Ciabatta 2560 1920 Daryl Duarte


This bread is a two-day adventure, but the first day is simple, the second day takes some attention.   This is a recipe to do when you are planning to be home – and want something very artisanal to do.  The feeling of accomplishment when something like this comes out of your very own oven is worth the bit of extra effort.  There will be some flour around the kitchen as well – very much like a bread bakery!   The signature look of ciabatta requires a good bit of flour on the surface, and the final inversion just before it goes into the oven gives it the surface texture. 


For the biga

  • 1 ¼ cups (9 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) water
  • Pinch of yeast

For the final preparation the dough

  • 1 recipe of biga
  • 5 ¼ cups (21 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 cups (16 oz) water


To make the biga

  • Mix all the bign ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. This will be a dry dough and you need to work a bit to get it evenly mixed. I use a heavy spoon at first and then finish with my fingers. Cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm dry spot (I put mine on a piece of marble that is resting on our furnace). Allow it to ferment for 12 – 16 hours.

Assembling the final dough

  • Add the biga and remaining ingredients into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. It helps to break up the biga into smaller pieces. Using a bread dough hook, beat at a low speed until the dough is uniform in texture – then increase the speed to medium and beat 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic film and place it in a warm dry spot to rise.
  • Do one “turn” every 30 minutes – 3 turns in total. A turn is accomplished by reaching down to the bottom of the bowl, along one side, and pulling the bottom dough to the top. Repeat all the way around the bowl. That is one turn. A plastic dough scraper makes this job much easier.
  • Thirty minutes after the final turn, which is two hours total of rising, pour the dough onto a heavily floured surface – either your countertop or a baking pan or parchment paper. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape the dough by gently pulling it lengthwise and sideways to get the shape you want – approximately 4” x 10” and ¾” thick.
  • Dust the loaves with flour (use a metal strainer to create a snowfall effect) and then cover with a lightweight kitchen towel. Allow the loaves to proof for one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees which has been outfitted with a baking stone or steel and allow the oven to heat for at least 30 minutes.
  • Invert the loaves onto floured parchment and transfer them into the oven. After 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake the loaves until they are a deep golden color – approximately 25 minutes.
  • Remove the loaves and cool on a wire rack.
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