Italian Ciabatta Bread Recipe

Elvis Elvis

Ciabatta” is an Italian word literally meaning “carpet slipper”, from the shape of this delicious bread. Ciabatta bread was originally produced in the Liguria area of Italy, but it’s now nearly ubiquitous.

So widespread, in fact, that McDonald’s even has a selection of ciabatta breads used for popular sandwiches!

So pour yourself a nice cup of espresso, turn on the soccer (aka football) game and make a nice ciabatta sandwich!


“Type 00 flour” is one of five flour types made in Italian mills (the others are 0, 1, 2 and integrale). The 00 group are the softest, finest, Italian flours; they are very finely ground like a fine powder and are very white. They have the most refinement done to them and the least fibre remaining.

Every mill in Italy makes several different kinds of Type 00, as flour in this category can be milled from hard wheat (durum wheat) or soft wheat.

Overnight preparation

  • 15g (1/2 oz) yeast
  • 190ml (7fl oz) water
  • 250g (9oz) Italian type ’00′ flour

To finish the bread

  • 10g (1/2 oz) yeast
  • 250g (9oz) Italian type ’00′ flour
  • 190ml (7fl oz) water
  • 12g (1/2 oz) salt

Italian Ciabatta Bread Recipe

Mix the “overnight” portion of the flour with the water in a large bowl and add the yeast. Whisk for three minutes and leave to rise overnight (or at least eight hours).

To finish, add remaining yeast and flour to the bread mixture and mix well.

Gradually add the rest of the water to the bread mixture. When nearly all water has been added, add the salt to the remaining water and mix together for a further five minutes, until a sticky dough is formed.

Transfer dough into a large oiled bowl and leave to rise for one hour.

Transfer the dough to a heavily floured work surface and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 240C (465F).

Cut dough into three strips and stretch them out to make long, flat ciabatta loaf shapes.

Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and leave for ten minutes.

Transfer the dough to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.