Easy Ciabatta Bread Recipe (2024)

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Easy ciabatta bread recipe or Italian “slipper bread ”. Authentic, homemade fromscratch, veganandperfect to dunk in a hearty bowl of soup.

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what is ciabatta bread ?

Originally from the Veneto area, ciabatta is a rustic Italian bread made with an overnight starter and cooked just like a pizza on a preheated pizza stone or in a wood fired pizza oven. Invented by Francesco Favaron in 1982, it is the perfect bread for sandwiches a.k.a panini, bruschetta or just to dip in your favorite sauces.

Very easy to make at home using a mixer, but you will need to plan in advance for the starter or Biga. Don’t be intimated, this is a sticky wet dough hence those nice holes, so just roll with it, the mixer will do all the work for you. Don’t be tempted to add extra flour, trust the process and all will be well!

Are there eggs & dairy in ciabatta bread ?

Egg and dairy free, ciabatta is a vegan bread made with water, flour and yeast.

what do you use ciabatta bread for ?

make sandwiches / panini

garlic bread

dunk into your favorite soup or sauce

top with pesto, tomatoes & olives

use in stuffing

enjoy fresh.

how to make easy ciabatta bread recipe from scratch:

Step 1: Prepare the “ biga “or sponge at least 12 hours in advance and up to 24 hours.

Step 2: Make theciabatta dough in the mixer.

Step 3: Let the dough rise.

Step 4: Form 2 long loaves and allow to rise again a second time.

Step 5: Bake the bread.

P.S. As always if you make this recipe please come back here to rate, snap a photo and tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram, I love seeing what you make. ~ Florentina Xo’s

Easy Ciabatta Bread Recipe (6)

5 from 5 votes

Easy Ciabatta Bread

Easy ciabatta bread recipe or Italian “ slipper bread ”. Authentic, homemade from scratch, vegan and perfect to dunk in a hearty bowl of soup.

Print Recipe

Prep Time:15 minutes mins

Cook Time:25 minutes mins

Resting time:12 hours hrs

Total Time:40 minutes mins


For the Bread:

  • 2 cups organic bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 11 tbsp filtered water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp warm cashew milk (or water)

For the Starter / Biga:

  • 1 cup organic bread flour
  • 1/3 cup filtered water, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp warm water


Make the Starter:

  • Make your starter the night before you plan to bake the bread (this can be made up to 24 hours in advance).

    Mix together the yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow it to stand for a few minutes.In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the yeast mixture with the flour and the water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature overnight. If preparing it in the morning then let it sit until evening and up to 24 hours.

Make the Ciabatta Bread:

  • Use your stand mixer and combine the yeast and the warm milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until creamy. Add the starter, olive oil, flour, sea salt and water and mix together for about 10 minutes until everything is incorporated.

  • Prepare a large bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. Transfer the bread dough to it and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to sit until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.

  • Turn the bread dough onto a well floured surface and with floured hands cut it in half. Form 2 long loaves shaping carefully from the sides, do your best not to press the dough from the top so it doesn’t deflate. This is crucial to get a light and airy loaf with lots of irregular holes.

    (Optional: Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow slit lengthwise in the top of the loaf)

  • Transfer the loaves to a parchment lined baking sheet, pizza peel, or a piece of cardboard.Lightly dampen a tea towel and cover the loaves. Allow them to rise again until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.

  • Meanwhile preheat your oven to 425” F with a pizza stone in the center for one hour before planning to bake the bread.

  • Transfer one of the loaves (with the parchment paper) to the preheated pizza stone and spray lightly with water. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown to your liking.Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing it with a serrated knife.


  • To get a crusty loaf make sure to use a pizza stone and also create some extra steam by placing a dish filled with water on the bottom of the oven as it heats up. Add more water if needed before baking the bread. Allow the loaves to cool insidethe oven after baking with the oven door slightly open.
  • To obtain theultimate crusty ciabatta loaf a wood fired pizza oven is the best way to bake it.


Calories: 744kcal | Carbohydrates: 136g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1765mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Ciabatta Bread

Servings: 2 loaves

Calories: 744kcal

Author: Florentina

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Easy Ciabatta Bread Recipe (2024)


Is ciabatta bread soft or hard? ›

Ciabatta is a white bread loaf, notable for its hard crust and soft, porous interior that resembles a slice of Swiss cheese (here's why Swiss cheese has holes, BTW, if you were wondering).

What is the secret to a soft and fluffy bread? ›

Add Sugar

Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer. As a result, sugar improves the bread's taste, structure and texture. Yeast also eats up sugar to produce carbon dioxide, which raises the dough and makes bread fluffy.

What makes ciabatta bread different? ›

Ciabatta is baked with a much higher hydration level, making the holes within the dough much bigger than a baguette. Ciabatta is also baked with a much stronger flour, which has a more delicate and sweet taste. Baguettes also tend to be baked more golden brown.

Should ciabatta dough be wet? ›

Traditional ciabatta is characterized by a slipper shape as well as an extremely porous and chewy texture. Originating from the Lake Como region of northern Italy, ciabatta means “slipper” in Italian. Ciabatta dough is wet and sticky with hydration levels often 80% or higher.

Why is my ciabatta not crispy? ›

Soft Crust

If your crust is becoming soft too quickly and not staying crispy you simply need to bake the bread longer. The best way to do this is to lower the temperature of your oven slightly and bake a few more minutes to achieve the same color you would have at the higher temperature.

Is ciabatta better for you than white bread? ›


Ciabatta bread is relatively high in carbohydrates and has nearly zero grams of fiber,” Richards cautioned. Mowrer added some other red flags, which include “higher carbs, calories and sodium per slice compared to other bread.”

How do bakeries get their bread so soft? ›

There's something magical about the bread you get at your local bakeries - they're always sooo soft and fluffy. Many of these breads, especially packaged ones, are made with a ton of chemical additives such as calcium propionate, amylase, and chlorine dioxide which help keep them soft, light, and fluffy for days.

Can you let bread rise too long? ›

If you leave your bread dough to rise for too long outside at room temperature, there is a risk of overproofing the dough. It might look alright in appearance, but when you bake the bread, it will not rise much in the oven. The end result will be a dense loaf of bread.

Does letting bread rise longer make it fluffier? ›

Does Rising Bread Affect Its Texture? For a fluffy bread texture, the key is to let the bread rise long enough.

What is a fun fact about ciabatta bread? ›

The name derives from its appearance, as ciabatta in Italian means 'slipper', referring to its long, flat shape. Although throughout history there have been many breads that resemble ciabatta, the exact bread variety is actually quite new on the scene in regards to other traditional Italian breads.

What flour is ciabatta made from? ›

This ciabatta recipe is super super simple and has a very limited ingredient list - bread flour, instant yeast, olive oil, water, and salt. Ciabatta bread is characterised by its crusty finish, and big holes inside the dough, which is often achieved by a long, slow rise, and high hydration.

Why do people like ciabatta? ›

Ciabatta's unique flavor and texture are the result of the bread's unusual baking process. The dough is made with a high hydration level, which makes it wet and sticky. The dough is then stretched and folded, which helps to create the bread's distinctive air pockets.

Why is ciabatta so hard? ›

Ciabatta is high in hydration, which means it contains high amount of water. This makes handling the ciabatta dough little tough. To make making ciabatta bread easy, you can use a strong bread flour, which has high gluten levels and absorbs good amount of water.

Is ciabatta softer than sourdough? ›

For example, ciabatta bread has a higher water content, giving ciabatta an airier and lighter texture compared to sourdough bread. Ciabatta bread also has a crustier outer layer while sourdough bread tends to be chewier. These two types of bread also have differences in taste.

What is the softest bread to eat? ›

Brioche bread tends to be incredibly soft and tender due to its rich ingredients like butter and eggs. It's often praised for its delicate texture. Brioche is a French bread known for its rich, buttery flavor and a soft, tender crumb.

How do you soften hard ciabatta bread? ›

In the oven: Preheat oven to 200° or Warm setting. Wrap the bread in a damp (not soaking) towel, place on a baking sheet, and pop it in the oven for 5-10 minutes. In the microwave: Wrap the bread in a damp (not soaking) towel, place it on a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for 10 seconds.

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