The Fresh Loaf

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Ciabatta - Italian Slipper bread

redcatgoddess's picture

Ciabatta - Italian Slipper bread

This recipe is listed in baker's yield.  You can increase the recipe to however large you want.  I did include the measurement in grams for 4 large ciabatta. This recipe will have the charactic large holes & heavy flour top that ciabatta is known for.

This is the traditional, true artisan bread, so no mixer needed!  All you need is a large mixing bowl, pastic bow scraper, and a table cloth or cloth napki.

Liquid preferment (also called 'sponge')

67% Bread flour   480g

83% water         600 g

1% instant yeast  7 g

Final Dough

3% salt              22 g

33% bread flour  240 g


  1. Mix the liquid perferment at room temperature, cover, let stand in room temperture for 1 hr 
  2. Mix the final dough mixture then toss into the sponge, squeez it to fully hydrate the flour.
  3. Cover & letferment in room temp for 20 minutes, then use a plastic bowl scraper, gently life the side of gooy dough and drap across the center of the dough. 
  4. Repeat step 3 twice at the increasement of 20 minutes (3 folds in 60 mintues)
  5. Cover, the let dough set in room temp for 30 minutes.
  6. HEAVY flour on the table cloth or napkin.  Make sure you put a GOOD layer of flour onto it to provent sticking.
  7. Gently guiding the dough onto the floured cloth with bowl scraper.
  8. HEAVY flour on the now top of the dough.
  9. Use a knife, cut the dough into quarters. Don't worry, you can't really 'cut' through the dough, this is just a guide for you to move them.
  10. Coat your hands with heavy flour, then slowly & gently move the cuted quarters to the 4 quarter of the cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
  11. Move your hand gently to the back of the bread and gently make them into square shaps if you can.
  12. Let stand in the room temp for 20 minutes (resting)
  13. Preheat your oven to 475 degree F
  14. Gently invert the shaped dough onto your hand then place onto a parchment paper.
  15. Bake until lightly browned.

This is the quick photo that I took before I box it up & set it out to the neighbors.
rosiePearl's picture

I made these today - my first-ever yeasted bread that isn't pizza.

They came out very well, so thanks.  Terrific, too, that you don't need the mixer; I don't really have much equipment, since I'm just starting out and am also broke, so it's great to find recipes that just need flour, yeast, water, and a cloth napkin!

I substituted a cup of whole wheat flour for a cup of white, and I like the flavor and slight graininess. 

redcatgoddess's picture

For any bread that doesn't require a LOT of handling or kneading.. you can always substitut part of the flour to wheat & still come out beautifully.  Glad you like it!

For Artisan bread, you don't need a mixer.  REALLY.  True artisan bread is made by hand, not machine.  Let me know if you want to try another bread & I might have a simple direction that you can do w/o mixer

rosiePearl's picture

Thanks.  ANYTHING that doesn't need a mixer would be just my cup of tea. I love all kinds of French breads, and  anything along those lines would be great. 

I do have an old mixer, but I don't have all the attachments.   I tried it for my pizza dough, and it did work - but the dough climbed up the beaters into the machine, so that's pretty limited.

But this came out really well for a first try, I think, so thanks again!

redcatgoddess's picture

no problem.  I will post a couple more no mixer method this weekend when I get around doing it.  When it comes to bread, unless you have a dough hook, otherwise I won't recommand it.  Also depends on what you have, you might be able to get extras from the maker or online.

rosiePearl's picture

Well, this mixer was my mother's and must be at least 25 years old.  So I'm not so confident about finding parts, but I'm quite happy to use recipes that don't require the mixer....

phxdog's picture

Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. I tried it last night and the ciabattas turned out great. This technique seems almost fool-proof, now if I can just find a way to avoid getting covered with flour everytime I bake!

Scott (Phxdog) 

redcatgoddess's picture

This is one of my all time favorites and I am just glad that ppl do like it & it is easy enough for everyone.  For chabatta, flour is everywhere so it is very hard to avoid it.  I only wear white (chef's coat) & white apron while I make it!  Besides, flour on you only shows your love for the art!  Wear it proud!