Ciabatta Bread - Part 2

Mark Farmer

"Ciabatta (Italian pronunciation: [t?a'ba:ta], literally "slipper bread") is an Italian white bread made with wheat flour and yeast. The loaf is somewhat elongated, broad and flattish. There are many variations of ciabatta. Ciabatta was first produced in Liguria, although at least one type of ciabatta can be found in nearly every region of Italy nowadays."
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Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  1. Set up a couche. (Mist the surface of a heavy cloth with spray oil and dust with flour.) Carefully remove the plastic from the dough and use a pastry scraper that has been dipped in water to divide the dough in 2 or 3 rectangles. Sprinkle the dough generously with more flour, and, using the scraper to get under the dough, gently lift each piece from the counter and then roll it on both sides in the loose flour to coat. Lay the loaves on the cloth and gently fold each piece of dough, from left to right, letter style, into an oblong about 6 inches long. Bunch the cloth between the pieces to provide a wall, the cover the cloth with a towel.
  2. Proof for 45 to to 60 minutes at room temperature, or until the dough has noticeably swelled.
  3. Preheat the oven to 500 F. While the oven is preheating, place an empty heavy-duty sheet pan or cast-iron frying pan on the top shelf of the oven. Before putting the bread in the oven, have hot water standing by, the hotter the better. Fill a mister or sprayer with room temperature water.
  4. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal and very gently transfer the dough pieces to the peel or pan, using the pastry scraper if you need support. Lift the dough from each end and tug the dough out to a length of 9 to 12 inches. If the dough bulges too high in the middle, gently dimple it down with your fingertips to even out the height of the loaf. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the steam pan and close the door. After 30 seconds, open the door and spray the back and sides of the oven with water and close the door. Repeat twice more at 30-second intervals. After the final spray, turn the oven setting down to 450 F and bake for 10 minutes. (See Foot Notes For Rest).


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