Try this Ciabatta bread recipe! It’s so easy, and hands-off you’ll be making rustic bakery-style bread at home in no time flat. But you’ll have to follow the directions AND all my tips. It’s work but it’s also doable.
Even if you’ve never baked bread before!
This easy-to-follow bread recipe will give you 4 nice size loaves of chewy ciabatta. If you’re looking for a different and perhaps easier bakery bread to try maybe check out the simple Tomato Focaccia Recipe in my post How to Make Focaccia!
Ciabatta Bread Recipe
It’s true this is an EASY recipe for bakery-style bread, but you’ve got to follow the directions. I’ve baked it a couple of times now and when I do, I follow the exact directions as given by Mr. Paul Hollywood himself.
The very hardest part of the entire process is moving the bread from the counter to the baking sheets.
Tips For This Ciabatta Recipe
Ciabatta is a SUPER soft dough. It wants to stretch out and get all weird so here’s how to handle that:
- flour the counter
- flour the top well
- flour your bench scraper well
- cut decisively
- turn it a 1/4 turn to get the cutting line down the top
- gather it firmly in hand, don’t let it drag
- move to the baking sheet
- and lay it down.
I can’t recommend a kitchen scale enough for making ANY bread at home, it gives you absolute control over the
This recipe calls for 500 grams of bread flour. It’s hard to measure by scooping cups out but if you’re going that route be sure to run a spoon through the flour first to lighten it up. Sifting can make it TOO light and airy and give you a false measurement if you’re using cups so lighten with a spoon don’t sift!
If you make this Ciabatta Bread Recipe here’s a few ways to get better at it:
- Watch the Masterclass with Paul and Mary on Netflix for a solid walkthrough of a Ciabatta Bread Recipe.
- And then watch Collection One of the GBBO, bread week for the technical challenge of making ciabatta.
- Practice Practice Practice!
Lot’s of good information tucked in those episodes and of course, they’re always fun to watch no matter what.
One thing that’s interesting about Paul and his bread making is that he calls for tepid water, not warm. He says it allows the bread to develop more flavor. I’ve tried that with every trial of this recipe and I have to say it IS tasty bread.
My kids will back me up on that too because they’ve enjoyed all the ciabatta I’ve made this week perfecting the technique. No, it’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting closer.
Bread Making Tips
- lighten your flour before scooping it to get the most accurate measurement possible
- do not let this over prove, doubled in size is where you want to work from
- dust your counter with flour before turning the dough out
Notes on Active Dry Yeast VS Quick Rise or Instant Yeast
Join our GBBO Bake-Along group on facebook for all the best baking support! This page has ALL the information you need to join the group.
- 500 grams bread flour, if you're scooping flour lighten it, you'll need about 4 cups- a little more for dusting the counter
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 440 ml tepid water, not warm, not ice cold
- olive oil, for greasing the proofing container
- *optional*corn meal, for dusting
- measure the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, put yeast on one side of the bowl, salt on the other
- fit the mixer with a dough hook
- pour 3/4 of the water in the bowl, set the machine on low and let it mix
- once it's started to mix in, slowly add the remaining water
- then let the mixer work until a very soft dough has formed
- use the olive oil to grease a 2-3 liter tub with a lid, glass or plastic
- put the dough in the box, cover and let rise slowly at room temperature until at least doubled in size
- once the dough has risen prepare two baking trays with parchment, or dust with flour
- dust a clean counter with flour and if using sprinkle a little corn meal over the flour
- turn the dough box completely over and turn dough out in a square, it will spread a bit, resist the urge to knock it back or punch it down, let it keep all its lovely bubbles
- dust the top with more flour
- using a bench scraper cut the square in half, then cut each half in half so you have 4 equal lengths of dough
- take each length firmly in hand, turn it over slightly so the cut runs along the top, and place on prepared baking trays
- place two loaves on each tray and let them rest uncovered for 25 minutes
- preheat the oven to 430˚ after 15 minutes of resting
- once the oven is hot, place the baking trays in the oven and bake the ciabatta for 25 minutes or until they sound hollow when you thump them
- you need a stand mixer for this recipe
- I have found the even with weighing flour sometimes the dough is just too wet, an extra 25 grams of flour helps a lot
- you will also need a square plastic box for proofing your dough, it helps with loaf shape, I used a good cooks box about 6x6 inches
- you could proof it in 2 smaller rectangles as well and just cut each rectangle in half
- a bench scraper is helpful for cutting the dough
- I originally made this recipe with cornmeal but once I ran out of it, I just kept making it without cornmeal and it works just fine!
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