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Halved sourdough ciabatta rolls on a countertop.

Simple Sourdough Ciabatta Bread

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4.9 from 171 reviews



Flour: I have had success using all-purpose flour, but if you can get your hands on bread flour, that is ideal, especially if you live in Canada or abroad. Moreover, if you live in Canada or abroad, you may need to reduce the water amount. Consider holding back some of the water during the mixing process to ensure you don’t end up with a soupy mess. 

Straight-Sided Vessel:

  • The vessel I use in this recipe, similar to this one, is 8 cups. Most grocery stores carry storage vessels similarly sized.
  • Using a straight-sided vessel for the bulk fermentation will help prevent over-fermentation because it allows you to see when the dough has truly increased by 75% (or slightly more or less) in volume.


  • 360 grams (about 1.5 cups) water
  • 12 grams (about 2 teaspoons) salt 
  • 100 grams (about 1/2 cup) active sourdough starter, see notes above
  • 450 grams (about 3.5 cups) bread flour, see notes above


  1. Mix the dough: Place the water in a large bowl. Add the salt and stir briefly. Add the starter and stir briefly to incorporate. Add the flour, and stir until you have a wet, sticky dough ball. Knead briefly with your hands if necessary to incorporate the flour. Cover with a tea towel or cloth bowl cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Stretches and folds: With wet hands, grab one side of the dough, and pull up and to the center. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn, and repeat the grabbing and pulling. Do this until you’ve made a full circle. (Watch the video for more guidance. I do a few more pulls and turns in the video.) Cover the bowl. Repeat this process three more times at 30-minute intervals for a total of 4 sets of stretches and folds over the course of two hours. (In the video, I switch to coil folds for the last two sets of stretches and folds.)
  3. Bulk fermentation: Transfer the dough to a straight-sided vessel. Cover the vessel with a towel. Let rise at room temperature until the dough nearly doubles in volume (shoot for a 75% increase in volume). Times will vary depending on your environment and the strength of your starter. Recently, this has taken about 4 hours for me, but don’t worry if it takes longer for you. Cover vessel with a lid (ideally) or a towel (if you are using a towel, slick the top of the dough with oil to prevent it from drying out.) Transfer to fridge for 12-24 hours. 
  4. Shape: Remove vessel from fridge. Remove lid. Sprinkle top of dough liberally with flour. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Pat dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle top with flour. Use a bench scraper to cut the dough in half vertically. Then make three cuts equally spaced in each half to create 8 small rectangles. 
  5. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. With floured hands, transfer each rectangle to the prepared pan, gently pulling outward. Cover the pan with a towel. Let stand for one hour.
  6. Bake: Heat oven to 475ºF. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 450ºF, rotate pan, and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove pan from oven. Transfer ciabatta rolls to a cooling rack. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing. 
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American, Italian