Need a good recipe for Ciabatta bread

For a short time here in Australia our Woolworths supermarket was making Ciabatta bread. It was heavenly with a crisp crust and a chewy interior. They don’t seem to make it any more. I’ve tried a couple of recipes off the internet but nothing is coming close. Does anyone have a recipe for it they could share please. If so, I’ll try it on the weekend…Jean

Ciabatta Bread with Poolish

This traditional Italian bread is made from a very wet dough and is barely shaped. As a result, it’s full of nice, big holes. Great with olive oil or a good-tasting vinegar, and some pasta. This recipe was adapted from “Bread” by Jeffrey Hammelman.

* White flour: 100%
* Water: 73%
* Salt: 2%
* Instant yeast: 0.36%
* 30% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast

* White flour: 136 grams or about 1 cup
* Water: 136 grams or about 1/2 cup
* Instant yeast: Just an eeny weeny pinch (about 1/32 of a tsp or 1/10 of a gram)

Final dough:
* All of the poolish
* White flour: 318 grams or two generous cups
* Water: 195 grams or 1.25 cups +1 Tbs
* Salt: 9 grams
* Instant yeast: A heaping 1/8 tsp or .5 grams

The night before: Preferment

The night before, dissolve the yeast into the water for the poolish, and then mix in the flour. Cover and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours. Once the poolish has bubbles breaking on top and has started to wrinkle, it’s ready. It’ll also smell … really nice - sweet and nutty.

Mixing and dough development

For the final dough, measure out the water and pour it into the poolish to loosen it up. Then pour the entire mixture into a bowl. Mix together the salt, yeast and flour, and then add it to the bowl as well. Mix it all up with a spoon and let it sit for one hour. At one hour, give it a stretch and fold, followed by two more every 30 minutes. Then let it ferment for another hour or two, for a total of 3-4 hours bulk fermentation.


Remove the dough onto a well-floured surface, and gently pat it out into a rectangle, carefully degassing any truly gigantic bubbles that you notice. That’s it. No more shaping required. Let it rest, covered, for about 90 minutes.


Dimple the loaf with wet fingers all the way across and almost all the way through to the bottom of the loaf. Load onto a hot stone at 460 degrees F (238 C) with steam and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Let it rest one hour before slicing.

Source: The Fresh Loaf Baker’s Handbook

Thank you so much. I’m going to have to get my brains into gear for this one. I’m not sure of what is meant by this line:

  • 30% of the flour is pre-fermented as a poolish at 100% hydration with .07% yeast

Should I be taking the flour and water from the quantities mentioned on the lines above or are they extra quantities please?

The percentages are just the bakers formula for the entire loaf.
Make up the poolish from the quantities given immediately below that heading. Let it ferment overnight.
Then make up the quantities immediately below the heading Final Dough and add the fermented poolish to it.

Thank you both so much. You’ve helped me a lot.