Ciabatta makes the best sandwiches in my opinion.
This version here is made with a lot of prefermented flour. More than half in fact. The resulting bread is tangy and has a distinct crispy crust. Using more preferment achieves this effect. You could also change the amount to your liking. Simply move some of the water and flour from the poolish to the main dough.
I have various other ciabatta recipes on this website and on my youtube channel. Wholemeal ciabatta, sourdough ciabatta, and even a no-knead ciabatta for when you’re feeling lazy.
For the poolish (pre-ferment):
300g (10.5oz) strong white bread flour.
300g (10.5oz) water at around 20C (68F) if your kitchen is around 20-22C (68-72F). If it is warmer, then lower the water temperature by 1 – 2C (33-35F) and vice versa.
0.3g (0.01oz) dry yeast – if your scales only weigh in whole grams then weigh out one gram and take off a third to get 0.3 and the same goes for imperial units.
For the main dough:
200g (7.1oz) strong white bread flour.
65g (2.3oz) water at 25C (77F) if your kitchen is around 20 – 22C (68-72F). If it is warmer, then lower the water temp by 1 – 2C (33-35F) and vice versa.
10g (0.35oz) salt.
5.5g (0.2oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast.
To learn more about bread dough temperature control when using a preferment click here.
- Make the poolish by mixing the water, yeast, and flour until combined. Cover and ferment for 12 – 16h. If your poolish is ready, but you are not, then pop it in the fridge to cool it down and slow the fermentation. Come back to it when you are ready and use it straight from the fridge.
- To make the main dough add the remaining yeast to the water and disperse.
- Pour this into the ripe polish, add the salt and mix until combined.
- Add the flour and mix thoroughly.
- Using the stretch & fold technique knead the dough for around 6 – 7 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 25 – 26C (76 – 70F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
- Fold three times at 15 – 20minute intervals. If your dough is at the right temperature, then fold every 20 minutes. If it is warmer, then every 15minutes. After the first fold pre-heat your oven to 230C (450F) no fan or 210C (410F) with fan.
- After the last fold leave to proof for another 15 – 20min.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal ciabattas and place on a floured cloth.
- Final proof 20 – 30mins or until visibly puffed up.
- Bake for around 18 – 20 minutes. Your oven may be more or less powerful than mine, so your ciabattas may bake more quickly or take longer. Keep an eye on them to get a perfect bake.
Let it cool down and enjoy!
Watch the video here