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No-knead ciabatta loaf recipe

No-knead ciabatta loaf recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Italian bread
  • Ciabatta

This bread is the perfect marriage of a crisp, light crust outside and a chewy yet tender inside. The no-knead part is just a bonus!

16 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 480g white bread flour
  • 70g wholemeal bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried active yeast
  • 475ml water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons course semolina

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:35min ›Extra time:20hr rising › Ready in:20hr55min

  1. Place white and wholemeal flour in a large bowl. Add salt, yeast and water. Mix until a wet sticky dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Cover with foil. Allow dough to rise for 18 hours at room temperature. It should not be too warm.
  2. Punch dough down with a spatula and fold it over a few times.
  3. Lightly oil a heavy rimmed baking tray with vegetable oil. Sprinkle generously with coarse semolina.
  4. Lightly spray a work surface with water. Place a long sheet of cling film on the damp surface to hold it in place. Sprinkle cling film with flour. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Gently stretch and pull dough into a long, flat rectangular shape, about 30cm long. Bring cling film to edge of prepared baking tray and flip the dough onto the baking tray. Reshape the dough, if necessary. Dust with flour. Cover with a light dry towel. Let rise about 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
  6. Bake dough in preheated oven until loaf is nicely browned, 35 to 45 minutes.

See it on my blog

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(59)

Reviews in English (47)

Bread developed ok but produces a very flat loaf. Also base absorbs a lot of the semolina which isn't great.-07 Sep 2017

by Rida Elias

This is extremely easy. I made it about 4 times in one week. Everybody loves it. I eliminated the shaping step. So after leaving the dough for 12 to 18 hours I punch the dough and sometimes add some olives and dump it as is on the baking sheet. Let it rest for 2 more hours then bake as instructed. Amazing. Warning: Addictive.-13 Nov 2017

Sourdough Ciabatta Bread Recipe

This bread is such a treat. It’s soft, incredibly open, and light in hand—almost like a bushel of puffy marshmallows bound together by a crust poised to shatter at the slightest pressure. This is a loaf of bread that asks you to tear it with hands, dunked into the best olive oil in the pantry. That is if you can stop yourself from cutting it in half and sandwiching together all manner of delicious ingredients (I couldn’t, as you’ll see later). I hope this sourdough ciabatta bread recipe becomes a regular in your kitchen as it has been in mine.

Classically, ciabatta is intended to be used for sandwiches, or panino, of all kinds. The smaller ciabatta panini are wildly popular in Italy and even here in the US, and for a good reason. The wide footprint of these slippers—ciabatta means slipper in Italian—have a sturdy crust that provides the right platform for ensnaring anything and everything one could conceivably use for a sandwich. As you'll see later in this post, I found myself making sandwiches with just about everything lying around in my fridge—not to mention all the fresh vegetables from the market.

And while the appeal of this specialty bread is evident, it can be a challenging dough to work with at first attempt. It's more comfortable in a sense there's no preshaping or shaping, really, but the high hydration and slack dough can elicit a few choice words at divide time.

For this reason, I highly recommend you use a mixer with this sourdough ciabatta bread recipe if you have access to one. It’s possible to mix this by hand, but the dough can get unruly when mixing on the counter. When I did combine this by hand, I relied heavily on the bassinage technique, whereby I add water in stages as I strengthen the dough. See the section on Mixing and the Bassinage Technique a little later in this post for more details.


I know a lot of us naturally take the new year to make intentions/resolutions/goals/whatever you decide to call it, and I am definitely one of them. I don’t always write them down or say them out loud, but I do keep an internal list of goals for myself (Type-A perfectionist overachiever, party of one) that I strive to achieve over time. This year, one of my goals is to streamline Girl Versus Dough into a blog that works better for YOU, dear friend. And that starts with, in part, listening to your requests and putting them here in recipe form.

Since my no knead Dutch oven bread is always and forever the popular kid on this blog, and since many of you requested a foolproof ciabatta bread recipe on the ‘gram, I thought I’d combine the ease of no knead bread with the airy, crusty, flavorful deliciousness of homemade ciabatta bread and make one glorious creation that requires you to lift nary a kneading finger.

I will be honest with you — this recipe took me three tries to get it right. In the first two rounds, I tried to cut down on the rise time and incorporate a few steps into one. The result was a dense, flat, flavorless loaf. Blech. The third and final round, I decided to take a breath, be patient, and let the dough rise longer so those gorgeous air pockets and glutinous strands could take their time to develop. And lo, I am so glad I did.

Most helpful positive review

Most helpful critical review

so easy. Everytime I make it I get rave reviews!! Easy hint, use spatula to scrape out of breadmaker onto a heavily floured board. Then use a metal scraper to scrape/scoop/lift the floured dough into a rectangle and then plop onto a silpat/greased cookie sheet. This is a rustic bread so it will be chewy with large holes. You really can&apost use your hands, they&aposll goo up and you won&apost be able to handle it. Develop the lift and fold over technique with the scraper and it&aposll be a breeze. Read More


Ciabatta bread rolls that need NO kneading are easy to make and must be next on your baking list! Create these delicious, crisp ciabatta rolls everyone will love and let the aroma of freshly baked bread take over your kitchen (without the mess!)


400g/14.10oz 00 flour OR All-purpose flour (Plus extra on the side)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons EVOO
12g/0.42oz fresh yeast OR 1 teaspoon dry yeast
300ml/1 1/3 cups water (lukewarm water) + small bowl with water for your hands

Spatula OR Fork
Large mixing bowl
Chopping board
Flat baking tray lined with baking paper


  1. No-knead ciabatta bread dough always starts with the flour! Add 10% of your flour (approx. 40g) into a bowl along with the warm water.
  2. Next, dissolve the yeast into the mix, breaking it down with your hands then using a fork or spatula to combine.
  3. Once the flour, water and yeast are well mixed, add 2 x tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then the sugar plus salt and mix through.
  4. When the ingredients have combined well, slowly add the flour, just 10-20% more at a time, mixing it as you go to make sure the flour is absorbed into the wet mixture.
  5. Once there is no dry flour in sight, cover the bowl of ciabatta bread dough with plastic wrap and place it in the oven (turned off) for 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours, remove the bowl from the oven, take off the wrap and put a generous amount of flour on your board, before placing the dough on top.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: To remove the dough with ease from the bowl, wet the tip of a spatula or your hands with warm water.

  1. Drizzle a generous amount of EVOO on top of the dough, spreading it all over before using the spatula to fold in each side of the bread, one section at a time (some of the flour should now be stuck to most of the dough).
  2. Now, add even more flour to the ciabatta dough, spreading it all over.
  3. Cut the loaf into 4-6 portions using a pastry cutter, according to how big you want the ciabatta rolls and gently lift each one (with a hand on either end) and place it on the tray.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/446°F, fill a cake pan with water and place it in the bottom of your oven to help keep the ciabatta bread from drying out.
  5. Place the ciabatta rolls in the oven for 20 minutes before removing the tray of water and cooking for an additional 5 minutes to create the perfect crispness!

Leave the bread to rest on a cooling rack for 5-7 minutes and then enjoy! Ciabatta rolls can be enjoyed as a panino filled with your favourite fillings (mine would be prosciutto, salami, fresh mozzarella and grilled eggplant!) or to accompany your meal – maybe a yummy minestrone.

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!

A good bread lover like you MUST try these 2 recipes:

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No-Knead Bread Hack: Making a Sandwich Loaf Instead

Thanks in large part to the no-knead bread revolution, we completely ditched store-bought bread last year and started making our own on a weekly basis! One problem, though: we make a lot of sandwiches and just tend to like the loaf-shape better. Can the no-knead bread be adapted? Why, yes it can!

The no-knead bread is so wet and sticky that it can be difficult to shape into anything except a round loaf. Here’s what to do to make it workable:

After the dough has risen and you’re ready to shape the loaf, sprinkle the counter liberally with a handful of flour and turn the dough out on top. Sprinkle a little more flour over the top of the dough and knead the dough just two or three times until the flour is incorporated and the dough is no longer bubble-gum sticky. A bench scraper can help with the initial kneading if the dough sticks to the counter.

Then shape the dough into a sandwich loaf following these simple guidelines. If the dough still seems very sticky, coat your hands with flour so you can work with the dough. But also don’t be afraid of the sticky dough! Even if all you can manage is to fold the dough on itself once and dump it in the pan, it will actually turn out just fine.

Place the shaped loaf into a greased bread pan and let it rise until it’s just starting to crest over the rim of the pan. Don’t worry if the loaf seems misshaped or sticky going into the pan – it will fill in the sides and assume a loaf shape as it rises. Turn on the oven to 450° to pre-heat about 20 minutes before baking.

Just before baking, rub a little flour into the surface of the loaf and cut a slash or two with a serrated knife. This will help prevent cracking as the loaf rises in the oven.

Bake the loaves for 30-35 minutes, turning them once halfway through so they bake evenly. The loaves should be golden-red with a few toasted brown spots. Shake them out of the pan and tap the bottom with your knuckle – if it sounds hollow, they’re done! If you’re not sure, check the internal temperature. Bread is done when the center registers 190°.

The resulting loaf will have a softer crust and a tighter, more spongy crumb than the regular no-knead bread – perfect for our sandwiches! If you have picky eaters in your house who insist on store-bought white bread, you might give this a try with them. And it’s theoretically a big bread no-no, but if you store the loaf in a plastic bag, the crust gets even softer.

More on No-Knead Bread:
• Bittman’s No-Knead Bread Phenomenon (link to original NY Times article and recipe)
• Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (with link to original NY Times article and recipe)
• No-Knead Bread in a Hurry

Pillow ciabatta

I've been playing around with the no-knead ciabatta recipe for a while, and am finding a major problem: my ciabatta comes out with one giant air pocket. Last night I made three loaves all from the same 100% hydration recipe. With the first I stirred the 18-hour proofed batter then poured out one loaf and put it right in the oven. Here's how that one came out.

You can see even with no proofing time it got pretty large bubbles and most are at the top. About 2/3 of this loaf had one giant bubble at the top, so you end up with a really thin top crust.

The second loaf I proofed for 45 minutes, then flipped upside down and baked right away. I thought this might help redistribute the air pockets to the bottom so they'd rise through the bake and you would get a nicely uniform webbed structure. Nope. Even worse.

The final loaf proofed uncovered for about 90 minutes, didn't get flipped, and came out with the most dramatic structure yet.

I haven't cut that one open yet but I expect it'll be like the Christmas turkey in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacaction--all brown skin and hollow inside.

So what gives? Is 100% hydration dough just impossible to bake? I know there's too much flour on all but the last loaf, which affects browning. I'm thinking the batter is so thin that the bubbles instantly rise to the top and the use of high-gluten flour means the crust just stretches out like a latex balloon. Should I switch to all-purpose or just lower the hydration to 85-90%?

I've got the recipe on the bread section of my website so you can see the formula in detail. I think it still needs some tweaking!

That or a weak flour. But it's clear your dough doesn't have sufficient structure to develop a proper crumb. Instead, the steam is just concentrating in one giant bubble.

I would highly suggest using high gluten bread flour, 5 minutes mixing with around 75% hydration, and then an overnight retard in the fridge. Bring up to temp around 2-3 hours, then cut and stretch into the shape and proof for another hour or two to develope the pockets. More or less like the BBA Ancienne. That should work.

What you've got looks a lot more like pita bread than ciabatta. I haven't made no-knead ciabatta, so I can't speak to that technique. However, if you're literally 'pouring' the mix out, then it's too wet IMHO. Ciabatta greatly benefits from folding as a way of developing strength and trapping the gases within to create a lovely open crumb structure. Without folds, I don't know how you're going to get a good crumb structure.

Most of my ciabatta is in the mid to high 70% range, which means that while it's a wet dough, it's certainly capable of taking folds.

You might want to back off the hydration level and try incorporating folds.

I'm not at all sure that high gluten flour is appropriate to ciabatta by the way.

You're right, it's a lot like pits but isn't evenly distributed. I'm using a 50/50 blend of bread flour and high-gluten, and trust me, the dough is plenty strong. Otherwise I think it would crack open or split before it puffed up, so I don't think gluten development is the problem. I'm still leaning toward hydration level, but I'm going to do another test this week to find out. I just need to eat my way through the first two loaves before I make more!

"Otherwise I think it would crack open or split before it puffed up"

I don't think that's true at all. When a loaf of bread hits the oven, the outer skin begins to set first, which traps the steam, forming that huge bubble.

No, the fact that you have one giant pocket and a bunch of teeny tiny holes *really* says to me it's a problem with the gluten structure, otherwise you'd expect *some* additional bubbles, and there's basically none of note.

Given that you're using an 18-hour proof, maybe you're overproofing the dough (overproofing will result in a breakdown of gluten structure). Try cutting down the proofing time and see what happens.

Thanks everyone for the good suggestions. I dropped the hydration from 100% to 89%, which oddly didn't seem to change the consistency of the dough. It TOTALLY fixed the air pocket problem, however. Check out the new structure:

There's much more gelatinazation of starches, the bubbles are even throughout, and the structure is strong. I also baked this a little hotter, at around 550, which gave a nice brown and crispy crust. No steaming, since the dough is so wet I think it self-steams and fills up the oven.

But here's the, I think, even more interesting part. That ciabatta shown above was poured straight from the bowl after I mixed it. No proofing, no flour dusting, just straight onto parchment and baked. I did another loaf with a 1-hour proof, flipping it over before baking and fully flouring it. It's a big pain to do this, and once the dough is coated in flour it doesn't brown well. Plus I don't like tasting that much flour on the crust. I didn't notice any difference in taste between the two, maybe because it's a no-knead and sits out for 18 hours anyway to develop flavor and structure. Bottom line: no-knead with no-proof and 89% hydration seems to work great! I updated the recipe on my blog for those who want to try it for themselves. You can find it here. Happy baking!

Jim Lahey no-knead bread recipe help?

I'm a new baker. I thought the no-knead bread recipe by Jim Lahey looked interesting so I tried it. I have already mixed all the ingredients together, but I am using KA whole wheat flour. I let the mixture rest for 20ish hours and I just took it out and folded it. However, I found it to be very wet and hard to handle. Is this normal or should I add more flour?

Also btw I am planning to bake it on a cookie sheet because I don't have an iron pot. Will this be okay? I'm assusimg I won't get the same crust though. Right?

Also, I was wondering if oiling the bowl with olive oil/etc (as it says in some recipes) is necessary.

Akat417. I have never tried this recipe but wanted to try it when I first started baking bread last summer.

I am assuming by your post above, that you are using only whole wheat flour and no bread flour or All Purpose flour. If this is the case, your main problem is deviating from the recipe. Even myself, who has baked bread for almost 5 months now, learned the hard way too many times NOT to change the recipe in any way. Especially since you are still in the learning stage (so am I) it is very important that you learn from the exact recipes and then once you have mastered them, move on and try to add your own flair.

I am sure others can back me up on this, that by using only whole wheat flour, you do not have nearly enough gluten development, which will make the dough extremely sticky. When I first started making bread, I was thinking that using white flours were unhealthy and all I wanted to do was bake whole wheat and rye breads. Well, I learned fast that you NEED bread flour and/or All Purpose flour to produce the dough strength. This will take away the extreme stickyness you are experiencing. There are ways to compensate the lack of gluten development whole wheat flours have, by using vital wheat gluten, but this is something you should try first in recipes that actually call for it.

I always lightly oil the bowls I rest the dough in. The small amount does not effect the bread at all and it prevents it from sticking to the bowl. If the dough sticks to the bowl, it tears the gluten strands when you perform the stretch and folds, etc. This will destroy the gulten development you are trying hard to develop.

As for the cookie sheet, you will only be able to get away with basic results using this method if you follow a few steps:

1. LIGHTLY oil the sheet pan then sprinkle some corn meal evenly so the bread does not stick. OR you can use parchment paper on the cookie sheet.

2. Try to find a lid deep enough to produce some steam baking which is important for this particular recipe. You don't have to do this step, but you will not find the results nearly as good as Jim's photos show.

If you own a turkey roaster, you can get great results from it as a good steaming/baking vessel. Some have said that using a roaster even produces better results than a dutch oven. I can not comment on this, as I have never tried the dutch oven method.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and welcome to this amazing world of baking breads.


  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast*
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour**
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, between 105 to 110 degrees F (use a cooking thermometer if you have one. The water should feel very warm but not hot)

Can I use instant yeast for this recipe?

If you only have instant yeast, use half the amount called for in the recipe. In other words, the overnight version requires 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast. The fast version requires 1 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast. Simple!

Endless flavor combos for savory satisfaction

One of the things I love most about these savory bread recipes is that they’re so diverse and easy. Add ins can range from a handful of seeds to heaps of vegetables and spices that create truly unique loaves.

Here are some of the delicious ways to create savory bread recipes:

  • Cheese, cheese, cheese!
  • Fresh or dried herbs
  • Chopped aromatics like onions and garlic.
  • Vegetables like squash, carrot, potato, and more.
  • Chopped, cooked meat like bacon or sausage
  • Flavorful liquids like dairy, stock, beer, and more.

It’s easy to imagine how good savory bread recipes can bring unique flavor to your meals. Below you’ll find a collection of delicious ideas, some from me, and many from other talented bloggers around the web. Together we’ve created a list for you to find perfect bread for your next meal.

No-knead ciabatta loaf recipe - Recipes

This recipe first appeared in the New York Times in November 2006. Mark Bittman visited the Sullivan Street Bakery where Jim Lahey, who devised this tasty bread and its unique cooking method, demonstrated how to make this bread.

This was one of the most emailed articles from the New York Times, because its simple and results in a magnificant loaf of bread.

Unlike most recipes that have you hunting in speciality stores for ingredients you will never use again, this recipe has four basic ingredients: Flour, water, salt and yeast. No sugar or added fats. And it's inexpensive - one standard package of yeast will make about 6 loaves of bread! I estimate ingredients for this bread cost about 50 cents - you would pay $3.00 to $4.00 for this loaf in an artisan bakery! Plus, there is NO KNEADING! None! Time does all the work in creating the gluten that gives bread its unique structure.

Time and patience are the key elements to making this recipe work. The bread needs 19-24 hours to work its magic prior to baking.

The following is a visual guide to making this delicious bread, based on much experimination with various techniques and tools.

In a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl, (NOT metal) combine:

3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 teaspoons salt (depends on your taste)
1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast

Mix well to combine dry ingredients

Mix well with a spoon. No need to beat this , just get all the flour absorbed - you might need a little extra water if it's very dry where you are. Make sure you purchase instant yeast such as Rapid Rise from Fleischmann's or Quick Rise from Red Star. You only need 1/4 teaspoon, not the whole package. Fold the foil package that the yeast came in and place it in a zipper bag in the refrigerator for the next loaf.

Cover your dough (it will not be very pretty) with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (at least 70 degrees). I find the microwave oven (off, of course) makes an excellent resting place. I usually make this in the evening so I can bake bread the next evening. In some ways, this is easier than conventional bread baking where everything happens in compressed time - you end up baking until 11 at night. With this method, this first step takes just five minutes.

The original recipe from the New York Times called for the dough to be placed in a towel. Both times I tried that I had a sticky mess on my hands - others who have baked this bread and written up their results on blogs have reported the same problem. I have used the parchment three times and it works much better than the towel method - cleaner too as you can just throw the parchment paper away when finished.

Now, let the dough rest in the paper from 1-2 hours, or until about doubled in size. I usually do this out on the counter.

Now, the moment! Carefully remove the baking bowl from the oven, wearing your oven mitts. Flip the bread out of the baking dish and carefully place the bread on a cooling rack. Turn off the oven and return the baking dish to the oven to gradually cool down.
If all went right, you should have a beautiful rustic loaf that will SING to you - as the bread cools, you will hear crackling noises which indicate your crust is perfect! See what a nice finish the dusting flour gives?

RESIST the temptation to cut open your cooling bread. It must sit at least one hour before slicing.

The fruits of your labor are evident! After a few successes with this basic recipe, allow your imagination to take over - use different types of flour such whole wheat, rye or spelt add things such as chopped olives or dried tomatoes. I cut my loaves with an electric knife, but any good bread knife will also do the trick.

Storage: Keep this bread out of the refrigerator! It will ruin the crust. Keep it cut side down covered with a piece of paper or a towel. That keeps the moisture in but does not ruin the crust. Keeping in a zipper bag will also cause the crust to become less crunchy.

This bread makes a wonderful gift - give with a little bottle of flavored olive oil.

UPDATE - 12/29/06 - Use more salt if you like, I find that Harvest King Flour works the best.

UPDATE - 12/8/08 - No Knead Bread was featured on Food Network Canada!


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