Ciabatta Recipe

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Total Time:

plus proving time


plus proving time



A classic Italian ciabatta bread, flavoured with olive oil, with a light and open texture and lots of uneven holes running through it. This open texture is achieved by making a softer and wetter dough than normal and using a slightly different method of kneading which incorporates plenty of air bubbles. Instead of turning the dough out onto a floured surface, use floured hands to knead or ‘beat’ the sticky dough in the bowl incorporating as much air as you can.


  • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend dried yeast
  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 225ml hand hot water


  • Mix together the yeast, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and water. Mix to a very soft and wet dough – the mixture should be almost like a thick batter.

  • Using floured hands ‘beat’ the dough in the bowl for at least 5 mins. Use a pulling and stretching action, slapping the dough back down into the bowl – this will help to create pockets of air. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour.

  • Cover the bowl with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-1½hrs until the dough has doubled in size.

  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape into an oblong loaf without re-kneading. Place on a floured baking sheet and cover and leave to rise for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

  • Uncover the dough and bake for 25-30 mins until crisp and pale golden.

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Top Tip

This bread is best eaten warm from the oven. Serve sliced with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping as a delicious snack or starter.