The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta Help

donk12's picture

Ciabatta Help

  I've tried 3 or 4 different recipes for ciabatta and all have basically the same ingredients, but for some reason I come up with the same result. Soft crust and a dense center. Everything goes fine during the mixing process, which comes out with this sticky dough, but my final product just doesn't come out right. Where am I going wrong? What do I have to do to get that crispy, rustic crust and center full of limitless air pockets

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

 Not Enough Information

Tell us what you're doing. You've tried several recipes with the same result so I can only guess that your dough handling may be knocking all the air (bubbles) out of the dough. With Ciabatta, gentleness is a must. Check this out:

This technique works well with very wet doughs and I can only assume that at least one of your recipes was a wet dough. Some here prefer a Stretch and Fold in the bow, but I have no Instructions for it. 

As far as the crust is concerned, adding steam at the beginnig of the bake shouild help. I suspect your oven temp isn't high enough, or possibly your loaves are too low in the oven.

 PS Whatever you do, do not add more flour than the recipe calls for. Ciabatta dough is more like pancake batter than bread dough


LindyD's picture

Here's an excellent visual guide which may help: Secrets of ciabatta revealed

Pablo's picture


KA refers to the "light as air" ciabatta.  I made some recently and it certainly was "light as air" but I'd prefer a moister crumb.  I got hooked on this whole artisan bread deal because of an asiago cheese topped ciabatta at the local supermarket.  I loved the holey, but moist and somewhat dense crumb.  Chewy.  I don't know how to adjust the crumb to be more to my liking.  I think my problem is the inverse of this post (too dense), but they're two ends of the same spectrum, I think.