With just 4 simple ingredients, you can have fresh homemade Ciabatta Buns of your very own! These buns are the perfect vehicle for your favourite sandwich or enjoyed solo in all their glory. They’re airy, crusty and delicious.
I love baking (especially homemade breads) so having a tried-and-true homemade Ciabatta recipe, felt like a necessity for the blog. As all homemade bread recipes, a little bit of time and effort is required but the result makes it all worth it. Plus with fresh baked bread fresh from the oven…..your house smells incredible!
What is Ciabatta
Ciabatta is a rustic Italian white bread loaf, that literally means “slipper” in Italian. Can you see how the bread gets its name? It’s truly shaped just like a little slipper! It is a wet and sticky dough, and the high hydration in this bread results in a wonderfully chewy centre with some little holes.
What is a Sponge?
A preferment (or ‘sponge’) is when some of the ingredients of the yeast dough are mixed together before the whole dough is made. This mixture is allowed to ferment for a period of time before the rest of the ingredients are added. This process creates more depth of flavour and also produces bread with a lighter and fluffier texture. This recipes requires one!
Why do you spray the bread with water
You will need a clean (previously unused) spray bottle for this recipe! Spraying water on bread dough helps to keep the top of the dough moist during baking, which in turn helps the dough’s skin to be more flexible while helping to create a crispier crust. Adding steam to the oven is the key here to getting the perfect crispy, crackly crust on ciabatta bread. You add steam to the oven by placing a baking pan with water on the bottom rack of the oven!
If you’re looking for more recipes to try here are some of my favourites:
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #fraicheliving or leave a comment/rating below. I would love to know how you liked it!
Chewy fluffy Ciabatta Buns fresh from the oven are just a few hours away with this simple recipe. They’re the perfect vehicle for your favourite sandwich or enjoyed solo in all their glory. You will need a clean (previously unused) spray bottle for this recipe.
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- water in a clean spray bottle
Activate the Yeast
In a large bowl, add the warm water (should be just lukewarm, around 105°F/41°C). Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit until it is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Make a Sponge
Using a wooden spoon, stir in 3 cups of flour until combined. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or beeswax wrap, place in a warm draft-free area, and let it sit until bubbles form on top, about 1 hour.
Make the Dough
Stir in the salt along with 2 cups of flour and mix to combine. Turn the dough over onto a clean, well-floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, adding a bit more flour when the dough gets too sticky. The dough should be very soft and stretchy (don’t add too much flour, you may not need it all).
Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and set aside to rise until doubled in a warm draft-free area, about 2 hours.
Form the Ciabatta
Gently deflate the dough using your hands, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Using lightly floured hands and a bench scraper, form the dough into square-shaped buns (doesn’t have to be perfect). Place the buns (with space between each) on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a clean dish towel and set the buns aside to rise in a warm draft-free area until doubled, around 45 minutes. Start the next step while the buns rise.
Bake the Ciabatta
Arrange one oven rack in the middle of the oven and another in the bottom. Preheat the oven to 425°F and place a 9×9″ pan (or pan of similar size, it isn’t important) filled with boiling water on the lowest rack.
When the buns have risen, Spray the buns all over and generously with water and bake for 5 minutes. Spray the buns again with water, and bake another 5 minutes, and repeat this 2 more times (you will be spraying the buns a total of 4 times). This step is what creates the chewy outside texture.
Bake until the buns are golden brown on the bottom, around 20 minutes. Transfer to a baking rack to cool before enjoying. Store leftover buns at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.