Enjoy a taste of Italy with Paul Hollywood's recipe for a classic Italian bread, now very fashionable in Britain
By Paul Hollywood
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 2 loaves
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus resting
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 g strong bread flour
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 350 ml water
  • 12 g salt
  • 5 g ascorbic acid

Tips and Suggestions

The secret is not to fully prove the dough on the first rise. 30 minutes to 1 hour is enough which will allow for extra growth on the second rise.


1. Hand mix 250g of strong white flour, the yeast and 175ml of water together in a mixing bowl until the mixture forms a dough.2. Cover loosely and set aside to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.3. Mix the remaining flour and water, salt and ascorbic acid into the rested dough.4. Set aside to rest until doubled in bulk, around 1-2 hours.5. Sit the dough onto a floured surface and divide into two.6. Cut each dough portion into two, long, even-sized rectangles and place on greaseproof papered baking sheets.7. Leave to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place, ideally near a hot oven or radiator.8. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.9. Bake the ciabatta loaves for 25 minutes until risen and brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

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