Have you ever tried ciabatta bread? This rustic Italian bread tastes amazing when made into a sandwich--which is why I made mine in individual rolls instead of the traditional elongated loaves. I've skipped the biga, or overnight starter dough, to speed up the process, so these rolls can be on your table tonight!
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What kind of bread is ciabatta?
Ciabatta (pronounced cha-BAWT-ah) is an Italian bread invented by Francesco Favaron in 1982.
Italian bakers wanted to come up with an Italian bread to compete with the immense popularity of the French baguette. We're glad that they did! Although this bread has many regional variations throughout Italy, most versions in the United States has a thin, crisp crust and a light interior with large, irregularly sized air holes.
What goes well with ciabatta bread?
Almost any flavorful filling goes well with it, especially Italian meats and cheeses. A simple way to serve it is to tear it into smaller pieces and dip into a bowl of extra virgin olive oil with freshly cracked black pepper.
Is it good for you?
Like many breads, ciabatta is healthy when eaten in moderation. This recipe contains basic, all-natural ingredients: white bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, and water. One individual-sized roll is 207 calories, and contains 6.3g of protein and only 3.7g of fat. See the nutrition information at the end of this post for more details.
How to Make
This bread is actually not too hard to make; just be patient, since the dough is incredibly sticky. That's what makes the dough so light and airy, though! Start by measuring out 5 basic ingredients: flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil.
Mix up the dough in the stand mixer and knead for 5-8 minutes, until the dough is really stretchy and sticky--like sticking-all-over-your-fingers sticky. That's how it's supposed to be!
Pour it into a greased container, cover, and let it rise. (Tip: I recommend making this bread only with a stand mixer and not by hand. The dough needs to be extremely sticky, and adding flour during the kneading process is not recommended.)
Shape the rolls on a very generously floured cutting board and place gently on a parchment-lined tray. Prove briefly, bake, and enjoy!
Are you excited about making your very own ciabatta rolls? I hope you are--the fragrance and texture of these rolls is amazing. Your whole family will enjoy these rolls plain, with butter, or in a sandwich.
- Use a stand mixer. The dough is incredibly wet and sticky, and will be difficult to work with by hand.
- Prove slowly. This ensures a good flavor in the dough. If it's rising too fast in a hot room, you can even refrigerate it.
- Is the risen dough falling? This is a sign that you should start shaping the rolls right away.
- Use lots of flour on the work surface when shaping the rolls, or it will deflate the dough and make a mess.
- Don't have semolina? Use cornmeal or grits instead.
- Bread Flour: this is my favorite brand of flour for bread recipes.
- Semolina: this gritty flour is just what you need to flour the work surface.
- Plastic Tub: this rectangular tub is perfect for proving the ciabatta.
- Bench Scraper: this is an invaluable tool for cleaning off sticky counters.
- Cookie Sheet: this sturdy tray is bakes evenly and cleans easily.
Make a Delicious Sandwich with these Fillings!
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These chewy homemade ciabatta rolls will make any sandwich taste amazing! It's a rustic Italian bread that’s crisp outside and soft inside, making it super tempting and ultra delicious.
- 4 ⅛ cups bread flour (500g)
- 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons fast-action yeast (7g)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ¾ to 2 cups room-temperature water (400-450 ml)
Making the Dough (15 min + 2 hrs proving)
- Dump the bread flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir in each one with your finger. The salt can kill or slow down the yeast's growth if it touches the yeast directly.
- Pour the olive oil and half of the water onto the flour and begin mixing with the paddle attachment on low speed. Trickle in the remaining water until the dough is extremely sticky and is about the consistency of a very thick batter. You might not need all the water.
- Knead the dough on medium speed with the paddle attachment for about 5-8 minutes, until the dough is very well mixed and can stretch at least 3-4 inches without breaking.
- Lightly grease a 10-cup square or rectangular plastic container with olive oil, then pour the dough into the container. Cover with greased plastic wrap and allow to prove at room temperature until at least doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Shaping the Buns (25 min + 20 min proving + 40 min baking)
- Preheat the oven to 415 F. Line two 11 by 17-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Generously dust a large wooden cutting board with a thick layer of bread flour and semolina. Carefully turn the plastic container upside down and gently pour the dough onto the floured board.
- Cut the dough in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, then cut each long piece into five smaller pieces to get ten buns. Handle the dough very gently to keep as much air in the dough as possible. Flour the knife and your hands as needed, since the dough will be extremely sticky.
- Roughly shape each piece of dough into a square, then gently transfer the buns to the prepared trays. You should have 5 rolls on each tray. Don't worry if they look flat; they'll puff up as they prove and bake. Leave the buns to prove for about 20 minutes, until they have noticeably increased in size.
- Bake each tray one at a time for about 20-25 minutes each. The buns should be crisp, nicely browned, and have an internal temperature of at least 200 F.
- Let the buns cool completely on a wire rack, then serve. Store leftover buns in a zip-top bag at room temperature, or freeze for later.
- Be sure to use bread flour and not all-purpose for this recipe. You will not get the best results with AP.
- It's best to use a stand mixer to make the dough, since it's so sticky.
- The key to a good ciabatta is a slow prove. If the dough is rising too quickly, put it in a cool place or even in the refrigerator. A long prove gives the dough a much better flavor, and for ciabatta, an irregular, open crumb structure means it will have larger air holes.
- Make sure to immediately start shaping the buns if your risen dough starts to fall.
- If you don't have semolina flour in your cupboard, cornmeal or grits will work just as well for dusting the work surfaces.
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: ciabatta recipe, ciabatta rolls
This recipe was originally published on July 12, 2018.