Ciabatta Bread is a flattened rustic Italian white bread with a crisp crust and a soft, springy crumb baked to a golden brown. Use the bread for this Easy Chicken Caprese Sandwich.
Ciabatta translates to ‘slipper’ in Italian. It comes from its flattened, slipper-like shape. It is made from a sticky, wet dough that is barely kneaded. It is delicious as sandwich bread, dipped in a bowl of Roasted Red Pepper Soup, or simply served with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is also a great bread to use when making homemade croutons!
Ciabatta Bread Ingredients
With just five ingredients, you can get the crusty, airy bread made. However, you do have to plan ahead since the dough does have to sit 16-24 hours as well as have an additional hour of rising time.
Flour: I used all-purpose flour in this recipe.
Salt: 2 teaspoons table salt are needed.
Yeast: I used active dry yeast. You could also get by using rapid-rise (instant) yeast.
Water: The water temperature should be around 113°F.
Cornmeal: The yellow cornmeal on the baking sheets keeps the bread from sticking as well as adds some texture to the bread.
Ciabatta Bread Dough
To get started making this bread, first, in a large bowl add the flour, salt, yeast, and warm water. Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until they are incorporated. The dough will be wet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it set in a warm dry place for at least 16 hours, up to 24 hours.
After the dough has had time to set, liberally flour a work surface. Pour the dough out onto the floured surface and separate the dough into two equal pieces.
How to Make Ciabatta Bread
To shape each of the ciabatta bread loaves, first, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle the parchment with cornmeal. Take one of the pieces of dough and use a bench scraper and your hand to lift it over the parchment paper. (You can just use your hands, too.) Let the center of the dough droop onto the paper and fold over the left side followed by folding over the right side.
Shape the dough into approximately an 8×4-inch rectangle. Repeat with the other half of the dough on the second prepared baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle the tops of the loaves with flour and cover each with plastic wrap. Let the loaves sit for about an hour. Please note that the loaves will not double in size; they will simply puff out a bit.
Once the loaves have ‘puffed out’ during the hour, bake them at 425°F for 22-25 minutes. The bread is done when tapping on the crust gives you a hollow sound. Let it cool completely before cutting and serving.
How to Store Ciabatta Bread
To store Ciabatta bread, let the loaves cool completely. Then, place in a bread box or wrap in aluminum foil. The bread will last 2-3 days at room temperature. (Do not store the bread in the refrigerator.) To freeze the loaves, let them cool completely and wrap them (either in slices or whole loaves) in freezer wrap or aluminum foil. Then, store them in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Be sure to label and date the container.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water, approximately 113°F
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- In a large bowl add flour, salt, yeast, and water. Mix together until all ingredients are incorporated. (The dough will be wet.)
- Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, dry area for 16-24 hours.
- When ready, use a spatula to fold the dough over a few times inside of the bowl.
- Liberally flour a work surface and pour out the dough onto the floured surface. Use your hands to divide the dough into two equal-sized pieces.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle both with cornmeal. Using a bench scraper and your hand (or just using both hands), lift one of the halves of dough over one of the lined baking sheets. Let the middle of the dough sag and touch the parchment and fold in each side. Then, shape the dough into a rectangle (approximately 8×4-inches). Repeat with the other half of the dough onto the second prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle a little flour over the loaves and loosely cover them with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again (about 1 hour).
- When ready, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bake the loaves for 22-25 minutes. The bread is done when tapping on the loaves result in a hollow sound. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
Did you make this recipe?
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