Slices of ciabatta bread

During this Holiday Season, since I had two weeks off, I did a lot of baking, especially breads. Nothing like the smell of the bread in the oven…it is true that due to the cold weather it takes a longer time for the dough to rise, but with patience I was able to bake one of my most “proud” ciabatta, thanks to “La Cuoca Ciccia”. The only change that I did was to use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour and cut the recipe in half since it is just for my husband and I, but if you are baking for your family, double the recipe because you will regret if you do not…and this recipe is so simple, just require flour, salt, yeast, and water. This is sure a very simple recipe for an awesome ciabatta.

The texture of this loaf was PERFECT, crispy crust with a chewy crumb loaded with uneven holes…flavor? Slightly tangy, a complex flavor that it is hard to describe, you just have to try it…the danger of the ciabatta being PERFECT is that I could not stop nibbling on it…slowly but surely the whole loaf was gone sooner than I expected…now I am ready to bake more.

Enough of bragging about the ciabatta and let’s go to the recipe.


Biga Starter

½ cup bread flour
Pinch of yeast
¼ cup water at room temperature


1 cup bread flour
¼ teaspoon yeast
2/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup water at room temperature
All the biga prepared



Mix all the ingredients for the biga in medium bowl. Cover with plastic and leave at room temperature up to 24 hours or overnight


Place all the ingredients of the dough in the bread machine and the biga. Turn on the bread machine to the kneading setting and let it mix/knead by occasionally scrapping the side of the mixing bucket.

The dough will be moist, but after kneading for a while the gluten will form and the dough will not stick so much at the walls of the bucket.
If the dough does not pull away from the wall of the mixing bucket add ½ tablespoon of bread flour.

Once the cycle ends, place the stretchy dough in a very well oiled bowl. Make sure that the bowl is big enough because the dough will triple in size.
Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel.

Let rise until triple.

Dust flour onto a surface and gently scrape the dough. Dust more flour on top, form a rectangle by pushing the sides of the dough.

Flip the dough on a cookie sheet with a parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Top the dough with some more flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until double of its initial size.

An hour or so before baking, put the baking stone into the oven on the lowest rack and preheat to 475 degrees. Place a pan or tray underneath it on the floor of the oven to preheat with the stone.

Slide the parchment paper to the stone and add ice cubes to the empty tray. Close the oven door and let if bake for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature to 450 degrees and bake for another 20 minute, rotating the stone once in between the baking time.

Once done with the baking time, turn off the oven and at the end of cooking turn off the oven and leave the loaf for 5 minutes with the door slightly open.

Let the loaf cool on the rack and serve warm.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for ciabatta.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that ciabatta in Italian means slipper?

 Happy New Year and thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes!