no-knead ciabatta

$0.74 recipe / $0.12 serving

I know, man can not live on bread alone. So I’m a little obsessed with baking bread lately… humor me. There will be more “real food” soon, promise.

You may remember this video that I referenced in my very first no-knead bread recipe post. The recipe and technique in the video are a little different from the basic no-knead recipe. The dough is wetter, it ferments for 18 hours at room temperature and is shaped into a long, fairly flat, ciabatta shaped loaf.

Well, I’m glad I decided to give this one a try. For some reason it seems easier than the original no-knead and the result so much better. The inside is lighter and fluffier. The flavor is wonderful. The shape, although flat, is perfect for sandwiches. PERFECT.

I followed the instructions in the video exactly. The video is great so give it a quick watch (it’s only 5 minutes long) before making the bread. The only change I’ll make next time is to divide it in two and make two smaller loafs. Everything else is just easy and perfect.

This is my new go-to bread!

No-Knead Ciabatta

no knead ciabatta

no-knead ciabatta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $0.74
Cost Per Serving: $0.12
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour $0.16
  • 3 cups bread flour $0.44
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast $0.02
  • 1½ tsp salt $0.05
  • 2 cups warm water $0.00
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.04
  • 2 Tbsp corn meal $0.03
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, yeast and water (I like to combine dry ingredients first then add water). Stir it until it forms a sticky ball. Loosely cover and let sit at room temperature for 14-18 hrs.
  2. After fermentation, the dough should be wet, sticky, very bubbly and fluffy. Turn the dough over onto itself a few times until it is a slightly smaller and compact. Prepare a work surface by placing a sheet of plastic wrap on a wet countertop (this “glues” it into place) and sprinkling it with flour.
  3. Turn the sticky ball of dough out onto the flour covered plastic wrap. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough ball. Carefully stretch and shape the dough into a large rectangle. Prepare a baking sheet by smearing 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil over the surface and then sprinkling with corn meal. Pick the plastic wrap up and roll the rectangle of dough onto the prepared sheet. Reshape if necessary.
  4. Let the loaf rise for two hours (it will rise out rather than up). Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the loaf for 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.


Step By Step Photos

dry bread ingredientsIn a large bowl (or stock pot in my case) mix together the flour, salt and yeast.

add water to doughPour in the water and stir it up until it’s a big sticky ball of dough.

big fluffy fermented doughLet the mixture sit at room temperature for 14-18 hours, during which time it will get big, fluffy and full of bubbles.

turn doughTurn the dough over on itself a few times to deflate. Coating your spatula with non-stick spray will keep it from sticking.

turn out doughPlace a sheet of plastic wrap on a wet counter top to anchor it down. Sprinkle the plastic wrap with flour and turn the dough out on top of it. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough so your hands don’t stick.

shape doughGently shape the dough into a long rectangle (don’t make it longer than your baking sheet).

risen loafPick up the plastic wrap and roll the dough onto a baking sheet prepped with vegetable oil and corn meal. Let the dough rise for two hours. It will rise out rather than up like most breads (picture = after 2 hrs of rising).

baked ciabattaBake the bread at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is medium brown. Let it cool before slicing.

crust close upIt’s pretty.

Ciabatta Sandwich

This bread is PERFECT for sandwiches. Light and fluffy inside with a good crust. YES!

Oh, my other favorite thing about this bread is that it only uses 1/4 tsp of yeast – TOTAL. Now I can make great bread every week and my yeast will last four times as long.


  1. Teresa says:

    Just found this recipe from the “Toasts” post for 4/23/15. I think I need to try this ciabatta recipe this weekend – ciabatta is one of the few breads that I have avoided because of the high hydration and difficulty handling the dough. But your instructions and pictures have really encouraged me to try this. I will report back with my results! Thanks!

  2. Erin says:

    I finally bought some fresh yeast and had an epic fail with your first no knead recipe (my fault for not reading through the instructions completely!). I’ll be trying this one next. One suggestion for you: could you please adjust the total recipe time to include the initial rise time? This recipe faked me out with the 40 minute total time. :-)

  3. Terri T. says:

    All your bread recipes look wonderful and easy, too! I love rye bread, esp. Jewish or Russian rye with caraway seeds and I am NOT paying upwards of $4 for a loaf. Not a lot of recipes that aren’t labor-intensive for this. Do you think I could sub rye flour for the wheat? Or might it be too heavy? Also, can I continue to use regular granulated RedStar yeast, or buy the bread machine variety? Thanks, again.

    • You know, I’ve never baked with rye flour so I’m not really sure. The yeast needs to be “instant” or “bread machine” or “rapid-rise” yeast. Those varieties can be added to a recipe dry without mixing with water first. Regular yeast or “active dry” needs to be proofed in warm water before adding to a recipe.

  4. Zuzi says:

    I’m sorry, but what kind of yeast is used in this recipe? I’m a noob to this bread-making thing, so…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Round two- I added a small amount of vital wheat gluten, but otherwise followed the recipe using white whole wheat flour. It worked great.


  6. Anonymous says:

    I made this yesterday and it came out pretty well considering I 1) halved the recipe 2) used all whole wheat flour and 3) let the second rise go for like four hours. I think I didn’t have enough water although I followed the recipe- maybe due to the whole wheat? Anyway, I will certainly be doing this again if it is this forgiving.


  7. I made this last night/today with multigrain bread flour. It turned out a bit dense because of the multigrain flour, but it’s full of flax and other goodness so we are devouring it happily anyways. Makes amazing sandwiches!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just made this today. SUPER easy. I go to bed at 7 pm and get up at 2:30 am for work so I started it right before bed. Made it right after work. My oven naturally runs 50 degrees too hot so I turned it down. The crust was getting a bit dark so I took it out. The crust is GREAT. The inside is just slightly undercooked (still very good) so next time I’ll turn the temp down by 25 degrees and cook longer since mine only took 15 minutes. Can’t wait to try some salad sandwiches :D

  9. I made this today with whole wheat, white wheat and AP flour and although I haven’t tried it yet my bread making radar is indicating it was a success. I separated them into 6 buns or mini loaves for easy portion control and sandwich making. I love this blog and all your great recipes!

  10. Cass says:

    I made the ciabatta yesterday for a brunch with friends. It turned out amazing and everyone thought I was so clever ;-) Let’s not tell them how super easy it is to make…

  11. The 14-18 hour ferment time was an issue for me, too…but more for lack of patience than anything else! I only have bread machine yeast (rapid rise yeast) in the house right now, so I used that and doubled the amount to 2tsp. I also added just a sprinkle (maybe 1/2 tsp at most) of sugar, just because my yeast is old and I wanted to make sure it did something.

    After 4 hours, my bowl looked very similar to the picture, so I decided to go ahead and knead it/move it to the baking sheet (my cornmeal is self-rising, so I sprinkle cream of wheat granules on the pan instead…works great and slower to burn than anything else I’ve tried!). I let it rest on the pan for 3 hours (would have been 2 if I hadn’t gotten stuck on Pinterest) and baked it. During the 3-hour pan rise, it almost filled out my entire sheet tray…even touched the rim on 3 sides, so this made a LOT of sandwich bread for us.

    Mine really looked and felt done after 20 minutes at 425, but I gave it an extra 5 for good measure…it didn’t need it. The bread is perfect! Good crust (even without spritzing with water), perfect spongy texture, and the perfect thickness all across for sandwiches. It’s just a tad dry from my overbaking, but a spritz of olive oil and a smear of lowfat mayo fixes this. Can’t wait to try making paninis with this today!

  12. I have a challenge with the 14-18 hour ferment time of this bread. In order to have it warm and fresh for dinner, I have to start at about midnight. Since I work, that’s difficult. I can make it 10 hours before hand, by doing it before I leave in the morning, or I can do it at about 9 PM the night before – giving it a ferment time of almost 20 hours. I’m experimenting to see which is better.

  13. Tiffany, actually that is an EXCELLENT idea and I think I’ll do that with the batch that I’m going to make tomorrow! Just be aware that the dough can be very wet, soft, and slightly sticky so you’ll need to keep flouring your hands as you shape the rolls! Good luck!

  14. I’m a complete bread newbie, is it possible to turn this into rolls? Would I just seperate them into roll shapes before baking? Or is this just not a good idea? lol thank you :)

  15. i’ve made this bread quite a few times and it is LOVELY. actually munching at a warm piece right now… absolutely best the first day or two. i always use at least half wholegrain flour, and it works puuurfectly. also, i brushed a bit of water before the oven, and it seems like it came out with even more of a crust.

  16. Anonymous – yes you can sub. regular or bread flour for the whole wheat. As a matter of fact, it might even improve the crumb! I was just trying to squeeze in a little extra fiber ;)

  17. I followed the recipe to the last crumb and just had a piece of it with marmalade- Fantastic and simple as advertised. This is the first loaf of bread I have made in my life and considering I just retired, that’s probably a longer life than most of your readers. My wife couldn’t believe it when I came home with all the ingredients but she is a believer now. No more store bought for me and I am now delving through all your bread posts. Maybe I’ll change my blog name to thesavvyboomerbaker.

  18. Anonymous says:

    i usually tend to stay away from making my own bread simply because trying to make certain doughs without a stand mixer or food processor is impossible! but this seems super simple and the bread looks delicious!

  19. Thanks for posting this. Wow, only that much yeast? awesome! may have to make it this weekend. It will be perfect with some Italian Beef.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can the whole wheat flour be substituted with all purpose?

  21. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for this recipe!!! your sandwich looks delish!! Going to make this tonight so that we can bake it tomorrow during the snow storm we’re expecting!

  22. This is perfect for me! I don’t have a bread maker so bread I can make without one is great.

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