Sourdough Ciabatta

Cam the Baker Man

It's now been a couple of months with my new starter and I must say a big thanks to SourDom for his instructions on how to get a starter going.  I followed his basic method and it worked great first time - even in the middle of a Melbourne winter.


I have now made a sourdough ciabatta about 4 times.  Firstly with the following ingredients

500g flour

150g starter (100% hydration - 70% white, 30% rye)

350g water

10g salt

The photos attached are of this recipe.  I then tried to replace some of the water with avacado oil and then olive oil.  This seemed to detract from the crust and chew of the final product and not really add any flavour.  Would love to hear from others if they have used oil in their ciabatta and how they got it to work.

I tried again without the oil and the crust, chew and crumb all returned to what a ciabatta should be.

I would love to hear from others on their attempts, tips and tricks on how to make a successful ciabatta sourdough as this is my families favourite bread.


andrewd 2010 September 13

Hi Cam,

I've tried Andrew Whitely's partial sourdough ciabatta (see my blog post). It uses 5.5% oil.

I've never tried it without oil but I imagine it would lose the softness. Now you've mentioned it though, I think I'll give it a go.

On a side note, I can only see your pictures as a thumbnail in the blog post listing, not in the full blog post.



Cam the Baker Man 2010 September 14


Thanks for the % of oil that you use.  I'll have to try it again with this %.  Do you use the same quantities of water or do yo ureduce the water?

I've looked at your ciabatta blog a number of times trying to compare it to mine.  It looks very similar to the one I made with the oil.  You are right it is softer with the oil. Without the oil it is still soft but a bit chewier.

Maedi told me that I forgot to insert the picture so now I've inserted them.

Thanks for you tip.


Hamish 2010 September 14

This bread looks brilliant, just the sort of bread that I am looking to produce. Could you please post the times that you used for cooking,proving etc.  Thanks heaps



andrewd 2010 September 14

 I don't change the water % when I include oil. Here's the formula:

  • Flour 100%
  • Sponge 83% (100% hydration with equal parts white and wholemeal flours and 0.02% fresh yeast)
  • Rye sourdough starter 28% (200% hydration)
  • Oil 5.5%
  • Salt 2%
  • Water 61%



Cam the Baker Man 2010 September 16

Hey Hamish, glad you like the bread.  Hopefully I'll make some more this weekend and I think I'll try Andrew's formula.

I usually make up the dough on a Friday night and bake on Saturday.

Mix dough and leave for 30 min to bulk prove.

Air knead for about 10min and then leave for a further 30 min in bowl covered with cling wrap.

I then leave it in the fridge overnight and take it out in the morning before heading out to swimming lessons.  When I get back I divided the dough into 2 or 3 and place on baking paper and cover allowing to rest for a further 2 hours.

Once done I mist the top of the bread and bake on a pizza stone for 25-30 min in a 250 degree oven with the fan turned off.  I also throw in about 5 ice cubes to a tray which has been in the oven while preheating to try and give more steam.

I've also made this bread by making the dough on Thurday night and leaving it in the fridge overnight, then taking it out before work.  When I get home I then shape and bake late on the Friday night as per above.  This give a long prove at room tempreature so I got a very good rise (at least double in volume).

Hope it works for you.  Still trying to get it consistent myself.

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2010 September 19

Hey Cam - your ciabatta looks great! 

I had a wild frenzy of making it a while back, and even posted some pictures in a blog.  I used two different recipes one from this website - Johnny's ciabatta integrale - and the other was rolls from Susan's Wild Yeast website.  Both turned out really well!  The photos on my blog are from the Wild Yeast recipe.

Give both of these a try, I know you won't be disappointed.  Both recipes made wonderful bread.  Johnny's did include some yeast but no oil, and Susan's contains oil, but is straight SD.


Happiness is making bread

amber108 2015 May 2

These are my sourdough ciabatta I also made a brown one with some whole wheat, spelt and toasted wheatgerm. I have to say wet doughs are my preference