The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Real Italian ciabatta vs. American artisan ciabatta

trhoma6432's picture

Real Italian ciabatta vs. American artisan ciabatta

Okay, someone please tell me how to get true, authentic Italian ciabatta? I lived in Naples Italy for a year and I fell in love with the breads of the region. I make a very respectable using Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Bakers Apprentice" recipe. The crust and color are picture perfect. The crumb is full of holes just like the picture but..........the texture is really lacking to what I remember. In Italy, we would buy day old bread because it seemed to have much more flavor and the texture would soak up all the great ragu's my mother in law would make. Here is the rub, mine(and other's from artisan and professional bakers here) do not come close to what I remember. My texture turns to crumbs(crumbly) after about a day despite trying everything(from more or less oil, to changing my flour(even artisan flour from "King Arthur's), to times for proofing and temps for baking). What is the secret? I'm driving myself NUTS! Somebody help!

campcook's picture

Have you tried the Jason's Cocoderillo ciabata?  I make a lot of this and it comes very close to what we bought in Rome.  The crumb holds up very well and, I agree, the taste is even better a day or two old.


When I make this recipe, I use 50 % bread flour and 50 % fresh ground whole wheat.  I mixes for 12 minutes at 2/3 max speed on the DLX.   after a good first rise, I wet fold the dough a couple of times.  I then cut and shape the loaves at once.  To shape, I wet fold each loaf once or twice and then stretch then out much the way you would handle pretzel or a braid.  Then I lay the loaves on parchment, and let them rise for 45 minutes.  After this rise, Sprinkle the loaves with olive oil and salt and into the oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.  Comes out excellent every time.

This dough is so slack it is difficult to score but it is just as good with out the score.

Try it, you will like it.   Now, if I could just replicate their genzano.  Oh, and rosettas.  Although, I think the ciabata dough is close to the rosettas.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

forget the oil.   :)

makingbaking's picture


Try the recipe with 00 Caputo Flour - You can get it online from Surfas

Great for Pizza, Pastas, and Italian breads

Has a superfine talc like texture yet a medium to high protein content


ashleymariethom's picture

That's a great suggestion!

trhoma6432's picture

Thanks to you all for the idea's. I've got some 00Caputo flour on it's way. Ordered it last Saturday. I want to further this discussion because I want to know the science of something I did last night with a loaf of ciabatta so I want to repost and see the responses. Thanks

ragreen's picture

Are you adding vital gluten?