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ciabatta bread

Ciabatta Bread: Richard Bertinet's Recipe

After attending Richard Bertinet's Bread Making Class in Bath, UK, I was hooked. This is a brilliant and rather easy recipe. Best part: par baked loaves that are outstanding when baked later!
Course Bread
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 loaves
Author Valerie Lugonja


Ingredients for the Ferment (to be prepared 24 hours in advance):

  • 350 g or 12 1/2 ounces or 2 2/3 cup white bread flour
  • 190 g or 7 fluid ounces water
  • 2.5 g or 1/2 teaspoon fresh yeast

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 450 g or one pound Italian bread flour (I used unbleached white)
  • 20 g or 1/3 ounce fresh yeast (same measurement for dry, but not instant)
  • 340 g or 13 fluid ounces water
  • 75 g or 5 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon good quality fine grain salt
  • oil for oiling
  • flour for dusting


Instructions for the Ferment:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a mixer, or by hand, for about 5 minutes until you have a rough dough
  2. Place in bowl covered loosely with plastic wrap and a lint free dishtowel
  3. Rest in a draft free place 17 - 24 hours

Instructions for making the dough:

  1. Put flour in a mixing bowl; rub in yeast with finger tips as if you were making a crumble
  2. Scoop the ferment into the bowl; add water, oil, and salt, mixing well until combined
  3. Transfer to counter work surface with the help of the rounder end of your scraper or "D-shaped" bread making spatula
  4. Work the dough as demonstrated in the Sweet Dough video, below
  5. Mold dough into a ball; lightly oil a bowl with EVOO or avocado oil and place back in cleaned bowl, covered with a lint free towel
  6. Rest in warm place for 90 minutes, or until bubbly and light
  7. Flour work surface generously with white flour or cornmeal; with the help of the rounded end of your scraper, turn dough out onto counter in one piece
  8. Flour the top; press dough lightly and gently, dimpling it gently with your fingers
  9. Divide into four equal strips; fold each strip into three: fold one part of one strip over the middle third of the dough gently pressing to seal; bring the other side back over that middle third gently pressing to seal
  10. Finally, fold in half lengthwise, and seal edges
  11. Preheat oven to 475°F with cookie sheet or upside down jelly roll pan on oven rack to be heated to bake bread on
  12. Place pieces of dough onto well floured lint free dishtowels; cover and proof for 45 minutes
  13. Flour a wooden peel; pick up one ciabatta at a time, turn it over and stretch it lengthwise a little at the same time, and lay it on the peel
  14. Spray inside of oven with water, or throw 5-6 ice cubes in bottom of oven; quickly slide ciabatta dough onto "baking stone" tray
  15. Turn oven down to 435°F and set timer for 20 minutes: if you are par-baking the bread, set the timer for 15 minutes, cool loaves completely, wrap well, and freeze (Bake from frozen for 12 minutes at 400°F)

Instructions for making the dough in the Thermomix:

  1. Scale the flour and yeast into the TM bowl, and combine for 10 second at speed 4
  2. Add the ferment; scale in the water, oil, and salt and mix to combine for 30 second at speed 4-5
  3. Knead for 3 minutes; follow the instructions above from #5 onward

Recipe Notes

Plain ciabatta is as common in Italian supermarkets as white sandwich bread is in the United States. Other ingredients are often baked into ciabatta such as chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Ciabatta is often served with soups and salads and is excellent for sandwiches, grilling, or for dipping into olive oil.