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4.88 from 8 votes

Sourdough Ciabatta Bread

Airy and soft, this sourdough ciabatta bread is easy to make at home, without a mixer.
Makes 2 loaves.
Course Lunch
Cuisine New Zealand
Keyword Ciabatta, Sourdough
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Proofing Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 333kcal


  • 420 grams strong bread flour (with a protein level of at least 11.5% for best results)
  • 340 grams water
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 12 grams salt
  • 150 grams active sourodugh starter (see the method for more details.)


Day 1

  • In the morning feed your starter so you can use 150g of it once it has risen. It needs to at least double, if not triple, but be used before it passes its peak and collapses.
    For this dough it could be 40g starter, 80g flour and 80g water. This will make approximately 200g starter. 150g can be used for the dough and the remaining starter can be fed again 1:2:2 and stored for the next time you need it.
  • While the starter is rising, mix together the flour and water into a sticky and shaggy dough. Leave this to hydrate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil, salt and risen starter and squish it well together until everthing is combined. Tip this sticky dough into a shallow dish and leave it to sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Over the next 3 hours, coil fold the dough every 30 minutes (6 sets of coil folds in total.) A coil fold is when you lift the dough up and coil it over itself. Do this on all sides until you create a dough ball. (See the video for a demonstration.)
    In between each set of folds, cover the dish with a plate to stop the dough drying out.
  • After the last coil fold, leave the dough to sit on the bench for one more hour before transferring to the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  • In the morning, tip the dough onto a floured bench and cut it into two even pieces.
  • Flour two tea towels generously with plain flour or rice flour.
  • Take one piece and stretch it out into a rectangle. Fold the sides into the middle like a pamphlet.
  • Now roll the folded pamphlet up into a tight log. Pull/roll the log towards you on the bench to create some surface tension. Repeat with the other dough piece.
  • Flour two tea towels generously with flour. You can use plain flour, rice flour, or semolina. I do a mix of semolina and plain flour. Just ensure you have enough so the dough doesn’t stick as it spreads. 
    Folded ciabatta dough
  • Place each shaped log, seam side up, on the floured towels. Leave the dough to proof on the bench for approximately 3 1/2 – 4 hours, until jiggly and puffed. As it’s a wet dough, they will spread out a bit. 
    They don’t need to double, only bulk out by about 30-40%. Watch the dough not the clock as how long this takes will depend on room temperature.
  • Once the dough has risen, preheat an oven to 220 °C (428 °F) fan-bake or 230 °C (464 °F) regular oven.
    Dust an oven tray and a wooden board with flour. 
  • Place the floured board next to one of the dough loaves. Now lift up one side of the the tea towel and lift it up so it flips the dough upside down on the board. Transfer the dough from the board onto the oven tray by sliding the dough off the board. Dust off any excess flour from on the loaves.
    Once it’s on the oven tray, use floured hands to gently stretch the dough out a bit.
    Stretched dough
  • Bake for around 30 minutes in the oven alongside a tray with a few cm of water to create some steam while the sourdough ciabatta bakes. 
    Once baked it should be a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Let the bread cool for at least an hour before slicing to avoid a gummy texture.


Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 780mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg