Ciabatta Bread

This is a first for me, so hopefully it works out! This takes a little planning ahead and slightly more effort to make than your average loaf. The dough requires a starter – which is so easy and low maintenance. I found this recipe around 9 last night and threw it together in a couple of minutes. All it had to do was sit, covered for up to 15 hours. I waited about 12 to finish the dough up – which is made so much easier with my trusty digital scale and KitchenAid mixer. This dough is much more wet and sticky than any dough I have used lately. It’s similar to a no-knead dough – both are moist, stringy and sticky. Oil your hands, tools and work surfaces generously; and even the oil doesn’t keep it all from sticking, but it is a big help. This dough is also a slow-rising dough, so again – plan ahead. There is the overnight bit, the two hour first rise, the 60 to 90 minute second rise and then finally the 20 minute baking time. Like I said earlier – I really hope that this works out! 😉

Verdict:  This was great for my first try – I learned a lot about this dough, so I will be more prepared next time. Because of the overnight starter, the flavor is reminiscent of a sourdough bread. I’d say overall this was a successful attempt at an artisan bread. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ciabatta Ingredients – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Overnight starter


  • all of the starter (from above)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions –
1) To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Cover the starter and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for up to 15 hours. It will become bubbly.
2) Place all of the dough ingredients, including the starter, into the bowl of your mixer, and beat at medium speed, using the flat beater, for 7 minutes. The dough will be very smooth, soft, shiny, and elastic. Alternatively, knead the dough ingredients in your bread machine using the dough cycle.

3) Transfer the dough to a greased bowl or other rising container, cover it, and let it rise for 2 hours, deflating it midway through. If you’re using a bread machine, allow it to rise for an additional hour after the dough cycle has ended.

4) Lightly grease your work surface, and a half-sheet baking pan (18″ x 13″) or similar large baking sheet. Grease your hands, as well.

5) Very gently turn the dough out of the bowl onto your work surface; you don’t want to deflate it. It’ll lose a bit of volume, but don’t actively punch it down.

6) Using a bowl scraper, bench knife, or your fingers, divide the dough in half. You should have two fat logs, each about 10″ long x 4″ wide.

7) Handling the dough gently, transfer each piece to the baking sheet, laying them down crosswise on the sheet. Position them about 2 1/2″ from the edge of the pan, leaving about 4″ between them.

8.) Lightly cover the dough with heavily oiled plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. Midway through, gently but firmly dimple the dough with your fingers, making fairly deep pockets. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

9) Spritz the risen loaves with lukewarm water. You’ll see that the dimples have filled in somewhat, but haven’t entirely disappeared.

10) Bake the loaves till they’re golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.