Small Batch Mini Ciabatta


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and instant yeast. Make a well in the middle of the bowl; pour the warm water and olive oil into it.

Mix with a dough whisk until the dough comes together in a messy ball in the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, make sure there’s no sneaky lumps of flour hiding inside.Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

First set of folds: Use a damp hand to gently grab the top edge of the dough, stretching it away from you, then down over the center of the dough. Then rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat, grabbing the new top edge, stretching it away from you, then folding it down over the center. Repeat two more times for a total of four folds. On the last fold, flip the dough over and do a gentle slap and fold in the bowl by scooping the dough up in one hand, “slapping” the side closest to you it down in the bowl and folding the dough over itself and away from you as you slide your hand out from under it. Rotate the dough or the bowl a quarter turn between each set of folds, so you’re always sliding your hand under the tucked under edge of dough facing away from you. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

If the dough is wet it won’t stick to the side of the bowl and you will have a less dramatic “slap”; that’s okay. What really matters is that repeated folding motion.

Second set of folds: Use a damp hand to repeat the 4 stretch-and-folds followed by 4-5 slap and folds in the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Third set of folds: Perform one final set of stretch-and-folds and slap-and-folds in the bowl. Do your best to get all edges tucked underneath with nice smooth surface tension on top of the dough. The dough should feel much more bubbly and airy at this stage and won’t stretch as far as it did on the earlier sets of folds. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

The dough will spread out and rise slightly in the bowl during this final rest, but may not double in size.

Preheat the oven (or toaster oven) to 450°F while the dough rests.

Dust the top of the dough in the bowl with flour, then gently tip it out of the bowl and on to a well-floured clean countertop so that the un-floured side is now facing up. Be patient and gentle with the dough so it doesn’t deflate.

Dust the sticky top side of the dough lightly with flour. If you’re cutting it into smaller rolls, do so now using a sharp bench scraper in clean up and down movements. Cover with a clean dish towel and let the dough rest for about 5-30 minutes. If you need to let it keep resting for another 5-10 minutes while the oven gets to temp that’s okay — just cover it with a clean dish towel so it doesn’t dry out. It’s better to get it in the oven at the right temperature than to rush it!

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Dust any excess flour off the top of the dough, then slide a bench scraper under the ciabatta loaf in one quick movement. Lift and gently flip it over onto the sheet pan so the underside is now facing up. For a less floury ciabatta, gently dust any excess flour off the top. If you don’t have a bench scraper, use your hands to flip it.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until puffed up and browned on top. If you want to be precise, you’re looking for an internal temperature of at least 190F. For a softer ciabatta, bake for 18 minutes. Ciabatta will seem very hard and crusty when it first comes out of the oven, but will soften as it cools. Let cool before slicing!


For a slightly tighter crumb with smaller air pockets inside, reduce the amount of water to 100 grams.

To bake on a baking steel preheat the oven for 1 hour at 450F. Launch the loaves onto the steel using a pizza peel with or without parchment paper and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Resist adding flour to the dough during the folding stages. This is a wet, sticky dough by design — use damp or lightly oiled hands to keep it from sticking to you instead.

If you cut the dough into smaller rolls, reduce the bake time by 2-3 minutes.

Baking at high altitude: Increase the water to 110 grams. You can add up to an additional 2-3 grams of water beyond that if it still seems very dry. Use wet hands for the folding stages. You may also find that a higher protein bread flour works better for you!