Sourdough Ciabatta

by - April 08, 2020

Sourdough Ciabatta

Sourdough Ciabatta

Sourdough Ciabatta

The above breads are 77% total hydration ⬆

Sourdough Ciabatta

Sourdough Ciabatta

The above breads are 80% total hydration ⬆

I have experimente making Sourdough Ciabatta with different hydration levels.  I found it quite fun and easier than making an Open Crumb Sourdough Bread.  The crumb didn't turn out to be as big for the 77% hydration as I would have liked. It could be something with the hydration of the dough.  However, the bread is very tasty and this reminds me of the Ciabatta we used to buy at one of the local bakery shops near our place.  I tried again with 80% hydration by increasing the water amount and the crumb turned out as what I like.

The texture of this Sourdough Ciabatta is very soft and I can barely taste the sourness.  I made Ciabatta before using instant yeast but this Sourdough Ciabatta tastes so much better! 

This recipe is adapted from here with modifications. 

It is advisable to read the following general notes before baking.


Room temperature in your kitchen plays very important part in sourdough baking.  Warm temperature in your kitchen may cause over proved dough.  

28C – 30C is the room temperature at my kitchen (without air-conditioner)
25C – 27C is the room temperature at my kitchen with the air-conditioner turned on.

Bulk fermenation at room temperature 25C - 27C for this recipe.  Bulk fermentation started when levain is added.

Please reduce the duration of resting time if your room temperature is 28C – 30C.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want nice bigger crumb bread and rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Sourdough Ciabatta Recipe

Yields:  2 Loaves (10" X 5")

Total flour:  397.5g
Total hydration: 77% and 80%


Levain (245g):
35g sourdough starter 
105g bread flour
105g water

Ciabatta Dough:
275g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour) 
182g water (77% total hydration) or 196g (80% total hydration)
8g salt 
10g olive oil

  1. Levain Mix all of the ingredients for Poolish.  Cover and leave for a maximum of 12 hours or when tripled in size at room temperature.  I prepared the night before at 11.00 pm and used it the next morning at 9.00 am. I let it sit in an air-conditioned room (25C - 26C) as I live in tropical country.
  2. Autolyse - Mix flour and water, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula.  Or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment for about 2 minutes at low speed.  Cover and leave for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, the gluten has formed.
  3. After one hour, add in all levain, salt and olive oil into the autolyse dough. Mix with paddle attachment for about 5 - 6 minutes at medium speed until the dough turns smooth, comes together and away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Transfer the dough into a greased dish.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Stretch and Fold (S&F)  - Do one round of S&F.  Please see the diagram.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Coil Fold:
    1. Coil Fold 1 – Please watch the video here. Cover and rest for 60 minutes.
    2. Coil Fold 2 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 60 minutes.  
  7. Preparing the couche - Cut 2 parchment papers with the size of 12" X 9".  Place on top of the couche.
  8. After 60 minutes, the dough would have risen.  Transfer to a heavy floured counter top.  Dust the dough with some flour and try to shape the dough into a square shape with a scrapper and cut into 2 equal portions.
  9. Transfer dough to the prepared couche with scrapper.  Cover with kitchen towel and let the dough proof for another 60 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven together with the baking tray inside to 250C (top and bottom heat) 10 minutes before baking. 
  11. Transfer the dough onto the hot baking tray with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven with steam for 18 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. How to create steam in oven - Preheat a pan in oven.  Slide the dough onto the preheated baking tray and then pour some boiling water into a preheated pan on the shelf below. Then spray water on the walls of oven and on the dough.
  13. Remove bread from oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.

Stretch and Fold

Coil Fold - Please watch video here 

Shaping and Baking

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  1. Replies
    1. Actually, they are the same thing here. In sourdough baking, we call it levain. Poolish can be using commercial yeast too. I just followed from the origin recipe. I think I should change it to levain to avoid confusion.

    2. Can bake at 220 degree celsius as my oven temperature the higher is 220 degree celsius Thanks!

    3. Hi, I think should be ok. Please adjust accordingly to your oven temperature.

  2. my dough turn out to be a bit soft, how to rescue.

    1. Hi, thank you for trying. Ciabatta dough supposed to be soft.

      Cheers :)

  3. i tried again the 2and time
    but my sourdough ciabatta taste very sour, may I know how to make it less sour

    1. Hi, thanks for trying again.

      Please visit this link and try to understand the tips to make sourdough bread less sour.

      Cheers :)

  4. Hi! When baking, the oven fan should it be on or off?

    1. Hi, it is top and bottom heat. Not fan-forced.
      Cheers :)

  5. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing the recipe and the tips. I find it very useful, will give it a try tomorrow. My kitchen temperature is between 28-31degree celcius. Would shorten the resting time to 30 mins each be enough?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Please watch your dough and not the clock ya. Happy baking:)

  6. Hi there, thanks for all the lovely recipes and useful tips. I have tried a couple of your recipes and they all turned out really well.. would like to ask, can I back the ciabatta in Dutch oven? Or just create steam on the preheated oven pan will do?

    1. Hi, thanks for trying my recipes and your kind feedback. You can bake in Dutch oven if your dutch oven is very big and can fit in all. Otherwise just create the steam in oven.

      Cheers :)