snowy mountain

One-Day Sourdough Ciabatta

This recipe is inspired by the recipe on Breadtopia, and I highly recommend the Breadtopia website if you want to start getting into bread making. Start these around 8am and they’ll be ready by dinner!

Final rise in floured dishcloth molds.
This one came out great! You can see the beautiful bubbles and crispy exterior. It held its shape well, rising up rather than outwards.
sourdough ciabatta one day
This one got a little over-cooked and spread a bit more than I would’ve liked (probably added too much water/the dough was over-hydrated).

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves):

  • Materials: mixing bowl, measuring cups and/or scale, dishcloths, baking sheet/pan
  • 1 cup active sourdough starter (see Sourdough Starter recipe if you don’t have one) or biga
  • ~2 cups warm water (will depend on starter consistency)
  • ~6 cups flour (best with 3 all purpose and 3 bread flour), plus more for dusting dishcloths and pan
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


8am 1-3 days before: Get your starter to at least 1 cup active the morning you’re ready to make these. If you don’t have a starter, make some (or use biga if you don’t like strong sourdough flavor)! It’s super easy–check out my Sourdough Starter recipe. I always save a small bit of starter in the fridge to re-activate (add some flour and warm water and bring to room temperature) the day or two before I make any sourdough bread.

8am: In a large bowl, add 1 cup of your starter. Add about 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of warm water to about 3 cups total volume, cover with dishcloths and let sit to activate and rise for ~2 hours.

10am: When ready, add 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of warm water, and about 3-4 cups more flour, depending on dough consistency (it should be very wet but not runny). Knead the dough by pulling it upwards until it’s about to break for about 5 mins (this is called “stretch and fold“). If dough is sticky, add water to your hands. Dough should be very wet (will not hold its shape). Cover with dishcloths and let rise 30 minutes.

10:45am: Wet your hands. Using 1 hand, stretch and fold the dough for about 30 seconds, scooping, stretching upwards, then pressing it into the center of the dough mass. For an example, see my Youtube video.

11:15am: Repeat stretching.

11:45am: Repeat stretching.

12:15pm: Repeat stretching. Let the dough sit, covered, for the next 4+ hours. It should have bubbles by the end!

4:30pm: Flour a dishcloth (I like rice flour, but any is good). Shape the dishcloth into ciabatta-sized molds. Make sure it’s REALLY floured. Pour the dough onto the cloth (may need 2 or 3 molds). Let sit at least 30 mins (uncovered). Preheat the oven to 500˚F. Flour a baking sheet. Flip the loaves onto the baking sheet. Let sit ~30 mins. Bake 5-10 minutes at 500˚F, then 15-20 minutes at 450˚F — timing may depend on the strength of your oven.

6pm: Enjoy some bread with dinner! They will be crispy fresh but soon the crust will soften.

This is called “stretch and fold.” The dough starts out a little sticky and “shaggy” but transforms into this amazing silky smooth texture!

Greetings from our kitchen!

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