Brown “Ciabatta” Bread

I read a few recipes for ciabatta bread and based mine on Paul Holiwood’s recipe I found. I tweaked and changed a few things, but the essence is still there. I wanted to make a ciabatta bread, but instead of using white flour I used brown flour as I wanted to make it healthier. It is slightly denser in texture, but tasted really nice. You can substitute the recipe for white flour to get a more authentic result. I think the key to making a ciabatta is to use good flour and leave it to develop overnight. This is what gives the bread the light bubbly texture. Oh, and by the way I researched the ’00’ type italian flour that is used in most italian cooking. It just means that it’s a fine white flour and substituting it with good strong bread flour gives you the same results.  I hope you enjoy my recipe! 😉

Ingredients for 2 big ciabattas:

  • 3 cups of strong brown bread flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 350 ml water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Cooking Method

Mix the yeast with the honey and 250 ml water and leave to develop for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile sift half of the flour (1 1/2 cups) into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix well. You will get a very runny cake like batter. Cover and leave this to develop overnight at a room temperature. It will at least double in size and get very bubbly.

Next day, add the rest of the ingredients to the batter and knead into a dough.  You might need some extra flour if it looks too sticky. Cover and leave to rest for an hour.

Turn the oven to 200 C. Knock out the dough and shape into loafs. You can make 3-4 little ones or 2 big ones with this amount of dough. Dust lightly with flour, leave to rest for another 30 minutes and then bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve.


I hope you enjoy my recipe, please let me know what you think!


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