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Yeast Ciabatta Bread

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Prepare within five minutes the starter/sponge, and then bake two Yeast Ciabatta Bread loaves tomorrow with a hearty crust.


Ciabatta is an Italian white bread made from wheat flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil, created in 1982 by a baker in Adria, province of Rovigo, Veneto, Italy, in response to the popularity of French baguettes.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour – I made 2 free form loaves or you can line 1 large loaf tin with parchment paper if you prefer 1 loaf


  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour or if you wish use bread flour instead. I used cake flour.
  • 1 x 10 g sachet instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 500 ml lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives (optional ) for the 1 loaf


  1. In a jug add lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast granules, stir and set aside to froth for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl add sifted flour and salt.
  3. Make a well in the center and add oil then your yeast mixture.
  4. Mix with a wooden spoon until all dry and wet are incorporated.
  5. The dough will be moist and sticky.
  6. Cover bowl with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  7. The dough will rise double.
  8. Knockback dough and turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 4 minutes.
  9. If the dough is too sticky and wet add 1 or 2 tbsp extra flour and knead in.
  10. Divide dough in half and add olives to the one loaf ( optional ) or leave as 1 loaf.
  11. Place dough on baking tray free form shape and sprinkle the top with flour.
  12. Cover with a large plastic bag and let rise for a further 30 minutes.
  13. Just before placing it in the oven slash 3 slashes into the top of the bread with a sharp knife and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow.

Note: I place a bowl of water on the last rung of the oven. It creates steam while the bread is baking and gives a lovely crispy crust.

Recipe: Sybil Norling-Ely
Prepared, tried, and tested by Gail Haselsteiner

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