Ciabatta Rustic Hard Crusted Italian Bread Recipe

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6 votes | 6804 views

A delicious easy hard crusted Italian Bread you can make many different ways!

Prep time:
Cook time:


Cost per recipe $1.21 view details
  • For Sponge Starter Mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup room-temp water
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • To make sponge: stir together, warm water and yeast.
  • Let stand 5 minutes, until foamy.
  • Place yeast mixture to another bowl and add warm water and the 1 cup of flour.Stir for 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Let stand at cool room temp at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
  • To make the Bread:
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Place in a small bowl yeast,milk and stir, let stand 5 minutes.
  2. In a heavy duty electric mixer, using a dough hook, mix together milk and yeast, add sponge starter( from yesterday), water, oil,sugar and flour at low speed until flour is moistened.
  3. Beat for 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt and knead for 4 more minutes with dough hook on electric mixer.
  5. Place this dough into greased oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel on top, place in a warm spot until tripled in volume about 2 hours.
  6. Note: Dough is sticky and full of bubbles, this is normal.
  7. Cut out two pieces of baking parchment paper.Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle flour all over it .
  8. Turn dough out onto a well-floured board and cut in half.
  9. Transfer each half to paper and form irregular ovals like a slipper shape, or you can make pizza's round personal size pan pizza shapes for Ciabatta pizza approx 9 inches in size. Dip fingers in flour and dimple loaves.
  10. Note: For Alternative, omit dusting with flour, brush with beaten egg whites on top of bread dough and sprinkle herbs on top. I use a blend of oregano, basil, parsley and minced fresh garlic, red pepper flakes on top, a little Parmesan and pepper, all around 1/2 teaspoon, if measuring. I always make one plain and one herb crusted.
  11. Cover with oil sprayed plastic wrap, a dampened kitchen towel and let rise 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, until almost doubled.
  12. If you are using a pizza stone pre heat stone for 45 minutes before baking bread. Otherwise use a pizza pan with air holes on the bottom lined with parchment.
  13. If you have room for both, put the other loaf on another pan, place in oven. 425°F or until they're golden brown. Turn off the oven, remove the Ciabatta from the baking sheet, and return them to the oven, leave the oven door open a couple of inches. Allow the Ciabatta to cool completely in the oven; this will give them a very crisp crust.
  14. Remove to cooling racks.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Recipe %DV
Recipe Size 657g
Calories 1645  
Calories from Fat 186 11%
Total Fat 21.41g 27%
Saturated Fat 3.43g 14%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 3517mg 147%
Potassium 505mg 14%
Total Carbs 304.61g 81%
Dietary Fiber 10.4g 35%
Sugars 7.05g 5%
Protein 51.16g 82%
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  • myra byanka
    Am starting the biga today to make your recipe. Will let you know the end result, which will be a learning experience for me, as I am not much of a baker.


    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    1 reply
  • A.L. Wiebe
    I've made this bread a number of times now, and it is fabulous! It's okay if the dough is a bit "sticky", as it makes for a nice light bread, but still with good structure.
    Wonderful, Claudia, thanks for sharing!
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    1 reply
    • Claudia lamascolo
      June 1, 2012
      THanks A.L. Wiebe glad you like it thanks for the comments!
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!

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