Ciabatta -with sponge


I feel I am returning to the blog after ages though it has been only about two weeks. But I did a vacation to Udaipur and the mandatory Chennai Diwali trip and so it feels I have been away for quite a while.

My theme this week

This week’s theme for the Blogging Marathon is ‘Global Cuisine’ and like always I find a way to make it about breads. I need to pick a country and do three dishes originating from it. So I picked Italy, whose breads are almost as fabulous as the French and so I will have three Italian dishes breads this week. The first of this series will be the classic Ciabatta.

Why I like this bread

I have another Ciabatta bread recipe on the blog. But this one is made with a sponge. Of late, I am totally falling for breads made with sponge. I love the whole process of making a sponge and letting it sit overnight and baking the Ciabatta the next day. The texture of the bread is elevated significantly as also it gets deeper flavours which I love. So the plan is to make all my breads with a sponge now. Sounds like fun, right? A quick word of caution though – if you are making this Ciabatta in India or similar tropical climate, be warned that leaving the sponge overnight can give it a sour taste. So if you do not want that, make the sponge during the daytime and leave it for 2-3 hours and it should work fine.

For other Italian breads, check out Focaccia and Potato Pizza.

Also check out this Italian Lunch spread and Baked eggplant Parmigiana


Recipe adapted from here

Makes a 10″ Ciabatta loaf


For the sponge

75 gms All purpose flour

1/4 cup Water

a pinch of instant yeast

For the dough

140 gms All purpose flour

3/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Instant yeast

5 tbsp Warm water

2 tbsp Milk at room temperature



For the sponge

  • In a large bowl, mix the all purpose flour, yeast and water for the sponge
  • Mix well to ensure no dry flour is left
  • Cover the bowl and set aside overnight or for 4 hours in a warm climate
  • In the morning, the sponge should be alive and bubbly and almost doubled in volume

For the dough

  • Add the all purpose flour, yeast, salt, water and milk to the sponge
  • Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to mix and knead the dough
  • Knead the dough till it comes together and does not stick to the bowl
  • This should take around 20-25 minutes at medium speed on a hand mixer
  • Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place till it doubles in volume, around 1 hour
  • Grease a silicon spatula or dough scraper with oil
  • Use it to fold the dough over itself.
  • Folding the dough is taking the dough at the bottom of the bowl and putting it on top of the dough at the top without tearing the dough
  • Fold the dough on one side. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and fold the dough again. Turn the bowl and fold the dough 2 more times so that it is folded on all 4 sides
  • Cover and set aside
  • Repeat the folding after 30 minutes and set aside
  • Repeat the folding after another 30 minutes and set aside till the dough doubles, around 30 minutes
  • Transfer the dough to a greased baking tray
  • Flour it liberally and shape it into a rectangular loaf by folding it like an envelope
  • Set aside for 20 minutes
  • Preheat the oven at 225C with an empty tray at the lower rack
  • Pour 1 cup of hot water on the empty tray
  • Bake the loaf for 28-30 minutes
  • The top of the loaf would have a nice golden brown colour
  • Cool it for an hour
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Global Cuisine’.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharmila says:

    Ciabatta is looking so good!! That’s a different technique and I have to try it..

  2. usha says:

    For a novice bread baker, it went over my head. Nonetheless, ciabatta with sponge does have a great texture and can understand why you prefer baking breads with sponge from now on.

  3. Ciabatta looks so good. Perfectly done.

  4. Pavani says:

    Wow, you baked ciabatta — that is awesome. You got the perfect crust – bread looks airy, chewy and yummy!!

  5. harini says:

    I am not an expert bread baker but the texture speaks for itself. Good one, Sowmya.

  6. Padmajha PJ says:

    I have been admiring that side pic for the past 5 minutes! Such a beautiful bread and I really wish I could taste it now.Send me some when you bake the next time 🙂

  7. Priya Suresh says:

    How porous and spongy those ciabatta looks, feel like having with some salted butter and jam. Such an incredible bread Sowmya, you have nailed it prefectly.

  8. Though I have baked variety of breads, I never tried ciabatta. The procedure is quite interesting with the addition of sponge. It is so true that sponge gives a really flavourful bread because of the proving. Your ciabatta has turned out perfect Sowmya. You are mastering the art of bread baking.

  9. Srivalli Jetti says:

    Sowmya, I have read about ciabatta but sponge I thought was something but love that crumb and the texture of your bread. too good..

  10. Annapurnaz says:

    It is lunch time now and I’m seriously hungry. So you can well imagine how much your ciabatta must be tempting me right now. Lovely texture

  11. code2cook says:

    This is such a tempting and spongy bread I came to know. perfectly baked Sowyma.

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