With a crunchy exterior yet soft and chewy inside, makes this a popular choice with my family.

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With a crunchy exterior yet soft and chewy inside, makes this a popular choice with my family
Servings 2 loaves
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the sponge ( to be made the day prior)

  • tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp warm water (110 degrees)
  • cups warm water
  • 1 cup bread flour

For the bread:

  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp warm milk
  • cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • tsp salt


  • The day prior to making the bread, prepare the sponge by stirring together the yeast and two tablespoons of warm water. Let it stand for between 5-10 minutes until creamy and foamy. Add this yeast mixture to the remaining water and bread flour and whisk for a minute or two then cover the bowl with cling film and leave at room temperature for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
    ciabatta Julie neville
  • Now to make the bread, stir together the yeast and milk and leave to activate and become foamy for around five minutes.
  • Add this into an electric stand mixer with the flour, oil, sponge mixture, water and oil and start to mix then add in the salt.
  • Mix until smooth and elastic which should take around 8 minutes then transfer to an oiled bowl.
    ciabatta Julie neville
  • Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature until doubled in size which should take between one hour and an hour and a half.
    ciabatta Julie neville
  • Flour a work surface and turn out the dough then split into two halves.
  • Place baking parchment on two baking sheets.
  • Roll each half into an oval shape and place onto the baking parchment. I actually did this by simply pressing and stretching the dough with my fingers.
    ciabatta Julie neville
  • Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little extra flour then cover with damp kitchen paper.
  • Leave to double in size again for around two hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425f and bake the bread for 20 minutes until just starting to turn golden on top.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
    ciabatta Julie neville
Course: Bread
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Bread, Quick & Easy

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