Easy Homemade Ciabatta

only five minutes of kneading

I really appreciate all of the helpful and positive feedback that we’ve gotten on our first Crepes of Wrath web video. Everyone has been extremely nice and I appreciate all of the love; thank you especially to everyone that’s shared it with friends or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. It makes a huge difference and the response has been so great that I can’t wait to post our next one. Aside from all of the excitement surrounding that, Kramer and I had an excellent holiday weekend. We paid our second visit to Mission Chinese in an effort to completely burn away our stomach lining from spicy food (worth it), then met up with our friend Morgan to watch the premiere of Best Week Ever, which he writes for (spoiler alert: it was hilarious). Saturday, Kramer took a class at NYU while I finally got around to getting a massage with a gift certificate that I got for the holidays. I was hoping I’d get a seriously deep tissue treatment, and man, that is an understatement. My shoulders and neck felt swollen from my rub down, and at certain points I considered telling the guy that the pressure was too much, but now I have no knots in my back, so I suppose this was yet another example of ‘no pain, no gain’. Who says massages should be relaxing, anyway?

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Sunday morning coffee at Toby’s Estate with Natalie.

That night, we met up with my friend Emily to get dinner at Parish Hall (delicious food and awesome cocktails), followed by drinks at Spritzenhaus in Greenpoint, because who doesn’t need an after-dinner pretzel? We were able to sleep in a bit on Sunday, then I went to Toby’s for coffee, which is now my new favorite coffee spot in Brooklyn, followed by an afternoon of braising and frying, for brisket tacos and homemade jalapeno poppers, respectively. The tacos were fantastic…the poppers, not so much. I may try making them again, but the breading just didn’t seem to stick to the peppers well enough. Maybe I need smaller peppers. Does anyone have a recipe for jalapeno poppers that they love? I want to fry these suckers, not bake them, so don’t give me a ‘healthy version of everyone’s favorite blah blah blah’, please and thank you. We ate with Morgan, Hannah, and Rachel, then headed out to see Mama, which wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it was going to be, but I still covered my eyes and jumped at the appropriate parts. On Monday, our glorious day off, we met up with Joel, Rachel, and a bunch of other people for dim sum at Jing Fong in Chinatown. I have never seen a restaurant as big as this place before; it probably seats well over 500 people, but what do I know? All that really mattered was that the food was tasty and incredibly cheap; we were all stuffed and walked out of there for $16 a person. In an effort to walk off all of the shrimp puffs and sticky rice, we stopped by Pearl River to pick up some sauces, spices, and most importantly, dishware, then sat on the couch for a few hours at home before grabbing a slice and meeting up with our friend Emily to see Colin Quinn do a practice run for his new off-Broadway show. I was surprised that I enjoyed the set as much as I did; I kind of went not expecting much but he was really funny! It helped that the show was about the Constitution and American history, which I am a complete sucker for.

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I am also a sucker for bread. Any bread. I don’t care if it’s some nice, crusty artisinal variety (which I like to believe this is, but again, hey, what do I know?) or a roll out of a bag. I love bread, and as I recently explained, I have been trying to get over my fear of baking with yeast and making bread in general. I found this recipe floating around on a few different blogs, and while I couldn’t find its exact origins, I did read that it worked surprisingly well. As I was making it, I was a bit skeptical. The dough was wet and looked more like cream of wheat as I was ‘kneading’ it (a term I use loosely, and once you see the below photos, you will understand why), which made me panic just a bit. I had to keep my cool, though; Kramer, the master bread maker, was sitting in the living room and I wanted to pretend that I was totally comfortable with this wet, runny, not-at-all-coming-together dough. Most bread recipes usually say something like “form the dough into a ball” at some point. This one did not. As I covered it to allow it to rise for two hours, I was very, very nervous. When I saw that after rising, it still seemed sticky, I was even more nervous. However, I carried on with an uncharacteristic optimism, saying to myself, “I’m sure it will be fine,” over and over again. Obviously, I’m really glad that I did, because this ciabatta turned out beautifully. The exterior is nice and crusty, while the inside is fluffy, flavorful, and soft. Kramer and I had a really hard time waiting for it to be cool enough to slice so that we could dip it in olive oil and balsamic. The ciabatta kept well for about a week (I made two loaves and doubled the below recipe), so we were able to enjoy it as toast for breakfast, as lunch for sandwiches, and for dipping alongside soup for dinner. This is an excellent beginner recipe, as there’s not much kneading involved and you just kind of let the dough do its own thing, which is just fine, because trust me, it knows what its doing.


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The awesome care package my friend Andrea sent to me: my favorite candy (wine gums, straight from England) and my favorite subject (American history) all in one!

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The view from my office window on Friday.

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An incredibly large dim sum restaurant that we went to on Monday with our friends, thoughtfully organized by Joel and J.K..

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The dough will be very wet and you will be worried. I am here to tell you not to worry, just knead it and slap it around and don’t over-think it!

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Pour some olive oil over the top of the dough, then let it rise for 2 hours.

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Flour your baking tray, then flour your hands very well. Just place the dough onto the baking sheet and shape it into a loaf-looking thing (honestly – it will look more like a ‘thing’ than bread). Bake at 400 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or so, until lovely and golden.

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I highly recommend dipping this ciabatta in some nice olive oil and balsamic.

Easy Homemade Ciabatta
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1 large loaf
 

Perfectly crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside homemade ciabatta bread.
Ingredients
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cup + 2 tablespoons warm (115 degrees F) water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl

Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Pour in the warm water, and beat for 5 solid minutes, either with a mixer or a wooden spoon. If you have a dough hook, use it and knead the mixture for an additional five minutes, until the dough is well combined, otherwise just keep beating with the wooden spoon.
  2. When the dough is well combined, flour your hands, stick ‘em in a bowl, and pull parts of the dough up and slap it back down into the bowl. Do this for another 5 minutes. This will push air bubbles into the dough and create nice holes when it bakes.
  3. Oil a large bowl, then plop the dough into that bowl. Drizzle your olive oil over the top of the dough, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap and cover with at towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot and allow it to rise for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then sprinkle it with flour. Flour your hands, and shape the dough into a long loaf, about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with a just touch of flour for strictly aesthetic purposes (trust me, it looks pretty), then bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bread is lightly golden. If you tap the bread, you should feel like it’s hollow – that’s how you know it’s ready! Place the bread on a cooling rack and allow it to cool down for a minimum of 20-30 minutes before slicing into it and dipping in olive oil, spreading with butter, or turning into a tasty sandwich.

 

64 Responses

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    My brother is experimenting with gluten free an generally makes all his own breads because the store bought ones are terrible. This recipe, even with gluten, makes me want to try making my own bread.

    Btw, all the dim sum restaurants are this size if not larger. It’s their thing and dim sum is awesome. My favourite is the Xiao Long Bao.

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    Sorry…meant to say ALL the dim sum restaurants in China but come to think of it, I’ve never seen a small one anywhere.

    • Sydney says:

      I’ve seen a few small ones in NYC, but space is a hot commodity here! Most are moderately sized; this is the biggest I’ve ever seen.

  3. Mindy says:

    Anytime I see yeast as an ingredient in a recipe, I run away. I’m scurd. Which is not a good thing for someone who eats bread with every meal. Oh, crusty ciabatta, how I love thee.
    You’ve REALLY got me wanting to give this a go. I have a yummy bottle of olive oil and a thick, delicious balsamic yearning to be dunked in by a warm loaf of this.
    Great, now I’m drooling and it’s only 8 in the morning.

  4. Definitely Pinning this recipe! And I made poppers a few months ago, and they came out well: http://www.theeconomicaleater.com/2012/06/jalapeno-poppers-with-chive-cream.html. The breading, for the most part, stayed put. Hope that helps!

  5. Your ciabatta bread looks delicious! I love playing with yeast doughs- it’s so much fun to knead.

  6. “The dough will be very wet and you will be worried” — I would have been but thank you for the great step by step pics & what gorgeous bread!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    There’s nothing better than a bread that you can make easily! And, the crust looks so incredible.

  8. Anna says:

    Ciabatta is my favorite, that loaf looks great!

  9. Looks awesome! I’m making a knock-off Olive Garden Braised Beef dish this Sunday for my boyfriend who’s craving it like nothing else and I’ll definitely give this a try.\

    Also, Boston has a similarly huge Dim Sum place! Maybe it’s just how they work it? At that one, they have the non-Chinese people in the upstairs because well, I’m sure they serve things downstairs that probably don’t really appeal to the american palette!

  10. Marinda says:

    Made your basic white bread and it was wonderful. Will be doing the ciabatta next week, hope to enjoy it as much as the basic white.

  11. I am happy to hear that you had a good dim sum meal. Chinese restaurants are usually huge, because people like to host wedding banquets and events there.
    Back to the ciabatta, yours look perfect. I definitely need to make some soon! I am also a bread sucker. Any bread would make me happy. :)

  12. Stacey says:

    It’s very brave of you to start your yeast adventures with ciabatta! Yours looks great — so good, in fact, I’m thinking I’m going to have to make some myself, as it’s been years since I last turned out a loaf of this stuff. BTW, if you’re looking for another easy, high-payoff bread, foccacia would be a great choice! Good luck with the breads and have fun!

  13. Linda says:

    Just made this bread tonight with pan spaghetti turned out great. The strangest gooey dough ever worked with but so so good..will do this one often..Thank you for such a great recipe.

  14. Ida D. says:

    I loved making the white bread recipe. Do you have to cover the bread while it’s rising for 2 hours?

  15. I love Best Week Ever and was so glad to see it come back after all this time. I also love bread. I’m glad you are conquering your fear of yeast. This bread looks crusty and soft and like everything bread should be!

  16. Kathleen says:

    Do you activate the yeast in warm water before you whisk it together with the other ingredients in step one?

  17. [...] exhibition for school going on this week, so I spent the weekend baking loaf after loaf of ciabatta bread, which were then turned into pressed picnic sandwiches. I think we ended up with about 100 salami [...]

  18. Dave says:

    As a native Texan I can tell you a trick for well-breaded poppers is to flash roast the peppers so the skin blisters and you can peel it off. Once the waxiness of the skin is gone a little egg wash and whatever breading you want (I like tempura) should do just fine.

    I’m also super-hesitant with bread. It intimidates me. This seems to be do-able though. May have to give it a try next time we do a burger bar.

    • Sydney says:

      This is GENIUS! I hadn’t thought of that at all but now that you mention it…DUH! Wow. Thank you so much. I am going to try this again soon.

  19. [...] today, here I am trying out a recipe for “Easy Homemade Ciabatta” from the blog Crepes of Wrath based on their lovely photo on Tastespotting, my favourite food porn site. I picked this bread [...]

  20. Christina B says:

    I made this bread for the first time today and love it! Hubby likes it too! I was wondering if you have ever made this into sandwich size rolls? It seemed really sticky and I was afraid of deflating the dough, so I didn’t try. I also added the yeast to the water, stirred and let it sit while I was gathering the other ingredients. Then I dumped it in last and started my mixer. I also used the batter attachment for the first 5 minutes, then the dough hook for 5 minutes. I did this to incorporate more air into the dough. It worked great! Thank you for sharing this quick and easy recipe :)

  21. Syamala says:

    Any substitute for olive oil?

  22. This is my first try at cibatta…my dough is on the 2 hour rise right now. THE soupiest, stickiest, batter-like dough I have ever worked with. LOL I would have been worried too, if you hadn’t said to not worry. hahaha. I followed the directions exactly…I hope it turns out with the big air holes in it! :)

  23. Mine turned out very flat :( It rose to the top of the bowl but when I put it on the baking sheet, it spread out and didn’t rise all that much. Letting it cool now.

  24. (I’m going to try again)

  25. Jim says:

    Brilliant recipe. I’ve made it loads of times now and they have all turned out great.

    Even made it in Italy recently on a villa holiday, better than the ones in the local shops!

    Thanks for a great recipe.

  26. Brandy Delgato says:

    I just found your blog because of a friend Essex. This is the first thing I have made and I will be back for more on your site. Thank you. The bread was perfect!!!

  27. Brooke says:

    This is the best ciabatta bread I’ve made yet. Thank you! I altered it a bit by adding roughly chopped garlic to the mix and it is fantastic. Crispy top, light and fluffy in the middle with those little sweet garlic surprises in the mix. x

  28. Karen Ginsberg says:

    I tried this last night. It tastes OK (Husband says “make it again!”), but it came out very flat – only about 1 – 2″ high. Even post-rise, the dough was very runny. I used bread machine yeast, since that’s what I had on hand. The “slap it around” part sounded like I was popping bubble wrap. Any suggestions on what I should do differently next time?

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Karen – from what I understand, bread machine yeast is finer and therefore dissolves quicker. The amount of time I suggest to allow the yeast to foam may have dissolved the yeast rather than activating it…but that is just a guess! Humidity and temperature and elevation all play a factor into how bread turns out, as I’m sure you know. Slapping it around should result in a bubble-wrap sound, so you got that part right! I hope you’ll give it another try and thank you very much for the feedback!

  29. Heather says:

    Hi, I am really pleased with this really easy recipe. I tried it yesterday with bread flour (delicious) and today I’m trying with self raising. My family almost ate the whole loaf yesterday! The dough was wet, but I plodded on like you suggested and it worked! Thank you once again. I pour a little olive oil over a slice, fry in non stick pan and add my favorite salad etc with a touch of balsamic reduction (devine). Heather Jeffreys Bay South Africa

  30. Lisa says:

    Sydney-
    I tried with all my heart to follow the recipe line for line and even referenced the great photos as I was kneading but mine was runny too and came out very flat. We even loved it flat…there were nice airy holes inside the loaf but would like it to be like your finished product photo. Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe I was off with some measurement…I know with baking you have to be very precise. I thought about the humidity and temperature as well so I am not giving up. Thoughts…?

  31. Barbara Carper says:

    Lisa, the same thing has been happening with my dough…..very runny….just glops onto the baking pan. I continue to make it because it tastes REALLY great, and it’s a very simple recipe! At 1 1/2 inches high, it slices into strips that make it perfect for dipping in oil, or hummus, so that’s what I’ve decided to “go for”. Sydney – I’d love some additional input to make it a bit firmer and more loaf like…..The air holes and texture are fabulous!

  32. Jason says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!! My wife made this today and it is amazing! We are actually doing another double batch right now. We are also going to try one with whole wheat flour.

  33. Pierre says:

    I made this bread and it is lovely. Difficult to clean your hands but will make it often.

  34. Priyanka says:

    Tried this bread yesterday but it fell flat. I think the yeast hadn’t proofed properly. Making it again today. i had one question regarding measurements. I have been following the 1 cup recipes as per the literal meaning. As per my understanding 1 cup means 240 ml water and 120 g flour. Though when I measure using the tea cup I have, the measurements it gives me are completely different. This one cup approximately gives me 120 g flour but lesser water than 240 ml. So today I used measurements not through cup but like 3 1/4 g flour means 390 g flour. For water I measured out 420 ml water. Though when I mixed it the consistency was very liquidy. yesterday when I had followed the cup method the consistency looked better and felt it was the right ratio (something similar to your pics). Could you please elaborate a little about which type of cup you use or when you say 1 cup are you actually measuring out like I did. Thanks. Wonderful work with the blog. :)

    • Sydney says:

      I use American cups – I am sorry that this is confusing! I’m not someone who generally measures out accurate numbers (although I should, I am just always in a rush).

  35. Priyanka says:

    Which oven are you using here? I have a general query as in most recipes it is mentioned that heat the oven to some specific temperature. I use a OTG and sometimes get confused as whether I am supposed to use an OTG or oven. As at similar temperatures OTG seems to be more aggressive. I followed certain recipes, and my caked or brownies took lesser time. (Came out very well just that I had to monitor time)
    Also there is one other issue that I face. How to decide if to use cup measurements or gram measurements. If recipe mentions grams its fine but if recipe mentions cups it is confusing sometimes. As different cups measure out differently (normal tea cup). Like ideally 1 cup = 120 g flour and 1 cup = 240 ml water. But the cup I have measures out the flour approximately same but measures out much lesser water. What should be done in these cases? I followed this recipe and converted the cups mentioned there into grams and then used it. But the ratio did not work out well.
    These are generic questions which troubles me sometime. I am asking you because it looks like your experience can hep me out. Please feel free to take your time to reply.
    Thanks,
    Priyanka

  36. April says:

    My first try was too flat so I reduced the amount of water. After repeated attempts, I have stuck with using only 1 1/4 C of water.

  37. marc says:

    I use a biga starter when I make Ciabatta, and it comes out perfect. Use 1 1/2 C flour, 1 C water (filtered) and 1/8 tsp yeast. Mix well and let sit on the counter for 1 hour, then refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. Remove 1 hour before use. I also add 1 TBS dried milk (non-fat preferably), this gives the bread a wonderful taste and texture. You can substitute honey for the sugar. I would also suggest to be careful with the salt since it immediately kills the yeast, so to prevent this, add the salt at the very last second.

  38. Christopher says:

    I cannot believe how crispy the outside is and how chewy/soft the inside of this bread is. When I show this to my Mom/Friends, they’re gonna be like “you didn’t make this.” LOL Thanks for this receipe!!

  39. Brittany says:

    I’m currently in the rising stage and was wondering if it would be okay to bake it in a loaf pan, please respond quickly, thanks for the recipe!

    • Sydney says:

      Hi Brittany – I haven’t tried it but I think it would be fine! It may need to be in the oven a bit longer, though, since it’ll result in a thicker loaf.

  40. David says:

    Great recipe. I would recommend everyone try making this. However, bloom your yeast first and then let it rise in an oven (off) with a saucepan of boiling water alongside it. This will create a warm, moist environment perfect for rising. Mine quintupled in size (oil plastic wrap to ease covering removal)! Once you place in the pan to bake, it will deflate quite a bit, but render an incredibly spongy, delicious, mouth-watering good bread.

  41. Cathy says:

    I made this tonight and it tasted and turned out great. My problem was that the parchment paper, even being floured, baked onto the bread. We had to slice the bottom crust off. I rarely use parchment so maybe it was old.

  42. […] Recipe slightly adapted from Crepes of Wrath […]

  43. lisa sturgill says:

    Has anyone made this using gluten free flour. I have made it many times, and my family/ friends love it! I am visiting my brother, and both nieces are gluten intolerant. I have the red mill brand of gluten free flour, can I sub it for reg flour or do I have to make any adjustments with the recipe? Thanks so much for posting this, best ciabatta I have had!

  44. […] Other blogs to the rescue! I came across this very straightforward recipe on Crepes of Wrath (bonus points for a sweet name) that required a mere six ingredients, one of which is water. The […]

  45. Dallas says:

    Hi, we love this bread and now making it for the 3rd time in a month. Just a quick one can u use the dough as a good pizza base?
    BTW added olives and garlic to the last loaf before baking it, loaf did not make it to the table got hi-jacked in the kitchen….
    Great bread

  46. […] Bread Recipe from Crepes of Wrath [seriously check out this blog! Not only is the name absolutely killer but the recipes are as […]

  47. This recipe is a serious contender to overtake the No Knead Bread as our go-to bread recipe. I love the yeastiness it adds and the texture is much nicer than we’re getting out of the no knead stuff. We’re serving it tonight with a braised lamb shanks recipe that will be a Once and Future Foodie (www.artoriusrex.com) blog post soon.

    Thanks!

  48. Jacob says:

    I love this recipe! Ive made 4 loaves so far this month and my in laws go crazy for it. Its a great introduction to bread making and Ive shared your website to a few of my friends as well. Thanks!

  49. […] We made a loaf of ciabatta bread using a recipe from a blog called The Crepes of Wrath.   This recipe is awesome and is very easy.  We make this bread at least a couple of times a month.   You can […]

  50. Mary says:

    Hey? I made this yest. But it turned out crunchy outside but the inside still like a dough, wet and sticky. I was very sad. Help me!

  51. Alix says:

    I made this yesterday for the first time and it was really great. I used instant yeast and my Kitchenaid stand mixer. I made the loaf on a Silpat then cut it into 6 rolls and separated them using a silicone bowl scraper. I shaped them a little and baked for the full time. My kids and I loved them with dinner – they had a lovely crust and the inside was perfect. I went out and left the bowl to rise for a little over 4 hours. It looked like a big bowl of porridge when I came back but it was nice and elastic and baked up beautifully. Thanks for a great recipe!

  52. […] be making Wholemeal Ciabatta bread to last us for the weekend. I found a great recipe from Crepes of Wrath, wish me […]

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