top of page


Updated: Oct 24, 2021

The Ciabatta bread was created in 1982 by the Italian baker Arnaldo Cavallari as an alternative to French baguettes, the tastier and most popular bread for making sandwiches at that time. The secret ingredient of the ciabatta is water (a lot of it), and a two steps procedure to prepare the dough. The result is a soft and wet dough, that after baking results in a soft, light, and crunchy bread.

​Difficulty level:

Cooking Time:

​40 minutes

Oven Temperature:


​Cooking Method:

Static Oven, With Water (Ice Cubes)

Ingredients for1,8Kg of dough:

Using Sourdough Starter

To prepare the poolish:

  • 220g Strong White Flour (W300, P/L0,5/0,6)

  • 280g Water

  • 100g Sourdough Starter

To prepare the dough:

  • All the poolish

  • 500g Strong White Flour (W300, P/L0,5/0,6)

  • 330g Water

  • 3g Malt

  • 125g Sourdough Starter

  • 18g Salt

Using Dried Yeast

To prepare the poolish:

  • 300g Strong White Flour (W300, P/L0,5/0,6)

  • 300g Water

  • 5g Dried Yeast

To prepare the dough:

  • All the poolish

  • 600g Strong White Flour (W300, P/L0,5/0,6)

  • 375g Water

  • 3g Malt

  • 12g Dried Yeast

  • 18g Salt

This recipe requires some time to make due to the fermentation of the poolish and the dough raising. Start preparing the poolish the morning before the baking, in the evening you can knead the dough and let it raising overnight.


Prepare the poolish:

  1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the water. If you’re using the natural yeast put the yeast in the bowl with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water and start kneading it. Add more water as the yeast absorbs it and becomes more liquid; continue until it is almost liquid and you can add all the remaining water without forming lumps.

  2. Add the flour and mix all together until you the poolish looks like yogurt.

  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and place it in a dry place at room temperature (about 18-20°C) for about 12 hours.

  4. The poolish must raise until the surface collapse.

Prepare the dough:

  1. In the mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in water.

  2. Add the poolish, the flour and start kneading it. If you use a stand mixer attach the dough hook and mix at speed 2 for about 20 minutes.

  3. Add the salt and continue kneading for about 10 minutes, the dough will become smooth and elastic. Because of the high quantity of water it will not completely stay on the hook.

  4. Cover the mixing bowl and leave the dough resting for about 1 hour.

  5. Transfer the dough into a glass bowl and fold it 5 or 6 times directly in the bowl.

  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and place it in a warm and dry place at room temperature (about 18-20°C) for about 12 hours, or until the dough has doubled its volume.

  7. Place some re-milled semolina flour on the working surface and put the dough on it. After the raising the dough will be very soft, try not to crush it. Cut the dough using a dough scrapping spatula to pieces the size of a slipper (that’s the form that inspired the Italian name: ciabatta) and place every piece on a baking tray.

  8. Leave the pieces to raise for about 2 hours.

  9. Put a small pot with 5 or 6 ice cubes in the oven and preheat the oven to 200°C.

  10. Bake the ciabatta bread for 35-40 minutes at 200°C.

This is a very hydrated dough and it may be very sticky and so soft you cannot give it any shape.

My suggestion is to ensure you use a good flour (I gave the technical characteristic of the flour in the list of ingredients. Check also my post about the flour in the techniques section).

You can also switch the amount of water between the Poolish and the Dough, this will allow the flour to better absorb the water.

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page