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Ciabatta bread

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This is a straightforward Ciabatta bread recipe that is relatively easy and satisfying to make.

Ciabatta bread

To get that classic shape and open texture, you need a very wet and sloppy dough, so you really have to make it in an electric mixer. Serve this thin-crusted, light with bread warm for breakfast, with soups or salad, or split toasted and filled with salami, prosciutto, or cheese for an Italian-style sandwich.


  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g salt
  • 1 packet of instant dried yeast
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 400 ml tepid water
  • Fine semolina for dusting (optional)


  1. Lightly oil 2-3 liter square plastic container (it is important to use the tub as it helps shape dough)
  2. Put the flour, salt, and yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (don’t put the salt directly into the yeast) and olive oil, and three-quarters of water, and begin mixing on low speed. As the dough starts to come together.
  3. Slowly add the remaining water.
  4. Then mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
  5. Tip the dough into the prepared tub, cover with a tea towel and leave until at least doubled in size or trebled size for 1-2’hours.
  6. Heat your oven to 220C and line the baking tray with parchment or silicone paper.
  7. Dust your work surface heavily with flour and some semolina too, if you have some.
  8. Carefully tip out the dough(it will be very wet) onto a work surface, trying to retain the shape, rather than knocking it back.
  9. Handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough with more flour and or semolina.
  10. Cut the dough halfway lengthways into 2 strips.
  11. Stretch each piece of dough lengthways and place it on prepared baking trays.
  12. Leave the ciabatta dough to rest for further 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
  13. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of my favorite chef the master baker: Paul Hollywood
Prepared, tried, and tested by Joy Martin Smyth

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