The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ciabatta Integrale from KAF Whole Grains Baking

JMonkey's picture

Ciabatta Integrale from KAF Whole Grains Baking

For my birthday, my mother bought me the brand-new King Arthur Flour Whole Grains Baking book. It's well timed. Their first book turned me on to bread baking, but after a few months, I moved toward whole grain breads almost exclusively, and the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion is about 95% white flour recipes. I learned a lot from it, but I wasn't baking much from it. So, suffice to day, I was itching to knead something up out of this book as soon as possible.

 I've made a few of the quickbreads. The Sailor Jack muffins, in particular -- an incredible cake-like concoction with raisins steeped in spices, molasses and brown sugar, along with whole wheat flour and oats, topped with a lemon sugar glaze -- are very, very tasty indeed. But I'd not tried a yeast bread until this weekend.  The first recipe to catch my eye was Ciabatta Integrale, a ciabatta made with half whole wheat flour, olive oil and a bit of powdered milk. I love ciabatta -- nothing is better for a sandwich or simply a bit of oil and balsamic vinegar. But whole grains just don't do ciabatta. Those holes? Forget it. Or so I thought. This recipe isn't 100% whole grains, but it's half, and I'll take it, given the results.  Here's one loaf all sliced up for sandwiches.
   And here's the other loaf, which served as dinner bread with some stuffed acorn squash (stuffed with quinoa, maple syrup, raisins, almonds and cinnamon), fresh corn and a green salad composed of our morning trip to the farmers' market. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are in the gravy boat, natch. 
  I was really impressed with the results, especially since the recipe said it's impossible to mix completely without a stand mixer. I don't own a stand mixer, so here's how I did it, thanks to a little help from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice.  Ingredients  Pre-ferment  1 cup or 4 oz. whole wheat flour 1/2 cup or 4 oz cool water Pinch of instant yeast  Dough  All of the pre-ferment 1 1/4 cups or 5 oz. whole wheat flour 2 1/4 cups or 9.5 oz white bread flour 1 1/4 cups or 10 oz. cool water 1/4 cup or 1.75 oz olive oil 1/4 cup or 1 oz. nonfat dry milk 1.5 tsp salt 1/4 tsp instant yeast  Yes, you read that right. This recipe makes two loaves of ciabatta with less than 3/8 tsp yeast.  The night before mix together the pre-ferment. The next morning dump all the ingredients (including the pre-ferment, which should be spongy and full of bubbles) EXCEPT for the salt and additional yeast into a bowl, and mix it together with a large spoon or a dough whisk until it seems mostly hydrated. Cover and let it stand for 45 minutes to an hour.      

After the autolyse (that's what you're doing when you soak), add the salt and yeast.


                  Get a small bowl of cool water, and dip your hands in it. Shake off most of the water (important, otherwise you'll end up overhydrating the dough and you'll have soup) and then, using your hand like a dough hook, impale the dough with all five fingers. Turn your wrist clockwise while you turn the bowl with your other hand counter clockwise. Continue to do this, occassionally changing direction and wetting your hands if the dough starts to stick, for about 10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but it will stick to the bottom. Adjust the flour or water as necessary. Put the dough in a pre-greased bowl and cover it.  Every hour or so, copiously flour your work surface, remove the dough, copiously flour the dough and give it a good stretch and fold, brushing off as much of the flour as you can before folding. By stretch-and-fold, I mean gently pat out the gas, stretch the dough to twice its length and then fold it in thirds like a letter. Give the dough a one-quarter turn, and then stretch-and-fold once more. Place it back in the bowl and re-cover it. Here's a good lesson on the technique.  After about 3 hours and 2 or 3 folds (depending on how much strength the dough needs), remove the dough, and divide it into two. Gently stretch and pat each loaf into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle, and place them in a baker's couche (essentially, well-floured linen that you bunch up around the loaves so that they rise up instead of spreading out) or on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cover with greased plastic.  It took mine about 4 hours for the final proof, but then my house is a chilly 62-64 degrees F. If your house is around 70-75 degrees, you may only have to wait two hours or so. In any case, preheat the oven to 500 degrees and put the loaves in the oven either on a preheated baking stone or a cold baking sheet when they're good and puffy. Steam the oven (I keep a cast iron skilet in the bottom of mine and usually toss about 1 cup of boiling water in it) and turn the oven down to 425. The loaves should take 20-25 minutes to cook and should register 205 degrees when done. With all that oil, the crust is not as crisp as I usually like ciabatta, but I find I do like the flavor it adds.  Enjoy!


Floydm's picture

3/8th teaspoon yeast? Wow.

Great looking loaf. And great post. Would you mind if I highlighted it on the front page? You took great photos and put a good amount of effort composing this piece. I want to make sure other people spot it.

JMonkey's picture

Thanks, Floyd. Sure, I'd love to have it highlighted!


Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I plan to write up a fairly long review of the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. I've made a ton of different loaves by now, so I've got a good idea of its strengths (many) and weaknesses (few).


By the way, Floyd. I can't seem to make line breaks work. I've tried entering HTML code, but the code itself shows up in the post. Last night, I did several carriage returns, and that finally worked, but it's not working this morning. I'd like to have a line break before and after the DON'T FORGET part (I forgot last night to include the autolyse step).


Any hints? Thanks. 


Floydm's picture

TinyMCE, the wysiwyg editor I'm using here now, usually gets things right and makes things easier for folks, but, yeah, sometimes it acts up.

Below the edit field you'll see a "disable rich-text" link. If you click that you'll see the HTML source. Doing that, I was able to plug in a couple of br tags for you. Feel free to adjust them if I didn't put them where you wanted them.

This is on the front page now. You'll notice I called it "Whole Wheat Ciabatta" rather than "Ciabatta Integrale" because I think it is more descriptive of what it is. It also closer matches what people often search on. I didn't change the name of your post or the recipe though, since we want to give credit and a referal back to the original recipe.

Thanks again for putting this together. I'm looking forward to trying the recipe myself. :)

JMonkey's picture

Thanks Floyd! That did the trick -- I'd never noticed that link before.

Good luck with the recipe!



kelly.dhop's picture

what can be substituted for dry milk?

what constitutes warm water?  is that boiled and cooled, tap, room temp?

white flour in my logic is lighter and fluffier than any other flour so would you need less of other flours like Kamult or Spelt when using recipe that calls for white flour

thanks much

love this site

titus's picture

Just wanted to compliment you on your fabulous looking ciabatta and say thanks for sharing your expertise. I look forward to your review of Laurel's Bread Book. Please consider also doing one for the new KA Whole Grains Baking as well!

HUGO's picture

Hi guys,
I was squeezed for time so I made a loaf of whole wheat ciabatta on the fly. I used as follows:
For the sponge
1 1/2 cups h2o (cold)
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
about an hour later it was busting out of the bowl.

mixed 1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbs. white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
All the sponge

about an hour later I dumped the dough on the litely floured board and folded in 3s. I formed the loaf loosing little air. (no punching)

Placed unbaked loaf on a cold flat pan sprined with corn meal.

Baked in a table top convection oven with a cup of micro-waved boiling h2o for steam.

30 minutes later I had a great loaf of whole wheat ciabatta. The crust was crunchy and the crumb was full of holes and very elastic. The flavor was almost sweet but the honest to goodness whole wheat bloom taste was great.
Total time start to finish was about 2 1/4 hours. Room temp. was 72 f. Instant yeast works well. No off tastes from long proofing periods. No off tastes from flavor pick up of the fridge.

It was just like a fine wine------tasty whole wheat bloom.

zorra's picture

It looks delicious! I thought also it's not possible to get such big wholes with whole wheat flour. I will try this one soon.

1x umrühren bitte  -

maggie664's picture

Hello JMonkey,Would you be kind enough to send the recipe for the Sailor Jack Muffins if you have time? Thank you. Maggie664I thought your ciabatta loaf and photography was great and have printed out your semi-white ciabatta recipe. (I also envy Floydm's and your cyberspeak!!)

JMonkey's picture

Sure, Maggie. I'll post it later tonight, if I get a chance.

martin's picture

I saw a mention of the KIng Arthur Whole Grain Bkaing book and had a look for it in my local book shop. It does not appear to have arrived yet.


I bake almost exclusively with whole grain and always looking for somethingnew to bake. That includes cakes & pastries. Does the book cover these items?




Martin Prior

JMonkey's picture


Yes, in fact, yeasted breads are probably only 1/10 of the book. There's pancakes, waffles, muffins, quickbreads, cakes, pies, cookies -- lots and lots of stuff.

Most of their recipes, however, aren't 100% whole grain, though they're all at least half whole grain. Nevertheless, so far, I think it's an excellent book, with lots of neat ideas.

maggie664's picture

JMonkey,Please, please, please, could you find time to send the recipe for Sailor Jack Muffins, preferably befote Christmas?

Thegreenbaker's picture

wow Jmonkey


The bread looks wonderfulm but I am even more interested in your Stuffed squash recipe!


Would you mind sharing it?

We are Huuuuuge fans of Quinoa in our house :) I am always looking for new ways to use that beautiful grain :)



JMonkey's picture


Sorry that I missed your request for the recipe. In any case, if you're still interested, here's where I got the recipe.

I make just a couple of changes. Sour cherries are pretty pricy, so I replace them with either raisins or dried cranberries. I also add 1/4 cup of chopped almonds. As for the squash itself, though carnival is prettier, acorn is tastier -- at least, it is to me.

Thegreenbaker's picture

WoW jmonkey.


Its harvest time here in the southern hemisphere and I just bought some small pumpkins and squashes for Monday night and was thinking of making my own stuffing!  

I must say coincidences abound............ or maybe not <i>just</i> coincidences ;)


Thanks a bundle!






chuppy's picture


I've been looking at doin a loaf of ciabatta for a while, but it looks a little diificult. I have a stand mixer so that's not a problem. I'd really like to see something different come out of my oven, like ciabatta! I have the bb by Rose Levy and she does a good job of explaing herself. Do you thing the bba has a better recipe for a greenhorn to follow? This will be my first time trying a ciabatta.


n3rdchik's picture

I made this over the weekend.  I didn't have powdered milk, so I used 1/2 a can of evaporated milk + H2O to equal 1 1/4 cups.  It turned out great (says the novice baker).
Thanks!  I put the book on my wishlist.

maggie664's picture

Hello JMonkey,
Have you come across that recipe for the above yet? M

rebecca77's picture

I'm still haven't gotten around to trying this ciabatta recipe (I hope to soon!) but I made the quinoa-stuffed acorn squash this weekend, and it was delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)


KAF's book is copyrighted and, therefore, recipes should not be posted.  If you do a search on here for Sailor Jack, you will find numerous threads dealing with Sailor Jack!

maggie664's picture

Thank you, Sheffield,
Will do. I wasn't aware recipes could be copywritten! Not here, anyway, in NZ!

ITALIAN-MAMA's picture

Recipes are NOT copy-rited....unless you start naming name brand ingredients will you be walking a very thin line.  If the source of the recipe is know, it should be so noted.  (also, just think about this....if recipes were copyrited, we wouldn't be able to share most ALL recipes which we do!).  All that aside, here is the recipe for the Sailor Jack muffins which is taken from the King Arthur* cookbook.


These muffins seem to be native to the Pacific Northwest where they can be found in Oregon’s bakeries.  There you will find these moist raisin and spice muffins turned upside down and wearing a lemon glaze.     

YIELD:  One dozen muffins 


1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (3-3/4 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup (8 ounces) water

1/2 cup (3 ounces) raisins

2 tablespoons (1-1/2 ounces) molasses 


1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour

1/2 cup (1-5/8 ounces) oat flour

1/2 cup (1-3/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup (2-3/8 ounces) vegetable oil

1 large egg 


1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon milk 


1.             Preheat the oven to 375'F.

2.             Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with papers and coat the papers with nonstick spray.  


1.              Place the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until the mixture comes to a boil.

2.              Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and let cool, overnight if desired. 


1.              Whisk together the flours, oats, baking soda and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.

2.              Add the cooled raisin and spice mixture, oil and egg.  Stir to combine.  Do not beat as this will toughen the muffins.

3.              Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full.

4.              Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 23 minutes.

5.              Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling.

 GLAZE:  Mix all the ingredients until smooth.  Drizzle over the cooled muffins.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING:  1 Glazed muffin: 18 g. whole grains, 245 cal., 7 g. fat, 3 g. protein, 19 g. complex carbohydrates, 3 g. dietary fiber, 18 mg. cholesterol, 329 mg. sodium, 183 mg. potassium, 9 RE vitamin A, 1 mg. vitamin C, 2 mg. iron, 64 mg. calcium, 131 mg. phosphorus.  
maggie664's picture

Thank you, Italian Mama. I've been waiting for ages for this recipe. A cookbook author over here tried to protect a recipe from further publication; to this day I can't believe she was serious! M

ITALIAN-MAMA's picture

Maggie, you are quite welcome!  Glad to have helped you!  Was hoping you were still active within this site so you would eventually get this recipe!!  In surfing this site, did notice there were several people asking for this recipe, and from several YEARS ago!

These muffins are fantastic!  Moist! Spicey!  They remind me of a cake my Nonna used to make for her family and was my Dad's favorite, called  "Depression Cake".  The only differences between her cake and these muffins is there was no glaze on her cake, cake vs muffins, and the small amount of oat flour!  The lemon glaze is mild and "just rght" as a compliment to the spice.   If you've never had these, you will love them!

BTW:  These freeze well, too!

 Yeah, with you on the copyrite issue!  Just don't get it.... ;-) 

maggie664's picture

Hi Italian Mama,
Am looking forward to making them after I get back from holiday in Samoa. These will be for sale in my cafe. I am still a more passive participant just now but intend to post a few different yeast baking things in the future. Life is a bit hectic with cafe cooking, house and land responsibilities.
Have to escape a horrble winter here. At the moment the NZ Island is coping with a 'nasty' storm and another one is due around the time we are to take off from Auckland for Apia. I hate flying at any time! M

ITALIAN-MAMA's picture

Hi, Maggie....

 Hope you enjoy the muffins.   Let me know how you like them....have you made them before? 

I am new here, so haven't posted much......and now with school starting up, have been busy with that.  My son is in college, but for this year he decided to transfer to a university out of the state.  It's been hectic here, too, trying to get him all set up.  He found an apartment rather than living on campus, but that's like setting up a new home!  I'm have fun with it, tho, buying all kinds of kitchen "toys" and such!!!  LOL!

Hope that your holiday was lovely and restful for you!   Look forward to chatting with you more around this forum!

maggie664's picture

Hi Italian Mama et al,
The Sailor Jack Muffins were made yesterday for the first time. I had to modify the recipe a little re molasses and used treacle instead (NZers rarely use molasses). The flavour and texture were really special. I had to blend up some rolled oats for oat flour as none is procurable. My cafe customers bought most of them but have had no feed back yet. They (the muffins) are a lot more filling than my usual sort (and healthier with a lower GI) and are a good breakfast choice!
Our Samoan holiday was blissful with hot sunny days for all 12 of them. We just got out of NZ before another awful and atypical storm hit the South Island, and on returning. got through the mountain pass to the West Coast a day befoe the pass was closed for 3 days. isolating us from the rest of NZ. If all this is not due to global warming. which has been stated, I shudder to think what is coming in the future. I will make the SJ muffins again next week.M

frazzled's picture

They sound delicious once I get ingredients together I m going to try those!!

femlow's picture

The Ciabatta Integrale recipe lists what I assume are measuements for two and one loaves (or maybe four and two?) side by side. So in the preferment it says 1 cup or 4 oz. whole wheat flour, but then it lists 1/2 cup or 4 oz. cold water. 1/2 cup and 4 oz. water are exactly the same. Now, starting out trying to make the smaller batch, I mixed things up and somehow ended up wth 1 cup water and 1/2 cup flour. Realizing my mistake I then tried to correct it by adding flour to total 2 cups flour to one cup water. Now in my limited experience with bread baking, preferments seem to lean toward a roughly 50/50 ratio of flour to water. And I realized that the original recipe was probably meant to say 1 cup or 4 oz. cold water, not 1/2 cup or 2 oz. cold water. So I increased the water to bring it all to a grand total of two cups flour to two cups water and hopefully roughly two pinches yeast. However, it still leaves the possibility that that is not what the recipe was meant to say. So can someone tell me if it should have 1 cup or 4 oz. cold water, or 1/2 cup or 2 oz. cold water? Help is greatly appreciated.


mrfrost's picture

This has been my every day bread(for a few days). Made with a starter of half whole wheat, half rye.

hvsultana7's picture

Hi to it may concern We have stopped for some thing to eat at Cambeltown in Tasmania, and we orded a bowl of soup, and with it came this bread, and it was some thing that we have never had tasted before, so we asked them what kind of bread is it, they said it was Ciabatta bread, we are trying to make it, and hope it will turn out the same way?  

cat42's picture

I'm new to your blog, writing from Bigfork Montana. I'm trying to go wheat-free (not gluten-free) so am experimenting with use of other grains such as spelt, barley, oat and rye. Spelt is a variety of wheat, but is significantly different especially in its gluten, so I use it as my primary grain.

I just tried your recipe, using half whole-grain spelt/half whole-grain barley flour in the ferment, and the next day half whole-grain spelt/half whole-grain oat flour for the whole grains and all unbleached white spelt flour instead of unbleached wheat flour. I used active dry yeast instead of instant, and I used 2 Tbsp whole milk as part of the liquids, instead of dried milk.

Otherwise, followed your instructions and ingredients. The dough was very soft, very easy to stretch the first couple times (almost too soft, so I worked in another tablespoon of white spelt). As the gluten developed, the dough had more form but was still quite soft.

I have a baking stone which I put on the lowest rack of my gas oven, and an old steel cake pan on the floor of the oven for the boiling water to make steam. I did get a fair rise in the oven and a wonderful golden crust with a few blisters. 

The loaf is light (in weight) and its taste is very good; bread has lots of holes, some big, some small. But the crust was not as crispy as I would like. I think my thermostat is not true, and will try baking at 450 instead of 425 next time (after the initial 550 warm-up).

This is definitely a keeper recipe for me.

Goatenheim's picture

This might be my favorite bread of all time. This stuff makes the most excellent pan bagnat, minus the eggs. I have been trying to tame the wet dough for about a month now, and thanks to you guys on TFL here, I am finally pleased with my results. The information and insight provided on this community is invaluable. Many thanks to you all, and especially you, JMonkey.


kelly.dhop's picture

Hi - I am brand new to the bread making world.  I did my first loaves just before Christmas. I made the starter: flour, yeast water and covered with towel to ferment overnight. However, when I came back to it the edges had dried and felt tough. I made 2 batches. One I still used in a bread recipe but that bread was small dense and did not raise when loaf was formed.  I did not bother using the 2nd bowl. WHat went wrong?  the recipe said to leave out on counter overnight to raise but even tho I am novice I knew this did not look right.  Thoughts

cat42's picture

I'm new to this site but not to preferments. I think yours ran into trouble overnight because it dried out on the surface, so could not breathe. Try this next: Find a plastic bag big enough to contain your bowl. Moisten the inside of the bag (fill with water and then dump it out). After you mix up the preferment, put the bowl of dough in the damp bag, then cover that with your cloth to keep out the light. Find a cool spot to let it rest overnight. The cooler the spot, the slower the rise and the better the flavor. You can even put it in the fridge. Your preferment may not rise, per-se, but when you uncover it in the morning, it should be bubbly and fragrant.