BREADS, Ciabatta loaves, ultimate ciabatta sandwich

Food photography,Grilled vegetable ciabatta, citrusy purslane dressing

Citrusy purslane dressing, with grilled vegetables on crispy ciabatta

Just a little suggestion, for after you have made your own ciabatta loaves. Check out how to make this great Italian favourite loaf, with it’s deliciously crisp & chewy texture.

Ciabatta loaves

  • Servings: 2 x loaves
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Pillowy soft dough becomes a crusty & slightly chewy loaf, with its characteristic open crumb in this version of a classic Italian favourite. This dough is a little harder to work with due to its high-water content, I have included some extra photos which I hope explains the process a little better. it may take a little practice to feel confident, but the result is well worth it. Enjoy


  • 565g Plain Strong White Flour
  • 1x7g Dried Yeast
  • 450g water
  • 5g Salt
  • 1x tbsp Olive oil


  1. Using a medium size bowl, measure out 200g of the flour and 200g water and all the yeast, mix using a whisk. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 10-12 hours. This is your preferment which helps create an overall better flavour and structure to your loaves.
  2. When your preferment is ready, blend in the rest of the water and oil to loosen it, add this to a stand mixer with a lightly oiled paddle attachment, add in the rest of the flour & salt.
  3. Start your mixer on a low speed and allow for the mixture to start to blend for one minute, turn up the speed another notch and continue for a further minute, then turn your mixer up to a medium setting and continue for a further 6 minutes until the dough starts to come together. It will still be very sticky.
  4. Oil a baking bowl and tip the dough out into it – wet your hands if it needs a little help in coming out. Using wet hands, roll the dough around in the oil, then cover with tea towel or cling film and leave to prove for 45 minutes.
  5. After this time the dough should have notably risen, again wet your hands (it is useful to have a bowl of water beside you), lightly fold in the dough towards the centre – or if you prefer, turn it out onto a wet surface and fold it over on itself a couple of times. Do this a further two times 45 minutes apart.
  6. After the final 45minutes, next up is the shaping. Dust the surface of your worktop with flour and allow the dough to pour out – wet your hand with water if you need to gently tease it out. Dust the top with flour as well. Then, using a dough scraper divide the dough in half, it should have a natural rustic looking rectangle shape. Be careful in handling the dough at this stage. I use a dough scraper on one side, guided with the assistant of my other hand to place onto the floured towels, this is to hold their shape. Leave the dough to rest, covered, on the floured tea-towels for 20 minutes.
  7. Pre heat your oven to 210c Fan/ gas 7, place a tray of water in the bottom to create some steam.
  8. Pop a baking sheet, upside down, into the oven to heat up, then working quickly & safely remove, dust with flour, then gently pick up one of your ciabatta doughs and lay it down on the tray. Spray with water and place it in the oven to bake for approx. 20-25 min, turning around halfway to achieve an even colour until golden and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom. Repeat with the second piece of dough if your oven was not big enough to take both at the same time.

Check out my suggestion for a great ciabatta filling.

Citrusy purslane dressing

  • Servings: 250ml approx.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Fresno chilli’s


  • 1/2 Red onion roughly chopped
  • 50g purslane
  • 3 x tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 1 x Fresno chillli deseeded & chopped
  • 10g Parsley sprigs approx.
  • 5g Dried oregano
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 150ml Olive oil
  • 2x tsp Maple syrup or honey
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Pop all the ingredients in a blender and give it a quick whizz until well blended. Check for seasoning & adjust to your taste.
If you pefer, you can chop the ingredients for more texture, and choose your favourite chilli, I like the fresno as it is not too hot and the red ones have a slight smokiness to them.
Recipe Variations, if you can not get your hands on purslane, you could use watercress, spinach, or if you prefer, some basil leaves.

Grilled veggies

After grilling some veggies, spread some of the dressing on the pre-grilled ciabatta, top with your favourite greens, pop the other piece on top, & maybe a slice of goats cheese. Enjoy!

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