The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Quick Rustic Ciabatta Pizza - Recipe, Full Howto with Pics

LilDice's picture

Quick Rustic Ciabatta Pizza - Recipe, Full Howto with Pics


I started making this pizza after I had left over dough from my quick ciabatta recipe, (which you can make by following the same instructions but doubling the ingredients). Anyway, I like this better than the traditional olive oil enriched overnight proofed pizza doughs. It takes only about 2 hours start to finish to make, so you can make it after work.

A kitchen aid style stand mixer is required, unless you're comfortable working with high hydration doughs and hand mixing. People have assured me it's possible, but it's much easier with a mixer. You could also use a food processor to mix the dough, but the time will be much shorter. Probably less than a minute.

The resulting pizza is light, delicious, and full of huge holes in the crust. If you grow tomatoes and basil in your garden, this pizza is just the ticket.

Also I created a page on google for this whole article that's more linkable if you'd like to share this with other -



  • 250 g Bread Flour (All Purpose will also work in a pinch)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 7 g salt


  • 2 Tomatoes
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Mozzarella Cheese

Step 1, make the dough

Mix the flour,yeast,salt & water in your stand mixer with the paddle on high speed, it won't look like it is doing anything for a while. Then after about 10 minutes or so it will start to come together

Initial Ingredients

Initial mixing, notice the dough is sticking to the sides


Dough is done as soon as it stop sticking to the sides and is just coming off the bottom. It has the consistency of rubber but is very sticky.

Step 2, proof until triples.

I like to proof this dough in a narrow plastic container that has markings on it, it's important that the dough triples so it's easier to observe that then just throwing it in a bowl. Spray the container you use with spray oil, you'll thank me later.

Be quick moving the dough from the mixer to the proofing container. You'll probobly still end up with a little dough stuck to your hands, because it's very wet.

Here's my dough, now it will be very easy to see when it triples.

Step 3, heat oven and shape pizza.

Place your pizza stone into the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.

Now on a heavily floured counter, pour out your dough into a nice blob.

Now turn a baking sheet upside down and cover it with parchment paper. Not wax paper! Parchment paper is silicone treated and won't melt or light on fire in your hot oven. It will make getting this thing in the oven much easier.

I like to get the dough into a rough pizza shape while on the counter by grabbing it from underneath and stretching. Since the dough is floured on the bottom, you won't stick too much. You don't want it paper thin, but fairly thin in the center

The next step is tricky, we need to get our pizza to the parchment paper on the baking sheet. If you have corn meal handy, you might dust the parchment with that for re-shaping once we get the unruly dough on.

So pick up this thing and quickly move it to the parchment, if you need to do some reshaping once it's on the parchment move fast. It will eventually stick to the parchment. Then your only choice is to dump it out and try again with fresh parchment.

Phew! That was a close one, but I got in on the parchment. And it resembles a pizza dough!

Now it's time to top the pizza, I really just want some light olive oil, garlic powder, fresh tomatoes, basil and cheese. If you want sauce, you're on your own. You can really do whatever you want from this point.


One thing I've noticed with my oven though is that if I put the cheese on from the start, it'll burn and I'll have a raw pizza with burnt cheese. So I usually add cheese 2/3 of the way through baking.

Step 4, Baking

Time to bake! I always trim the parchment so it fits the pizza since loose parchment will brown a bit and might even catch on fire in the oven. So you can see in the photo above I've trimmed it up.

Once your oven has hit 500 degrees, slide your cheese-less pizza on to the pizza stone using the baking sheet. If you don't have a stone, just leave it on the sheet.

After 5 minutes my pizza looked like this, nice oven spring!

Once the crust has just started to brown (after about 8 minutes for me). I add the cheese.

Now I just let the cheese get to the point that I like and the crust to be nice and brown and I'm done. The all together baking time for this pie was 14 minutes.


Looks good to me, though maybe i put on too much olive oil since it kind of pooled in the center. Also I probably could have put the cheese on a minute or two earlier since it's not brown all over.

Yum, yum yum.

Crust is looking perfectly golden.

Once again, nice airy crust, not dense and sticky, but light and delightful. That's the pay off from our 100% hydration ultra lean sticky dough.

Trishinomaha's picture

This looks wonderful! I made your ciabatta from your first post and it turned out great. This looks like a good week-end dinner...



ehanner's picture

Great post and very well written directions. I like that I can get this done today and it looks delicious! Thank you!

I have been lurking on the ciabatta but this will get me in gear.


leemid's picture

So you only rise the once, then bake it? Wow! I like my sourdough pizza dough but you have to plan way ahead... this is a great idea. Oh, you didn't say what kind of yeast...


LilDice's picture

Oh sorry, regular ol' instant yeast.

bluezebra's picture

I made a pretty incredible ultra thin crust dough that was adapted from the Cook's Illustrated Pizza Dough for Grilling recipe last night. It was absolutely the best for a "cracker type" thin crust. So I think I can safely rest with that dough and move forward to getting the other perfect crusts in order.

I'm still searching for the pinnacle of doughs for both the Neopolitan style and also the pan style pizza. Hopefully your amazing looking pizza will be able to fill the bill on at least the one of the two! :D

Part of the fam is a cracker thin crust eater. I love Neopolitan and DH loves pan pizza. So I'm at the point of making 3 different doughs and keeping them in the freezer to use as needed since my try at using one dough to make 3 different styles of crust have fallen flat on their faces. (6 months of testing later!) Yeah life is tough, haha! ;)


Thanks LilDice!

ehanner's picture

For those who only half read the directions, take note of the mixer directions.

The instructions say mix on HI SPEED. I used level 2 on my KA as it's the highest speed I have ever used for dough. After 15 minutes nothing had happened that looked like gluten forming and the dough was still pancake batter in the bottom of the bowl. SOOO I went back and looked again and noticed HI SPEED and started again. Within a few minutes the rubbery dough I was looking for developed right in front of my eyes. Imagine that!:>) Just thought I would mention this for other men who don't RTFI.


Rosalie's picture

Eric, you probably never went higher than level 2 for dough because that's what the directions say.  Above level 2 could burn the motor out.  Unless you have one of the professional models - I'm not familiar with those directions, although I see a lot of recipes that tell you to knead with your KitchenAid at level 4.


ehanner's picture

I'll have to try this again when I'm paying attention and don't beat the living daylight out of the dough. I had an awful time moving the dough onto the parchment. It wasn't pretty after I tried to pick it up. I did manage to spread it out and top it nicely and get it baked. The home made effect over powered the clumsiness aspect and everyone was happy!


LilDice's picture

Glad you liked it , and you're right. Shaping it is the toughest part, if anyone has any ideas for shaping it I'm all ears. I think it would probably be easier to just heavily semolina/corn meal the peal and shape the whole thing on there.

ehanner's picture

Next time I'll try to shape it on the parchment instead. I think I can hold down the paper with strong magnets in the corners so it won't slide around on a steel sheet.


LilDice's picture

I don't know about shaping on the parchment, it tends to stick to the parchment. I think the best bet would be to partially shape it on the counter into a very rough disc, then shape it in your hands and quickly readjust on parchment before it sticks.

 It's tricky for sure, the one wrinkle in this otherwise very easy recipe.

mse1152's picture


Reinhart says in the BBA that if you think you'll have to reposition dough while it's on the parchment, spray the parchment with oil first.  The nonstick property of the parchment doesn't kick in till a certain heat level is attained in the oven.  Worth a try.

Also, about how long does it take your dough to triple?  Is it at room temperature?



LilDice's picture

Duh! Spray oil!

It took about 2 hours to triple. That was when it was 86 degrees in the kitchen though :(


I use this formula (doubled) for a quick ciabatta and it can take up to 3 horus to double sometimes. 

ragreen's picture

Mine is generally 2-3, closest to around 2 1/2 hours, my kitchen is about 75F.

purplepig's picture

I use one of those Wilton roll and cut  mats for dough that is fragile like this. Its basically just a 20" x 20" smooth plastic mat.

Flour it like you would the counter, dump out dough as described above and get it the way you want it. Cover the dough with the parchment paper and then a cookie sheet. Now you can just flip everything (mat, dough, paper, and sheet) together. The mat will peel off easily, and you can now slide dough, paper, and sheet into your oven.

zolablue's picture

Your pizza looks fabulous!  I am gonna try it.  I've finally taken the plunge a couple times to make my own pizza and I even impressed myself.  (heehee)  But, seriously, it was soooooo much fun and the results were to die for.  My husband was just excited as heck and so proud of my efforts.  Actually, he helped with the toppings and we had a blast. I'd love to try it again using your crust recipe just for something different.  Thanks.

bluezebra's picture

to make 2 crusts, what would the dough formulation be?

Would I simply double everything...even the yeast and salt?

TIA! I'm thinking of making this tonight!!

BROTKUNST's picture

I am not Bluezebra but 'yes' ... the beauty of the baker's percentage is that you can simply multiply the ingredients by the same factor and adjust easily the quantity of the final dough you need.



verminiusrex's picture

Wow, this worked out better than I thought.  I was expecting the glutenous mess that you get from the no knead bread (so sue me, I don't like that bread) but this turned out real good.  The pizza was tastey, and now I'm going to try the ciabatta dough when I've eaten all that other bread I've made recently.  (It's a self imposed rule, I have to eat or find a home for the current bread before making any more.)

LilDice's picture


 Yeah it's a good little dough, when you double it for making for ciabatta the portions make it perfect for making 2 loaves and a pizza, so I usually kill 2 birds with one stone when I make it.

bluezebra's picture

I don't know what my major malfunction is...maybe it's lack of equipment but it could be an equal amount of inexperience!

I made the dough for this last night. I used your ciabatta bread recipe so that I could make 3 crusts with it. My major problem was that I don't have a stand mixer and didn't have time yesterday to develop this dough by hand. So I decided to test out the food processor.

Miserable failure...have you ever tried to make it in a food processor and if so, how did you do it? I ended up having to add 3/4c of extra flour to it and it still didn't pull away from the sides although after about 15 minutes in the processor it did develop gluten strings.

However, I defied all laws of yeast and dough by doing that cuz even though I used a plastic blade by the time I took it out of the processor bowl, the dough was 111 degrees! :eek!!!! So I quickly used a spatula and stretched it to mix in some cooling air and worked with it to reduce the heat. The surface was already looking rather "ill" until I got the temp reduced.

It did go ahead and rise 3x (big surprise there). Cuz I figured I had killed all the yeasty beasties. Then I cut into 3 portions and shaped. I was careful when pulling into a pizza crust shape, not to deflate the dough but it wasn't very puffy when I was done. Then I let each one rise 45 minutes but it had not really risen any by then.

It puffed a little bit in the oven but not anything like your beautiful pictures...what did I do wrong here? Please count the ways! I am jonesin' for pizza that looks like yours Lil Dice and as God and (Scarlett) are my witnesses, I shall not rest nor save the crops till I succeed! :D


LilDice's picture


I've never tried this wet of a dough in a food processor before and don't have much experience with it. You CAN develop it by hand in a bowl though, check out the Jason's Quick Ciabata in the regular Artisans baking forum for some people talking about doing this dough by hand. 

ragreen's picture

For what it's worth, when I make ciabatta from a recipe very similar to this one, I use a stand mixer and depending on the weather and the flour, may have to mix it as long as thirty minutes. You may not be letting it run long enough, but depending on your processor, you may not want it to run that long. Be careful. Unless it's a Robot Coupe. I'd recommend borrowing a stand mixer otherwise... you'll die of old age and exhaustion doing this by hand, if you don't shoot yourself because of the mess.

bluezebra's picture

tried it by hand and it worked (on the other thread). It really wasn't too difficult or anything, I was just pressed for time that day when I tried it with the processor.

My final analysis of it, lol, is that it doesn't work too well cuz it's too liquid. Oh, you can get the gluten started without damaging the dough too much with the heat, but you should probably stop after about 2 minutes or so...instead of more like 15 minutes *blush* maybe longer, I lost my mind and all track of time for a bit. I almost felt I was in the Bermuda Triangle!!! :D ;)

I will try it again by hand but I still don't know if it will get that spectacular edge you're showing on yours and that I covet (sp?) so much! :D


KipperCat's picture

I have a question about the 7 grams of salt. My scale's markings are only every 10 grams. Can someone give me a teaspoon reference for 10 grams of salt? I have table salt and Morton's kosher salt.

ragreen's picture

7 grams would be about a half a tablespoon, or a teaspoon and a half.

Atropine's picture

I am so thankful for this recipe!!  I have never even seen ciabatta in person (seriously!) and never tasted it.  I read this thread yesterday and, being a bit of a blythe optimist, I decided that I would make this for a meeting I had last night.


I could not find hte original thread for the ciabatta, so I just used this crust recipe, running from kitchen to computer while making it!


Thanks to the Lord and this recipe, it turned out PHENOMENALLY!  Seriously, this is now my favorite thing to bake.  The dough felt HEAVENLY in my hands while shaping--I kept wanting to play with it lolol.  It baked well, was easygoing, though I do not have a scale, etc.  I admit that I did use extra yeast, just a little bit.


This is one of my favorites and I want to try it for pizza next.


A question--would this work well as a loaf bread at all?  Is there a way to get this wonderful crumb in a loaf bread?

LilDice's picture

Glad you liked it Atropine, not sure what you mean about as a loaf bread - if you mean putting in a loaf plan, I honestly have no idea how it would work. It's called Ciabatta because it's supposed to be shapedlike a slipper.


There's really no need for extra yeast, have a little faith :)


Did you double this recipe when making just for bread? If I do that I can get 2 Ciabatta's and a pizza, it works perfectly.

Atropine's picture

Questions....  :)


I find that 10 minutes is WAY longer than necessary for mixing the dough until it cleans the sides and comes off the bottom.  Why is that?  Is it ok?


Also, I AM working on the trusting the yeast more (lolol) and backed down the yeast I was putting in, however, it still rises much more quickly--is that a problem as well?



LilDice's picture

The time it takes to come off the sides is different for everyone depending on your kitchen, your flour, etc.

 As for the yeast, don't use more! 1 tsp is plenty, the longer it takes to rise the better the taste :)

avatrx1's picture

This looks great!  I'd like to try your ciabatta recipe first and if that works, then I'll give this a go.  Do you have a link to it?




Amori's picture

I tripled the recipe to make 3 large pizzas, never seen our 6qt filled with bubbles like that! It was easy to make in the KA, I admit adding 1/4C more of flour due to it's moisture =-( No harm done =-) I only have 1 baking stone and two ovens. I ended up lining large pizza pans with parchment then sprayed them with PAM, spooned dough into them and with a floured hand distributed dough to the edges to flatten evenly. I had to bake them in their pizza pans for the initial 8 minutes since I worried about tearing the parchment paper with my peel. After adding the cheese they went onto the baking stone on their parchment. Very good results, thanks for posting souch a wonderful recipe, very much enjoyed!





Bobolots's picture

I've been carrying my printed copy of this around and finally had the guts to try it last night. Wow. I should have done so sooner. Thanks for posting this recipe!! It will forevermore be my home made pizza night recipe!!



RachelJ's picture

Oh man... that looks soooo good! I love pizza and to have rustic would be like heaven for me. :)

utahcpalady's picture

I have been making homemade pizza for years (thanks to my mom that started me on it).  A few years back I got an amazing pizza cookbook titled Pizza by Morgan and Gemignani.  I think anyone that wants to make pizza should get this book.  Anyway, in my pizza making I found the absolute best toppings ever and thought I would share...

saute some sliced shallots and mushrooms in butter..mmmm

cooked chicken strips, fairly thin

jarred alfredo sauce for the sauce...mmmm (again)

then for cheese on top I used mozarrela, real parmesan and fontina, sometimes romano...mmmm

As I said, I love Pizza the cookbook, but I am excited to try this recipe since I don't have to overnight the dough in the fridge.

margieluvschaz's picture

 Lil Dice-

Thanks you sooooooooo much for posting this recipe.  I've tried a few recipes but haven't found the one.  Yours is the closest I've come to what I consider perfection. 

I have 2 questions for you.  Please understand I 've only been baking a year & don't know very much about sourdough or pizza .  Hopefully my questions aren't stupid ones...Can I put a bit of my starter in this recipe to ad flavor & not sacrifice bubbly texture? I've made some sourdough recipes that are thicker but don't get as bubbly...How would I adjust the recipe?  What about adding honey or sugar to mix?  Thanks so much!


ragreen's picture

I've been making ciabatta lately, trying to get better and more consistent... I saw this and got hard. This will be on the menu for this weekend for sure!!

shuttervector's picture

Thank you so much for your post. I will try it today. It occurred to me that you could avoid the transfer problem by shaping directly onto parchment so long as you can secure the side of the paper so it doesn't move around while you are working.  Then you would not have to lift and place on a parchment from your countertop.


margieluvschaz's picture

Dorothy you can wet the underside of the parchment & it might stick if you have granite or smooth counter tops- mine doesn't slide doing it on parchment.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I made this easy ciabatta pizza dough with a few changes. 180 grams all purpose flour, 30 grams durum wheat flour, 20 grams whole wheat flour. I added an extra 1/2 tsp yeast because I was in a hurry. This didn't seem to effect the overall taste of the dough because it was amazing! The best pizza I have made by far, even better than some of the pizzas that have been refrigerated for several days.

For toppings-brushed with olive oil and than-a sundried tomato spread (sold at Safeway). Fresh arugula pesto with pinenuts and parmesan. Mozarella. Pepperoni. The arugula pesto was a hit. My arugula is bolting so I made a giant batch of pesto. We will be eating it for awhile as I will freeze a bunch. Should keep us in pesto until the basil starts producing!

I finally was able to follow the "less is better rule" and didn't over top my pizza. It was crunchy in the middle with nice soft crust on the edges. Just the way I like it!

HMerlitti's picture

So, I doubled this recipe in order to make two pizzas and freezing one.  I made the shell as the third image in step 3 shows and baked it at 500 degrees for 5 minutes.  It is not done at this point but i removed it, let it cool, wrapped it and froze it for future use. 

Now when I come home and want my type of pizza, I can just add toppings, put it in at 500 degrees for 5 minutes and I have saved a huge step.


BTW, my toppings are De Cecco marinara con basilea, mozzarella, sausage (partially precooked) and bacon (percooked and chopped)

My wife is a carnivore.  In her previous life I think she was a velociraptor.

pizza dough



* 250 g Bread Flour (All Purpose will also work in a pinch)
* 1 cup water
* 1 tsp yeast
* 7 g salt




madruby's picture

I did in fact use a see-through container; it also has its own marking that allows me to see the rise progression.  But just to be on the safe side, I also used the elastic band trick (see.....I do read and learn ALOT on TFL).  I covered the container with a shower cap.  It was a rather large bowl.  I know for sure that the dough did double in heigth, but bcuz the bowl was so wide, the dough must have also expanded in width ie sideways.  Could this be the reason why the heigth did not triple?  Difficult for me to say....In any event, I baked the pizza.

While I was shaping my dough, I suddenly realized that I was making the Jason's quick ciabatta bread.  When I read the recipe and the instructions above, it sounded familiar but did not think that it was the actual Jason's ciabatta recipe.  I later double checked Jason's  recipe again and concluded that I was indeed making the exact bread I did two weeks ago.  I thought it was odd that LilDice posting had us mix-knead the dough with the KA paddle the entire 10 min (and Jason's recipe had us change to the hook after a while).  However, mixing-kneading the dough only with the paddle did not cause me any problem and after 10 min, my dough formed a ball and stopped sticking to the bowl.  When I made the Jason's ciabatta using the hook, I barely got a ball that was no longer sticking to the bowl after 30 min.  My first attempt at making the Jason's ciabatta recipe did not yield a super rise either after 2 to 2.5 hrs.  Nevertheless, my dough eventually did triple after 3.5 hrs when I baked this recipe two weeks ago.  Exact recipe, exact room temp, but different result...oh well, ce sont les mysteres de la vie.

As for taste, nahhhhh, same comment.  Nothing bad, but nothing exciting either.  My crust was GREAT; very airy with big holes.  However, the center of the pizza rose quite a bit in the oven (not as much as the ciabatta bread of course) so I did not have a thin centre...just too much dough (not dense, just too much!).  I will continue to look for another pizza dough. Thanks for putting this up; it was a great experience making homemade pizza for the first time.

Kathy M's picture
Kathy M

Instant or regular yeast?