Italian Ciabatta Bread Recipe

Master the art of Italian Ciabatta bread making with our authentic recipe. Create crusty, airy loaves at home. Start baking today!

Italian Ciabatta Bread

    Italian Ciabatta Bread

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Category: Bread
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 2 loaves
  • Calories: 80 calories

Ciabatta bread is a beloved staple in Italian cuisine known for its rustic, chewy, and slightly crisp crust. Its name, "ciabatta," translates to "slipper" in Italian, a reference to its elongated, flattish shape. This bread's origin can be traced back to the Veneto region of Italy, and it has gained worldwide popularity for its unique texture and versatility.

The key characteristics of Ciabatta are its open crumb structure and a delightful balance of softness and crustiness. It's made with simple ingredients: high-protein bread flour, water, salt, and yeast. What sets Ciabatta apart is its high hydration dough, resulting in a wet, sticky, and slack consistency. The dough is known for its long fermentation process, allowing for complex flavors to develop.

Ciabatta is used in various culinary applications. It's perfect for making sandwiches due to its airy crumb, making it an excellent vehicle for various fillings. Additionally, it pairs wonderfully with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or dips. Whether served as a side with pasta or used as a base for bruschetta, Ciabatta's rustic charm and delicious taste have made it an enduring favorite not only in Italy but around the world.


Discover the secrets to perfect homemade Italian Ciabatta bread! Unleash your inner baker with our step-by-step guide to Ciabatta perfection. 🥖👩‍🍳


  • 500g (about 4 cups) bread flour
  • 10g (2 tsp) salt
  • 7g (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 400ml (1 2/3 cups) lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the lukewarm water and yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy. This means the yeast is activated.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, then pour in the activated yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix until it forms a sticky dough.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for about 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise for about 1-2 hours, or until it's doubled in size.
  5. Once the dough has risen, divide it into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a rectangle or oval. You can use more flour to prevent sticking if needed.
  6. Place the shaped loaves onto a floured surface or a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover them with a cloth and let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven while it's preheating.
  8. Before baking, dust the loaves with a bit of flour and make a few diagonal cuts on top with a sharp knife. Carefully transfer the loaves to the hot oven (or onto the baking stone if using) and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until they're golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Let the Ciabatta loaves cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Recipe Video

Italian Ciabatta Bread

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Recipe Tags: Italian Ciabatta Bread, Italian Ciabatta Bread Recipe, Recipe


Italian Ciabatta bread can be served in a variety of delicious ways, thanks to its versatile and flavorful nature. Here are some popular serving suggestions:

  • Dipping Bread: Serve freshly baked or toasted Ciabatta with a side of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can also add herbs, spices, or grated Parmesan cheese to the oil for added flavor.
  • Bruschetta: Slice Ciabatta into thick pieces, toast them, and then rub with a garlic clove. Top with diced tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper for a classic bruschetta.
  • Sandwiches: Ciabatta's chewy crust and airy crumb make it an ideal choice for sandwiches. Fill it with a variety of ingredients like cured meats, cheeses, roasted vegetables, and spreads.
  • Panini: Turn Ciabatta into delicious panini by adding your favorite sandwich fillings, then press and grill until the bread is crispy and the filling is warm and melty.
  • Crostini: Slice Ciabatta into thin rounds, toast them, and top with various toppings like goat cheese and honey, smoked salmon and cream cheese, or any creative combination you like.
  • Sop Up Sauces: Ciabatta is perfect for soaking up the sauces from stews, soups, and pasta dishes. Its absorbent texture makes it an excellent companion to hearty dishes.
  • Cheese and Charcuterie Platter: Serve slices of Ciabatta alongside a selection of cheeses, cured meats, olives, and fruits for a delightful appetizer or light meal.
  • Toasted with Garlic Butter: Make a simple garlic bread by slicing Ciabatta, spreading it with garlic butter, and toasting it until it's golden brown and fragrant.
  • Salads: Ciabatta croutons add a delightful crunch to salads. Cube the bread, toss it with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and bake until crispy.
  • Serve with Soup: Enjoy Ciabatta with a bowl of classic Italian minestrone or other soups. Dip the bread or float it on top for a satisfying meal.


  1. High-Quality Ingredients: Use good quality bread flour, as it contains more protein which is essential for the bread's structure. Also, use high-quality olive oil, as it can add a subtle richness to the bread.
  2. Weigh Your Ingredients: Baking is a science, and using a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients in grams is more accurate than using volume measurements (cups). This precision can significantly impact your results.
  3. Proper Kneading: Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic. This step is crucial for developing the bread's gluten structure. You'll know it's ready when the dough is no longer sticky and has a springy texture.
  4. Rising Time: Be patient during the rising stages. Let the dough double in size during the first rise and give it time for the second rise. This allows for better flavor development.
  5. Steam in the Oven: To achieve a crisp crust, create steam in your oven. You can do this by placing a pan of hot water on the oven's lower rack or by using a spray bottle to mist the oven walls with water when you first put the bread in.
  6. Preheat Your Baking Surface: If you have a baking stone or steel, preheat it in the oven before placing the loaves on it. This helps to achieve a beautiful, crispy bottom crust.
  7. Score the Bread: Make sure to score the loaves with a sharp knife or razor before baking. This allows the bread to expand properly during baking and gives it a characteristic appearance.
  8. Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the bread while it's baking. The timing can vary depending on your oven. Look for a golden-brown color and a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the loaves to know they're done.
  9. Cooling: Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. Cutting it while it's still hot can make it gummy. Freshly baked bread will continue to cook a little as it cools.
  10. Storage: Store any leftover Ciabatta in a paper bag or a bread box to maintain its crustiness. Avoid sealing it in plastic, which can make it soggy.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Flour: If you don't have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour as a substitute. Just keep in mind that bread flour has a higher protein content, which contributes to the bread's structure and chewiness. All-purpose flour will work but may yield a slightly different texture.
  2. Yeast: If you don't have active dry yeast, you can use instant yeast in its place. The conversion is usually 1:1, so if the recipe calls for 7g of active dry yeast, you can use 7g of instant yeast.
  3. Olive Oil: You can substitute olive oil with other oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, or even melted butter if you prefer a different flavor.
  4. Salt: If you want to reduce your salt intake, you can use a smaller amount or consider using sea salt or kosher salt in place of table salt for a slightly different flavor.
  5. Water: In place of lukewarm water, you can use lukewarm milk or a mixture of milk and water. This can add a subtle richness to the bread's flavor.
  6. Flavor Variations: You can customize your Ciabatta by adding herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, to the dough for a different flavor profile.
  7. Gluten-Free Options: If you need a gluten-free version, you can try a gluten-free bread flour blend and add xanthan gum to help with the texture.


From your first delicious bite to sharing with loved ones, Ciabatta embodies the essence of Italian cuisine. Start baking and savor the tradition!

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