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4.50 from 12 votes

Ciabatta

This delicious homemade Italian Ciabatta Bread is super crusty on the outside and perfectly chewy soft on the inside! It’s made using basic pantry ingredients, requires no special bread making skills, and bakes up in just about an hour!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rising Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 25 mins
Course: Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bread recipe, ciabatta, ciabatta bread, ciabatta recipe
Servings: 16
Calories: 263kcal

Ingredients

  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups water warm, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast

Instructions

  • In a medium size bowl combine the warm water (95°F-105°F) with the yeast. Stir it well. In another large bowl mix the flour with the salt together. Pour in the yeast mixture over the flour. Using a wooden spoon or spatula to stir everything together to form a shaggy dough.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest in a warm environment for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, grab a quarter of the dough from underneath, then lift up and stretch it until the dough resists. Fold it over and onto itself, then press down to secure the dough in place. Repeat the process 3 times, working around the perimeter of the dough ball, until you’ve completed a full turn. This process develops the dough's gluten and increases elasticity.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat the process again of folding and resting for another 3 times. You'll notice as you keep stretching the dough, that the dough becomes more elastic and easier to stretch.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and place a pan with water in the bottom rack. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • After a total of 2 hours and 4 rounds in total of stretching the dough, transfer the dough onto a very well floured surface. Be careful to not deflate all the bubbles in the dough. The dough is very sticky, so flour your hands really well, the top of the dough and the work surface. Stretch the dough to form a rectangle so that your dough is about 1½ inches in thickness. Using a well floured bench scraper, cut the dough into smaller rectangles or squares. You can get anywhere from 16 to 24 pieces, depending on size.
  • Using 2 well floured work scrapers carefully transfer each rectangle of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between each piece of dough.
  • Allow the ciabatta rectangles to proof for another 30 minutes on the counter.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the ciabatta is golden brown.
  • Repeat the same baking process with the other baking sheet.

Notes

  1. Check the date on your yeast. The main reason that bread doesn't rise properly is due to yeast that has expired. So if in doubt just buy some fresh yeast.
  2. Don't handle the dough. When forming the dough, be especially careful not to deflate any of the bubbles, which are what make the ciabatta soft and chewy.
  3. Use the pan of water. Do not forget to place a pan of water on the bottom rack when you preheat the oven. This is what makes the bread super crusty on the outside.
  4. Bake one sheet at a time. Do not bake both baking sheets of bread at the same time. You need enough space in the oven for the pan of water and for the hot air to circulate.
  5. Ciabatta bread will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days in a container or bag. It also keeps really well in the freezer for up to 3 months in a sealed freezer bag.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 3mg