Ciabatta Bake-off

Let's see lots of ciabatta(s?) in October and beyond. Check out the ciabatta threads here ---> Dom's, Jeremy'sRobert's blog . I haven't made one for a long time myself. Would be looking forward to see the size and shape of your slippers. ;)



The whole wheat flour is adding a really interesting touch - I don't think they normally make ciabatta with whole wheat (but hey, I believe traditional ciabatta uses a yeast biga, anyway, rather than sourdough).  Very cute dogbones indeed! :)

Doggone it! (couldn't resist)...those are darn good-looking bread!


They look pretty delicious to me... What what kind of flour did you use?

You really are what you eat, so eat wisely...

In the book "Local Breads" it looks like he grabs the ends of the dough and stretches it out before baking it.  To me is looked like this made the ends of the Ciabatta bigger.  Anyway I took that idea of shaping to whole new level it seems.

Celia, Wikipedia says that Ciabatta made with whole wheat is "Ciabatta Integrale"

Millciti, The flour is fresh home mill Red Winter Wheat.

Thanks to all the rest for the comments.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot


Details later....must run...

TP it looks really yummy.  Good thing I have some Ciabatta to go and eat so your picture doesn't cause me to drool to much.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot


Looks like you have created Ciabatta Perfection there, absolutely sensational TP!

Gorgeous crumb, girlfriend!

But I am happy with its crumb and taste.

Also used Dom's formula  (1.5X recipe) but upped the hydration slightly more till it was really batter-ish. Fun! But this time I took my time with bulk fermentation, a total of 5 hours with hourly fold and turns using a scrapper and plenty of EVOO. I really like to play with soft dough. Then I cut into 4 pieces, no forming, just slight pulling to get a rectangular shape. Proved for 20 mins to 1.5 hrs, because I had 3 rounds of baking to do.

We ate more than we should (oops)...I need to go and make more now for friends tomorrow. Ta!


My recent attempt at ciabatta can be found here:

I used a double hydration technique to enable the hand mixing of the highly hydrated dough.

I thought that this Pumpkin bread might fit in with a Ciabatta even though it isn't shaped like a slipper. It is at 72 % hydration. I also made a version covered with pumpkin seeds that was interesting to look at.



To make it manageable I did a fold every hour during bulk proofing.


Great holes!!!  Those are some beautiful loaves... Us Ta resa's must think alike.  I have some more set up to Bake tomorrow!


You really are what you eat, so eat wisely...

Lovely!! A crumb I'd love to eat by tearing and appreciating the network formation.


I had this dough and though I would like to make a crown with it.  When I was shaping it I got this crazy idea to make a Ciabatta Crown.  I wonder what kind of foot that slipper goes on?

Ciabatta Crown

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot


Anklet, more like it. Really thinking out of the shoe box, LD! I like.

Oh that is really one big anklet and tasty too.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot


You folks are awesome, I wish I could make bread with holes.  Just doesn't happen... Do you really think its the stretching?   Great site... Wonderful shots.  
Tell us more about your bread formula and how you make your bread. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can. Jump in.


Ciabatta scared me so bad that it was a year and a half before I finally tried making it.  This now is one of my favorite breads to make.  It even seems easy to make for me.  Like TP said what is your formula that you are using?  I found that I got better holes after I started handling the dough gently and not pressing all of the CO2 gas out of the dough.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot


Get them to make ciabatta! :D  ;)

Welcome to the forum TV.  :-)

I think the holes come from a combination of a very active starter, high hydration, good gluten development through kneading, folding to further develop the gluten, adequate bulk fermentation adequate proving and very gentle handling when placing the loaves into the oven.

If I can make a rough approximation of ciabatta then anyone can!

Here's my latest Ciabatta. Very light. It had a small amount of white sourdough in it. Made quite a difference.


Nils's ciabatta
A friend came over today to learn how to make bread so I showed him how to make Ciabatta.  He is Italian and loved the Ciabatta that I gave him before.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot


Ciabatta is made with an extremely soft dough and proved for at least eight hours. I proof mine overnight in the frig and then give it a warm up and rise in the morning. Its sticky so flour it well and bake it on semolina. It will come out quite flat but with a delicious flavour owing to the long proving. If you want it crusty(Not trad) then start with a 250 oven and a cast iron frypan in  the oven bottom in which you put half a cup of water as you place the bread and shut the oven door fast. Seal the vent lightly to hold the steam. Remember that steam is invisible at high temps so keep your hands and face clear of the oven door when you open it. When you place the bread in the oven turn the temp to 180 and after about ten minutes the oven will come on again. keep your eye on the bread and when browned to your satisfaction remove and cool on a tray. You can spray the bread with water before baking to further promote crust. Alternatively you can use a sponge overnight and mix dough in the morning rising twice and then as above for baking.
I must try to make ciabatta too...tried yesterday sourdough but didn't get too big holes, just big...I messed up trying to shape. Will try again today, I have to buy some flour!!

I tried 70% hydration, then hand kneaded, then added water to 80% hydration and it was quite promising...I should have used yeast to get better results...