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A sliced loaf of Italian ciabatta
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4.77 from 17 votes

Italian ciabatta by Paul Hollywood

Prep Time2 hrs
Bake Time25 mins
Servings: 4 loaves
Calories: 552kcal
Author: Leyla Kazim


  • 500 g (4 cups) strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) fine sea salt
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) instant yeast
  • 40 ml (1.35 floz) olive oil
  • 400 ml (1.69 cups) tepid water
  • Fine semolina for dusting optional


  • Lightly oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container. It’s important to use a square tub here to help shape the dough.
  • Tip the flour in the bowl of the mixer and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other side, so they’re not close. Add the olive oil and ¾ of the water and begin mixing on a slow speed with the dough hook attachment. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water. Then mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy. See Tip 1 below.
  • Tip out the dough into the prepared tub and spread it so it reaches all sides and corners. Cover with a tea towel or reusable plastic wrap and leave somewhere warm until it has doubled or even trebled in size, 1-2 hours or longer. See Tip 2 below.
  • Once the dough has doubled or tripled in size, pre-heat your oven to 220C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper. If using baking paper, dust with lots of the strong flour.
  • Dust your work surface heavily with more of the flour and add some semolina too, if you have it.
    Carefully tip out the dough (it’s pretty wet) onto the work surface. There is no need for knocking back, handle the dough gently so you keep as much air in it as possible.
    Coat the top of the dough with more flour and/or semolina. Cut the dough in half length ways and divide each of those in half length ways also. You should now have four long pieces of dough.
  • Stretch each piece a bit length ways and place on the prepared baking trays. See Tip 3 below. Leave the dough to rest uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Do try and eat some whilst still warm though.  Not difficult.


Serving: 4Loaves | Sodium: 978mg | Calcium: 22mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 4g | Potassium: 158mg | Calories: 552kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 11g | Protein: 14g | Carbohydrates: 96g | Iron: 6mg