made this last night and my bread was tasty but I wish the inside had been a little more airy. I didn’t have milk so I used half and half instead could that have been why? What would you suggest I do to make the inside fluffier? Thank you for the recipe!
Thank you, great recipe! Is there a way to hold back a little dough to use as the following days polish? Add a little water maybe?
This was my first time making ciabatta bread and it was a hit! The process is lengthy and not hard but totally worth it.
I just have a question, the loaves were pretty crispy the first day but after storing them in a double layer plastic wrap, they they were not crispy and more soft exterior the next day.. is that suppose to happen or did I do something wrong?!
In honesty I rated it high because im not done yet but k have a question and didn’t wanna take anything away for my i guess inexperience …
I don’t have bench cutters or those metal to things to cut it … I almost bailed while the sponge was in the fridge because of this
I am also lacking proper kitchen towel to put the dough on..
Is there another household item i can use to replace this , there is no turning back now…
I didn’t realize i needed these things
While making the dough with the sponge… It was a bit confusing, i am pretty sure more was soupy so i added flour until it pulled away from the bowl and looked considerably more shiny however i don’t know if its smooth enough., i already had mixed it for a while and was worried about over mixing
I also added all the yeast to the sponge and im hoping it rises
Any chance I can use regular yeast
Recipe is great, but the texture turned out dense. I used fresh yeast instead of active dry yeast (which I usually do) and perhaps mucked up the measurements there :(
The crust was great and it was also quickly finished too!
I have instant dry yeast. Is that ok to use
I’ve baked this recipe twice in the past week. And I am about to make a third batch tomorrow! It’s that good! My friends and family scarf these down like their lives depend on it. I have been baking bread for a year now and have tried a variety of recipes. However, when I baked this recipe my friend told me, “forget every other bread you’ve made. This is your best one yet.”
This is a great way to make our own bread. I find that minimum handling after the rising works best. Don’t have a baking stone but my heavy-duty sheet pan works just fine. I use a little more water in the sponge and then put extra flour tablespoon by tablespoon until I get the perfect shaggy texture in the mixer. The video is great to see what it’s supposed to look like at each stage.
Im confused . Do i fold it 6 times and leave to rise and repeat that for 8 times ?
I believe it is…. fold it 8 times and let it rise then fold 8 times then let it rise.
I followed this recipe exactly and straight from the start it was different than how you say it is meant to be.
‘uniform mass’ – mine was a solid ball. I think you need to add more description to this recipe because it is not clear how wet the dough is meant to be or if you are meant to add water to the yeast to ‘activate’ it or not.
The numbers are also confusing as you have numbered bullets which are different to the steps you have numbered.
Hi. Thanks for the recipe. Even though I must have only partially read, and partially followed it correctly, it still turned out. It has a nice crust and a good chew and flavor. We easily ate the first loaf and will have the second tomorrow.
I’m betting that next time I make it, it’ll turn out even better. And now I have a better idea of how much more active yeast (I didn’t have instant) to use too.
Also, at a time like this – it’s a super thrifty recipe. Thanks again.
Is all purpose flour the same as UK Plain Flour?
Hi Angela, Yes, it is!
Can you please tell me what the “uniform mass” (starter) is supposed to look like? My interpretation of that term is like a ball, but mine was more like thick pancake batter. Can you please elaborate on that term as there are no pictures on your site to refer to? Thank you in advance!
Hi Tina, It should be a wet, sticky, loose ball. So if your “pancake batter” was pretty thick, you were good!
Hi, thanks for sharing your recipe! What would be your recommendation to make this if you do not have a stand mixer? I have a hand mixer, but no dough hook. Any advice?
This is a really loose, sticky dough, so I would mix with a wooden spoon and then knead as best you can without having to add too much extra flour.
So, we are locked down in NY. as in many places. I have been cooking all my life as a profession. I have always loved ciabatta, but have never made it because it looks like kind of a pain. So, sitting here with a glass of wine I looked for a ciabatta recipe, just because now I have lots of time. This recipe looks great. I always have yeast in the fridge, but I do not have fast rising. I will go to two stores tomorrow, hopefully being able to find some, I have to get my daughter some toilet paper any way, as they have none in Binghamton. I will have a ( hopefully positive ) review on Thursday. I am very excited to try this. Michelle, I am so happy to have found your blog and this recipe. Now, I’m off to watch something on Tv. I just started streaming Chermobyl, the series last night. No hand sanitizer available anywhere around here, I have ordered 12 gallons from a chemical company to hopefully arrive by the weekend. Lots of people around here could use it. These are weird times, again, thank you Michaelle
Hi, I can’t seem to understand at what temp do you bake the dough? It states it should reach 210 degrees but not sure at what temp do you make it?
Hi Susan, Step #8 – 450 degrees F.
Hi! I really want to try to make this bread, but I don’t have whole or 2% milk. Will 1% milk work?
Hi Elise, While it’s not the best choice for flavor/texture, 1% will still definitely make you a good loaf of bread. Enjoy!
Hi, I was wondering if anyone has tried using Bob Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free bread? My son is allergic to wheat and would like to try this recipe for him. Thanks
why don’t you tell people the easy way. everything is mixed together in 1 bowl covered in plastic wrap and left overnight. in the morning dump it all on parchment paper and bake in a covered enamel pot. NO KNEAD BREAD recipe with the details is all over pinterest. takes 2 minutes to add ingredients and stir by hand. been making it for years and
it is a ciabatta bread
This bread was fabulous!!!! I only lasted about 45 minutes rather than the 60 minutes recommended before I cut into the loaf – I just couldn’t wait!
********I have the starter ready to go this afternoon, but something came up and I won’t be able to make it today. Can I put it in the fridge for a few days or perhaps the freezer?? I hate to waste the starter!
Thanks for your recipe and your recommendation.
Hi Kittie, You can leave it at room temperature for up to 24 hours and then proceed. I think perhaps up to 2 days in the refrigerator might work, but I have not tried it, so I can’t guarantee.
I doubled the sponge recipe, and saved half the sponge in the fridge, in a Ziploc – once for 7 days and just now for 10 days; both times later-loaves turned out perfect!
To the people who say it didn’t work: you added more flour, that’s why it didn’t work.
It’s supposed to be a batter-like dough – it oozes out. The folds give it strength and by the time you bake it, it holds it shape perfectly.
Do it again, but follow the instructions. DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR. It will work.
This was so easy to do. Literally all the hard stuff the mixer did and I did the fun things – folding and shaping dough, which was enjoyable. The recipe steps intimidated me but it was much easier than it looks.
I see you have a ‘WATCH HOW TO MAKE CIABATTA BREAD’ but there’s no video? I feel if you took pictures of the batter (1. after mixed and pulled away from the paddle, 2. after being put in a container 3. on the work surface 4. after shaped) people could see the consistency and NOT put extra flour in.
My only criticism is: yes liberally (!) flour the work area but you don’t need to liberally flour the parchment or the top of the dough. A gentle sprinkle would do otherwise too much flour sticks and you get excess flour on the baked loaf.
My loaves came out beautifully and huge(r) than I expected. Gave one to my mother and she loved it. Finished it in one day. Would definitely make again.
Regarding the video not showing up, if you have an ad blocker running, the video will not appear. This was an issue for me as well. Turn off adblocker for this site only, and the video should pop up.
Hey. I love your recipes! Just wondering what temperature should the water be? I know it’s supposed to be room temperature, but do you have the exact degrees? I tried the sponge and it didn’t rise. Should I follow the water temperature on the yeast package? It says water should be 120-130 degrees. Is that too high for room temperature water?
Your sponge shouldn’t rise – just be gently bubbly. Perfect yeast temp should be fingertip temp – stick your finger in it and it should feel gently warm. You actually don’t need it to be warm for this, especially since it’s set overnight for fermentation and with instant yeast. I used coldish water (didn’t bother measuring or feeling as it ferments overnight with instant yeast) from the tap for both steps and it worked perfectly.
Hello! Yes, too high for room temperature! Water that is room temperature should be between 68 and 72 degrees.
I adore this recipe. I made it the first time for a fondue party, but now I make it weekly for sandwiches! Since I live at high altitude, none of my breads ever turn out quite right, but this one is so soft and fluffy, and in a stand most of the work is done for you. Thanks for sharing!
Super delicious, super easy! Looks amazing. Eat with avocado or butter and jam. Can’t go wrong with this.
What temperature should I set my oven and about how long to bake? I look fwd to making this today!
It wasn’t as hard to make as I thought, my first came out so good! Didn’t use a stone
Hi..can active dry yeast be used instead of instant yeast and if yes is it the same quantity. Thx.
Yes, same quantity, but your rise times will likely be longer.
I make this dough as my pizza crust. It is amazing. After the first knead, I hand press it onto baking mats, add my toppings and pop into my preheated oven on stone. I do about 410 for 12 min
can you use active dry yeast instead?
Looks great I’ll give it a try next week. Off to CA for fun right now. Thanks for your site
If you don’t have a pizza stone can you use an inverted cookie sheet? Can you suggest a different alternative?
Made this ciabatta but changed the recipe slightly by using cornmeal to dust the bread before baking. Tasted fantastic.
I love Ciabatta bread but was a little nervous making it becasue the recipe seemed a little complicated. But once I got into it, it really wasn’t difficult at all. The recipe just explained things well. My first try and it turned out fantastically. I will make this as part of my regular rotation.
Is it possible to double the recipe? The loaves are small and it seems the mixer could handle a larger quantity of dough.
Making for a second time!
Going to shape into rounds for bread bowls
Except for the starter, can this dough be made in a bread machine? Shaped and baked as directed.
Hi Diane, I have never used a bread machine, but I think it should work.
Love these recipes
After weeks of trying to make Carol Field’s recipe, I was NOT happy with the structure, oven bounce, and size of the loaf. I was very happy with a low yeast Biga she suggests. So, I used my glorious Biga, Bread Flour and this Recipe and Techniques.
My Loaves are still baking, so no pictures yet. But, I can already tell, this recipe is WAY better than Field’s. I also sprinkle the top of the loaves with some Sicilian sea salt with the first Water spraying. YAY for this recipe
My dough looks more like batter and I am nervous to take it out of the bowl. What do you suggest? I followed all of the instructions correctly
Hi Audrey, Did you try using it yet? It is a very stick, “loose” dough.
Hey! Just an update, I figured out that converting everything to grams would be much of a trouble for you so I went on and tried converting the ingredients measurement on baking aid site. Now I’m waiting for my second fold, the dough’s looking perfect — well risen and bubbly. Btw, I used slap&fold method instead of mixer. Can’t wait to bake this baby. Thanks for great recipe!
Hi there! Great crumbs you’ve got. Just wondering if you can give the measurements in grams? It would be easier for me to try it in smaller ratio. Thanks a lot!
This recipe turned out beautifully on the first attempt. And it was deliciuos!!! I have another starter going for this week. 😀 Thank you for sharing it!!
Hello there. I followed your recipe. turned out great. I don’t own a mixer yet,maybe never. Haven’t really needed one so far.I apply elbow grease to the mix. Whipped the dickens out the sponge and dough and except for losing time getting back to the final rise the thing turned out great My wife and I consumed it pronto. Thanks ever so much.
This is the first time I made this recipe, super easy, and very tasty! I will be adding this to my repertoire.
I am an avid Baker and I found this recipe to be one of the bake up one of the best ciabattas I’ve ever tasted.
This recipe truly is a winner 😀
Great recipe. Made it twice now. I am trying for a third time now, leaving sponge to sit a full 24 hours. I like this much better than most other recipes I have tried, much easier.
Also, I tried this recipe with my established sourdough starter as opposed to the sponge. Was pretty good!
I have a love affair with ciabatta bread!! I have tried many, many recipes over the last year and while they tasted ok, I was just not happy with them. They did not have big holes! ! Then I found your recipe and my problem was solved. It turns out perfect every time. Thank you so much, Michelle.
It was an easy recipe to follow and tasted great. The only thing I would change is the oven temp. The crust of the bread was on the verge of burning. I would decrease to 450
best bread recipe I have ever made!! so glad I made four loaves because it is just as delicious after storing in the freezer and reheating. thank you!!
I just tried this recipe, and it would not rise for me. I ended up with two very small flat loafs. My yeast was up to date, so not sure what went wrong. I followed this recipe exactly.
How do I save your recipes so I can print them as pdf?
Hi Stoney, Right now there is not a “save” option, but if you click the “print” button above in the recipe box, you will be brought to a printer-friendly version of the recipe that you can easily print. Hope that helps!
This recipe is absolutely amazing. I am not a baker but it came out better than any store bought Cibiatta!!!
Fantastic recipe. Made it for the 1st time today and it was a hit with the family. Everybody loved it. Light, fluffy with a perfect thin crust. But I had some problems with the dough sticking to the parchment.
If I’m using convection bake – what temp and how long? Can I make one bigger loaf?
Hi Amy, If your oven has a manual I would consult that first for adjusting bake times and temperatures. Universally, it’s about 25 degrees lower and 75% of the stated bake time. I don’t think one larger would work as well.
Is there a video showing the whole process?
Hi Josephine, I do not currently have a video for this bread.
A shame not to add pics of the shaping process. You’ve included some on the folding process which is helpful, why not show the entire process?
Absolute fail. I’ve made about 6 breads from this sites recipes successfully. There’s just too much moisture, it was a batter, not a dough. Pushing on I added nearly 2 more cups of flour to get the dough to form. Baking at 450 as instructed was way too hot, the bread’s crust was burned before the internal temperature was correct.
Hi Jason, I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you but it IS supposed to be a really wet dough. Adding more flour could definitely be why it burned for you.
I want to love this bread but i tried everything i could and it just dumped me. 🤦♀️ the dough was not even close to a form of any kind (i could tell from the moment i turned on my kitchenaid that it wasnt going to be a thing. Im almost heartbroken 😭 and i used extra flour too (i tried my best to the end ) but still no good. Mine looked nothing like yours and i did exactly what the recipe called for. Sometimes there’s just no love at first sight. I admit, i was really into it but it wasn’t feeling the same. thank u darling for your recipe. 😊😉 i will give it another shot
I found your recipe a few years ago and have had success every single time using a pizza stone/ standard fan forced kitchen oven. Always a winner. Unfortunately I lost the recipe and could not find for the last 18 Months and i must say no other Ciabatta receipt stacks up. Great news though have just found your marvellous recipe again and my wood fired pizza oven arrives this week and 8 can’t wait to try it again. Some notes on why some of the commenters baking may not of worked. Bread baking is finicky and it is a good idea to sift flour first as a “packed” cup of flour is different to a sifted cup of flour especially dependent on where you live and what season it is. I live in Far North Queensland, Australia and we have high temps and high humidity so it can make a huge difference on quantities required. The dough must be “wet” with very minimal to no kneading. The less you handle the dough the better. The sponge is best o/night or even 24hrs. Again, watch the quantities of additional flour and don’t be too heavy handed as this Cam make your loaf heavy and dense the opposite of what a good Ciabatta should be. Using a spray bottle to form a great crust is also a must and “00” bread/pizza flour can be substituted for AP flour without detriment to the end result. The key I have found again is to resist the temptation to work the dough, just let it do its thing and hopefully you will be delighted with your finished loaf/s. Thanks Michelle for a great recipe and I will update once we have cooked our first loaves in our new Pizza Oven!
I made this bread tonight and it was PHENOMENAL. I made the sponge and it actually sat on my counter for a little more than 24 hours. Maybe 27. When I started with the sponge it seemed a little too thick, not enough liquid, so I did add more water. Probably due to measuring ingredients wrong the first time.
The smell filled the entire house!!!! There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread. The dough was pretty sticky and seemed fragile, but everything came together perfectly. I will try and take a picture of the second loaf before it gets devoured, the first one went like a Krispy Kreme Donut under the “HotLight” This is definitely my go to bread recipe now!!! I don’t even know if I’ll ever try another recipe again. Sandwiches, paninis, burgers, you name it….or just by itself with butter or garlic/olive oil!
Thank you Michelle!!
Hi Colleen, So awesome to hear you loved the bread! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop back and leave a review!
The best recipe for ciabatta and I aslo tried it as pizza dough, the success was a wonderfull pizza, oven on crispy pizza mode at 550 F and baking stone preheated.
I don’t have a spray bottle on hand. What would you recommend?
You can put a pan of hot water on the bottom rack and leave it there so it steams in the oven.
I didn’t have one either. I ended up wetting my hands under the sink and flicking the water on.
This is the best aan easy recipe for ciabatta bread taste delicious. Thank you for the recipe Will print and make every saturday ..
We’re did you get your scraper. Love that bread ha ha ha.
Hi Jules, This is the scraper, I love it!! >> http://amzn.to/2vu7oYf
I made this bread over the weekend. It is DELICIOUS! I found that when I did the initial mix with the paddle attachment, it never really came together. Do you think this is because of the humidity in my area? Thanks!
Hi Amy, It definitely could be; you could try sprinkling in just a bit more flour, but as you can see from the other photos, it’s a really slack/soft/loose dough.
Fabulous recipe! Went to bed at 1 AM but it was worth it. All day everyone has been raving about this bread.
Thank you for this post – love your blog! Instead of shaping the loaves, could I bake as a boule in a dutch oven (like NYT no-knead)? TIA!!!
Hi Leah, I’ve never attempted it and I’m not sure how it would turn out (I’ve never seen a ciabatta boule!). If you try it, let me know!
If I don’t have a stand mixer, can I make this bread by just lots of kneading? I have baked bread for 45 years, but never used a mixer. I do have a hand-mixer, but that just has small beaters.
Hi Anne, You could, I would just caution to try not to use too much extra flour, as the dough will be sticky.
I tried this last weekend, it was excellent!
Made an attempt at your recipe yesterday/today. My dough didn’t look at tacky as yours, although it rose nicely, with the exception of the “loaf rise”. Baked nicely, although it didn’t have the bubbles inside, but it was still super yummy. Thinking my house was too chilly, but not sure…
I woulduld have to make this by hand as I do not have a mixer. Also would it be possible for you to give quantities in lb and oz as I do not have cups and don’t know how much a cup full would weigh. Many thanks
Hi Irene, I think theoretically you could make it by hand, but it’s a pretty wet dough. I use 1 cup = 5 ounces for my flour measurements, that should help!
Made yesterday and WOW! The ciabatta recipe I had used in the past was basically the same as far as ingredients but the process was a little different (it didn’t have the “folding” during the rise). I make sandwich buns, just “pour” the dough on a well floured board, use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut into sandwich size, sorta square buns, gently transfer each one to parchment lined baking sheets, let rise, mist lightly with water, pop into the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway thru the cooking time. Best sandwich buns ever!
In this ciabtta bread recipe do you need a large bowl because it won’t seal completely with one wrap in a large bowl and it is hard to wrap tightly I think it needs two wraps
Thank you for making the directions clear. I made the sponge last night and will be making the Ciabatta bread today for horderves on Thanksgiving (in two days). I am sure it will be wonderful and fill the house with warmth. I’ll return with my guest review. Until then Happy Thanksgiving and sharing your recipe. Patti
Ok I made this bread today just like I said and have a few tips not included. 1) Paddle time is off and I ended up needing to add more flour to get it pull away from the mixer bowl.
2) Rising time took much longer on the first stage.
However, all in all this is a wonderful recipe and not to hard. 5 minutes to go on the bread in the over and it looks great. Tomorrow we will have the reviews.
Wow, ein richtig tolles Rezept für ein Ciabatta Brot. Da bekommt man Appetit und vor allem ist es sehr leicht zum nachmachen.
Liebe Grüße vom Kuchenbäcker
I made this two ways. One in bread machine and one as instructed. Both times my dough was too loose to form a ball after first combining. Is it okay to add extra flour just to the point of forming the ball? Have you found you needed to do this as well? Thanks! Original method looks much better ?Have yet to taste them.
What should the sponge look like after 12-15 hours? Should it have changed at all from the night before, because mine looks exactly the same as when I first made it and I don’t know if I should continue with the rest of the bread or just start over. Thanks!
Hi Kelly, It won’t look drastically different, you should be fine!
This recipe is amazing the Instructions were so easy to follow the bread turned out perfect
We had tried making bread so many times only to be disappointed with the result, that we gave up on bread-making. This recipe has turned us around. It was hands-down the best bread we have ever tasted! We will be making this again and again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and method. :-)
I realize that this dough is supposed to be wet, but mine turned out liquid when I followed the recipe. I ended up using two more cups of flour and the loaves turned out beautifully. I was suprised that no one else commented on this. I guess I am weirdo.
Made the bread today, came out great, Thank you so much for sharing! ( I used active dry yeast, bread flour because I have them. )
Hi! I dont have a pizza peel and a baking stone. What can I use as a substitute? Thanks in advance
Hi Lea, In place of the baking stone you can use a baking sheet (just know that the bottoms may not be as crisp), and for the peel you could use parchment on an upside-down baking sheet or cookie sheet. You basically want something that will help you slide the loaves onto the pan in the oven.
The most successful ciabatta I’ve tried. Most recipes turned out dense with small bubbles. I’ve tried this recipe with all purpose and tipo 00. Both turned out great with large holes! Thank you for sharing the recipe!
This recipe did not work for me. I do not have a stand mixer so I tried to use the stretch and fold method, with resting in between. This dough was extremely wet and would not do anything. They hydration level for this particular recipe is very high for ciabatta, 94%. This is assuming 125 g per cup of flour. Most ciabatta recipes use 81%. I am curious to know how you measured your flour? I am going to try a different recipe because this just did not work. disappointed.
Have you ever tried it with bread flour?
Hi Erin, I haven’t!
Very good…will make again
At first I thought, “what a lot of trouble to go to for bread” but following the steps wasn’t as difficult as I first thought and it was WELL worth it! I don’t have a baking stone so I just used a very heavy duty cookie sheet and the bread came out perfecto!
I accidentally doubled the sponge…can I freeze the raw dough once I make the ciabatta dough tomorrow? Before the 30 minute rise time maybe?
Hi Cori, I have not tried freezing the dough, I have no idea how it would respond once you thaw it.
First let me say I have been baking bread for over 25 years, so I have some experience, just not with ciabatta. I followed the recipe, but i had to add about 1/4-1/3 cup more flour, because there was no way this dough would allow itself to be handled – it was more like batter. That is the only thing I did differently. Everything seemed to be going well, and it looked great when it came out of the oven. Unfortunately, I did not get any large air pockets at all. It was very dense. I don’t know if this was caused by the extra flour, but it had to be added in order for me to handle it. Does anyone know what else may have gone wrong? I would like to make it again – but this time I want to get it right. Thanks.
I also had to add more flour and it looks like the air pockets are in there. I will let you know tomorrow or later tonight, making it for Thanksgiving. We’ll see how it goes. I like the breads recipe and that is why I chose this one also. Keep you posted.
Your recipe was the first ciabatta bread I tried – very recently. Ever since I first had some, I wanted to try it but I thought it might be too difficult. I have to say your recipe is awesome! I made the sponge the day before. The dough was beautiful and easy to handle. My loaves weren’t equal in size – I’m working on that – but they were delicious! I loved all the holes and the wonderful crust. I also used my steel baking sheet for the first time and it was great, too. The hardest thing was getting the parchment paper with the loaves on them onto the baking sheet but it worked out OK. I am thrilled! My husband said it would be cheaper and less labor intensive to go buy a loaf but there is much more satisfaction in baking it oneself! Thank you so much.
Similar to Linda, for some reason mine didn’t turn out right… I didn’t have a couple things on your list, namely a baking stone and plastic wrap, and I hand-kneaded it. But my crust came out pale and the same color as the interior, not golden brown. Can you explain what causes the bread to turn that color so can understand the process better? Is it just the water?
Hi Maria, The outer crust should brown by a combination of baking and spraying with water.
AMAZING! I didn’t follow the instructions exactly, did more of a normal dough fold (where you take it in your hands, and pull it under itself a few times) and it came out PERFECT. Also – instead of spraying with water, I just put a glass dish filled with water in the over during preheating and baking – still came out AMAZING!
Why oh why can I not bake bread with wonderful big holes? I followed recioe precisely, have made bread for years. But when it comes to a bread that is supposed to be light, airy etc, I end up with dense interior. This was much better than any other, just not the huge ciabatta holes I was hoping for.
Possible help please, I live in Sunny South Africa.(Kitchen room temp 26-28 degree Celsuis). My family and I love ciabattas but mine does not have the same texture, small holes and more bread like on the inside.
Thanks for a great web site.
What about baking these in a dutch oven?
Hi Kerri, I don’t think that would work, you want them on an open sheet pan, and I think they would be too large to put into a Dutch oven.
I made the Ciabatta a few days ago. I must not have flattened it enough because mine was kind of a rounded loaf. Mine didn’t have as many holes as yours has, but the flavor was fantastic!! Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
What effect would skim milk have on the bread or its texture? (Dont have any 2% and its too fracking cold to go get some!) Thanks Michelle :)
Hi Jackie, The lack of fat in skim milk could affect the texture of the bread, however to what extent I couldn’t be sure.
Thanks for your response. The bread turned out ok. THe crust had a nice chewiness, but the crumb was smaller than a traditional ciabatta, and not as chewy. That could be not giving it enough “sitting time” as it needed, but maybe that was the result of no milk fat. Anyways… it still went down well with our lasagna and wine! Thanks for the recipe. I’m definitely going to take a 2nd swing at this one… with some milk fat next time.
I had to add a little bit more flour but other than that I folowed the directions exactly as written and it came out delicious and perfect looking
My amazing husband surprised me with a KitchenAid mixer today…I LOVE making bread and usually do it all by hand. Now that I don’t have to the first thing I did was look for a ciabatta recipie and yours looks Amazing! My sponge is done and I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to start baking!
And what if I don’t have a stand mixer?
Thank you very much for this recipe! I have never baked bread before and have always wanted to learn how to bake ciabatta, which my family love. Your clear, simple and effective recipe made it possible for me. We have just enjoyed one of my first two loaves of ciabatta baked using your recipe and we absolutely loved it!
i made these today….YUMMY! Thanks for a fantastic recipe! Word of caution! I tried to save a step and placed the loaves on the parchment paper before the final fold, but I didn’t dust them with flour. They stuck to the paper so I couldn’t do the final fold (in thirds). Next time I’ll follow the recipe STEP-BY-STEP! That’s what I get for improvising! Can’t wait to make these again and try some of the other breads on your blog. One question: I’d like to make small sandwich-sized loaves next time instead of two loaves. How long would I bake them, or will the baking time even be reduced at all? Thanks again!
Hi Christy, So glad you loved the bread! I haven’t tried making smaller loaves, so I couldn’t say about the baking time, unfortunately.
Can this be made in a food processor? If so, how would the mixing/kneading times change?
I saw the recommendation to use a wooden spoon to mix by hand – has anyone tried that?
(I don’t have a stand mixer.)
Hi Julia, I would probably do this by hand before using a food processor, as I think it would be too easy to over mix the dough using a food processor.
Very long process took more than an hour to double in bulk and the process of 30 minute rising is very tedious. Still not in the oven yet and has taken all day. Not for those who want bread in a hurry.
This is the second time I’ve made this recipe. It is so good! I have also used just a baking sheet and they turned out wonderfully!
I’ve always love Ciabatta but was terrified to make it, especially since I’ve heard that it’s a soft, sticky dough to work with. But after reading the recipe on your website, I decided to give it a try. I made the sponge yesterday and complete the loaves today. They turned out wonderfully. I don’t have a baking/pizza stone so I used a standard baking sheet instead and it still turned out great. I am no longer intimidated by Ciabatta…Thank you!
So delicious! I only had to bake it for 15 minutes before it was golden brown and I think it may have been way overcooked if I hadn’t kept an eye on it. But such is baking, right? I also didn’t flatten it for the last time, so I ended up with a nice round loaf. Will definitely be making this again.
I followed this recipe to the letter and it turned out wonderful. Nice crumb, great taste and crust.
I have been baking bread for many years with many successes and fails. The hardest part of making bread is timing the risings. Your instructions are so good that they make this easy. As you can tell by the comments, even first timers can be successful.
I think I will try bread flour next time with a little more gluten.
I’ve made this recipe three times and each time was a great succes. Previously, all attempts at bread making had been a fail. I just pulled the last two loaves out of the oven and can hardly wait for dinner tomorrow. I’m up late baking because I forgot about the sponge until 10:00 pm, and I won’t get the chance tomorrow. Love your blog!
Can I freeze this bread and for how long?
Hi Shari, Yes, that’s included in the storage instructions in step #9.
i just made this bread. (yup, it’s 1am). its cooling on my cutting board, and smells delicious…. can’t wait to dig in tomorrow morning! thanks for posting!!
i just made this again… it was TOO good the 1st time! it’s definitely a keeper recipe!
I’ve never made bread before these two times…. can i sub in whole wheat flour to make it a little healthier? if so, would it be cup for cup? curious…
Hi Natalie, Yay, so thrilled that you’re enjoying this bread! I have not tried any whole wheat flour substitutions in this recipe, so unfortunately I can’t say for sure how it would affect the recipe.
I have a sourdough starter that I used to make a biga for this. Wow! Used this, Carol Fields, and Nancy Silverton recipes to bake two great loaves! Thanks for feeding my baking addiction.
This looks delicious! Any suggestions on making the dough by hand if you don’t have a mixer?
I haven’t tried it, but you could use a wooden spoon to mix. It’s a quite sticky dough so kneading may be difficult by hand.
Jumped up and started the sponge as soon as I saw this recipe this morning on Pinterest! Was approx 1/8 C shy of the 1 cup of all purpose flour so I combined white whole wheat flour to make up the difference. Much coarser texture to the flour. Hope it turns out! Whole wheat pastry flour is a staple in my pantry but I’m that also! Just couldn’t wait to try you’re recipe. Thanks for posting!
This has been the most fun I’ve ever had making any type of bread. The 1/8 Cup of whole wheat I used a a substitute didn’t affect the finished product at all. Baked 6 loaves in total so far and gave 2 away with rave reviews! Thanks again!
That is one of the prettiest loaves of Ciabatta I’ve seen! I make bread often but haven’t tried Ciabatta yet. It is now next on my list.
I’ve made a lot of homemade bread before (baguettes, sandwich bread, bagels, pizza dough, soft pretzels…etc.) but I’ve never tried making ciabatta. My two loaves are in the oven now–they smell fantastic. Can’t wait to slice some up with some salted butter. Mmm! :)
Made the sponge today and ran out of time to finish the bread. How long will the sponge keep? Should I refrigerate it?
Hi Kimberly, You can keep the sponge at room temperature for up to 24 hours. After that, I don’t recommend using it.
I love baking bread too but I definitely need to do it more often. I can’t believe how easy this is to make!
Wow this is just perfect! Thanks for relinking in your last post…somehow missed this! pinned now
Just took the loaves out of the oven an hour ago. Came out perfect. This is the best ciabatta bread I have ever had. Thanks for the great recipe!
I just made two loaves of these ciabatta bread today, and I have to say, they were absolutely delicious! I only had active dry yeast on hand, so all I changed from the recipe was to proof the dough in each step longer, until the desired size is reached. Besides homemade hamburger buns, I’ve never had much success with homemade bread until now. Thank you for posting such a lovely recipe! :)
I love ciabatta bread. Yours looks perfect. Pinned.
This look PERFECT!! Good gosh, I need this. Great recipe and photos!
i only have active dry yeast is that ok??
Hi Angela, Active dry yeast typically needs to be activated by warm water or milk before being added to the rest of the ingredients. You may also find that your rise times are longer (up to twice as long). I stock both instant and active dry, as I have recipes that call for one or the other. I would keep both on hand and use whichever the recipes calls for.
I was just thinking that I was in the mood for some homemade baked bread. I love ciabatta bread so I’m definitely trying this one!
You have a love affair with homemade bread, and I have a love/hate relationship with homemade bread! I will make a batch of homemade bread and it’s a success, then I will try my hand at making a different type of homemade bread, and it’s a huge fail! I don’t know why this happens to me!
Peace & Sunshine,
Sammi at Sammi Sunshine- A Food Blog
Have you tried Alton Brown’s “Very Basic Bread” recipe? I’ve been using that for years and haven’t had an issue. Definitely one of those that you need to start overnight, but it’s so worth it!
Humidity and freshness of yeast and flour can also play a role. Science Friday (on NPR) recently had in someone from America’s Test Kitchen and he talked a lot about the science behind bread: http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/03/21/2014/food-failures-knead-to-know-science-behind-bread.html
I absolutely love homemade bread. This looks SO perfect!!
I love ciabatta, such a gorgeous bread!
So glad this takes AP flour, I have all the ingredients on hand. Bread and butter for dinner tomorrow.
This bread is very good. It took time, but is so worth it. I let the sponge sit 24 hours. This recipe is a keeper.
Hi, can this be made with soy milk to make it vegan??
Hi Cynthia, I’m not sure how a soy milk would affect the recipe, if at all. If you give it a try, please let me know how it turns out!
Michelle, although I am not vegan, I use soy or almond milk in many of my baked goods because I prefer to avoid the saturated fats found in many animal products. I find the plant milks also have less sugar than cows milk, so you might find you’ll need to adjust your recipes a bit. Please ignore uninformed and uneducated Internet “trolls” whose only intent is to stir controversy. Plant-based proteins are far easier on our kidneys and gut than animal based products. Our teeth patterns indicate we are plant eaters, not carnivores! And yes, I have a little education…I’m an RN and clinical analyst.
Or you could be healthy and use actual milk. Being a vegan isn’t healthy at all. Quit spreading around all this vegan crap. Most animals are meant to be eaten. It’s the way humans were designed. You cannot survive without protein. Jesus Christ.
This is probably the most ignorant comment I have ever read. Educate yourself, please.
OMG!! Agreed!! It’s people like her that all we vegans must protect the animals and the planet from!!! :/
We weren’t designed, we evolved, perhaps that’s a different argument but I believe that. Hence, if we evolved to eat meat because we had to, could we not further evolve to not eat meat now we don’t have to? (Eating steak tonight, won’t give up my meat because someone disagrees with me.)
But I will defend someone who wants to make that choice.
Go vegan if you want to. Just eat right.
Good gosh watch the documentary Forks Over Knives or What The Health and then you’ll see how ridiculous your comment sounds…..
Love ciabatta rolls and can’t always find them at the super market bakery. I can’t wait to try this recipe.
What a beautiful loaf!! I wish I could make such a wonderful bread. This looks amazing. I bet smells so good too :)
Nothing is better than freshly baked bread! I absolutely love baking bread and am always looking for a new recipe. This ciabatta looks amazing !! Pinning this and can’t wait to try it out!
I love homemade bread so much, and my goal is to master it this year. There’s just nothing like the smell as it bakes, and how comforting a nice, warm slice is. :) Ciabatta is one of my favorite breads, and yours looks fantastic!
Oh yes – dangerously delicious! This is a beautiful load and it would not last long at my house either. Bravo!
You made this look so easy!!
I am travelling at the moment so I hope to get into bread making when i’m home :)
Thanks for sharing!
Anisa – The Macadame. xx
I need to make my own ciabatta more often! Yours looks amazing!
Oh man as soon as I saw this I just HAD to get it started tonight! Got the sponge on whilst making dinner, can’t wait for morning to get started!
I think ciabatta is my all time favorite bread. Paninis! I’m so happy that I’ve finally conquered it in my own kitchen too. Bread making is definitely one of my passions. :)
Have a wonderful Monday!
Ciabatta has to be my favortite crusty bread. I used to work near a Portuguese bakery that made it twice a week…Tuesday and Friday. In addition , there was a store nearby that carried a fresh, soft white cheese on Fridays. My assistant would often stop on her way to work and pick up both for our lunch. She loved spreading a spicy condiment on her serving but I loved the combination of warm bread and plain, delicious cheese…so delicious. Your recipe brought back all of thos yummy memories. I will have to give this recioe a try but I don’t have a stand mixer so I have to figure out how to mix this…by hand I guess.
I looooove the look of this bread! Ciabatta is one of my all time fav breads!
I love ciabatta bread! This looks amazing
I can’t wait to try this! Ciabatta is one of my very favorite breads – it can transform any standard sandwich into extraordinary, can’t it? Looks so lovely. There’s nothing like the chew of ciabatta!
I wish your blog was around when I first attempted this! I simply love this with herby olive oil and a slice of fresh mozzarella. You bread is divine!
I love making bread, homemade bread is just so much better than store bought. I’ve considered making ciabatta before, but I heard somewhere it was quite difficult, so I’d been put off, but reading this recipe it seems a lot easier than I thought, I just need to be prepared. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely be giving this a try some day soon :)
Ohh my godddd….
I fell in love with this sticky sponge bread…
I am dreaming to eat that with some italian soup:)
Thanks a lot for sharing dear michelle.
I am sure that i will give it a try as soon as possible:-X
Michelle this looks delicious. I will have to give this a try. Looks delish
Homemade bread is absolutely my #1 weakness. This looks so yummy, I love all the air pockets. = )