This Easy Ciabatta Rolls Recipe can be made in one day and takes about 4 hours from start to finish. With only 4 ingredients, these ciabatta rolls can be made whenever you need a roll or bun for burgers, sandwiches, and more!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
If you need rolls or buns for your meal, make this Easy Ciabatta Rolls Recipe. This is a great recipe for beginner bread makers and the only hard part is waiting for the dough to rise. Instant yeast does most of the work to create bubbly and delicious bread.
Ingredients Needed to Make This Easy Ciabatta Rolls Recipe
I love simple recipes and this one only has four ingredients: water, instant yeast, flour, and salt. That's it! Most bread starts with simple ingredients, what the dough creates depends on proof time (rest/rise time), folding, shape, heat, etc.
Water: Water is an essential component of ciabatta bread dough. It provides hydration to the flour, allowing the gluten strands to develop and resulting in a soft and elastic texture. Water also contributes to the formation of steam during baking, which helps create a crispy crust.
Instant Yeast: Instant yeast, also known as rapid-rise or bread machine yeast, provides leavening to the dough, causing it to rise and develop air pockets, resulting in the characteristic open crumb of ciabatta bread.
Flour: All-Purpose flour is used in this recipe to provide structure and strength to the dough. The protein in the flour helps develop gluten, which contributes to the bread's texture and chewiness.
Salt: Kosher salt adds flavor to the bread and also helps regulate the fermentation process. It strengthens the gluten structure, improving the texture and overall quality of the bread.
What is Ciabatta Bread?
Ciabatta bread is a type of Italian bread known for its distinctive shape, airy texture, and crispy crust. It originated in the northern regions of Italy, particularly in the area surrounding Lake Como.
Ciabatta starts with sticky and wet dough and turns into a bubbly creation once it's been folded a few times and stretched to a rectangle. I'll walk you through the steps and you'll be enjoying your fresh, homemade ciabatta rolls in no time!
How to Make Ciabatta Rolls
Activate the Yeast and Start the Dough - Mix the warm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let the mixture sit for 8-10 minutes. Add the flour and salt and stir everything together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 1 hour.
Fold and Stretch the Dough Three Times - After an hour, wet your hands and fold and stretch the dough four times all the way around the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes. Repeat this step 2 more times for a total of 3 stretch and fold sessions and an hour and a half of resting time.
Cut and Shape the Rolls - Gently remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Carefully stretch the edges of the dough ball out to make a rectangle about ¾" thick or so. Using a scraper/chopper or a sharp knife, cut the rectangle into 5-6 even-sized squares. Place the squares on a piece of parchment paper, cover them with a towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rest one more time for 40 minutes.
Bake The Rolls on a Baking Stone - Preheat the oven and a baking stone at 420°F. About 15 minutes before the end of the final proofing, boil 2 cups of water and place a pan or bowl with the boiling water at the bottom of the oven to create steam. Carefully transfer the parchment paper with the dough squares onto the baking stone. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the rolls and place them on a cooling rack to cool.
What to Use These Rolls For
Because of the airy interior and lightly crunchy exterior of these rolls, ciabatta can be used for many things. Due to its versatility and light texture, ciabatta bread is commonly used for sandwiches, particularly paninis, as its structure allows it to hold fillings without becoming too dense or overwhelming the flavors. Here are some other ideas:
- Burgers (shown below)
- French Toast or French Toast Casserole
- Toast for breakfast
- Dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Bread for Soup
Tools Needed to Make Ciabatta Bread at Home
A baking stone is a must-have to get a good crunchy crust on your ciabatta rolls. I personally use the round version because I also like to make pizza on it and the rectangle version is nice because it's a little larger and easy to maneuver bread on.
The other tool I highly recommend is a bench scraper to help with forming the bread and cutting your rolls.
Easy Ciabatta Rolls
- baking stone
- cast-iron pan or oven-safe pan/bowl
- plastic wrap
- 1 cup warm water (room temp, not too hot)
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (properly measured)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the warm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and mix together. Let the mixture sit for 8-10 minutes until there is some nice bubble action happening.
- Once the yeast is active, add the flour and salt and stir everything together. I use a silicone spatula which made scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl easier. The dough will be wet and sticky and a little shaggy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1 hour. TIP: I placed mine in the oven with a bowl of hot water, but you can also leave it on the counter if it's warm enough in your house.
- After an hour, wet your hands and fold and stretch the dough four times all the way around the dough. Pull up two corners, stretch lightly and fold over the top of the dough ball. Repeat this 2 more times. Cover the bowl again with the plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes. Repeat this step 2 more times for a total of 3 stretch and fold sessions and an hour and a half of additional resting time.
- By now the dough should have doubled in size and be nice and bubbly. Carefully remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. TIP: lightly flour the top of the dough and your hands for easier transfer. Carefully stretch the edges of the dough ball out to make a rectangle about ¾" thick or so. Try not to squish the dough or all of that air you worked so hard to create inside will get out.
- Using a scraper or a sharp knife, cut the rectangle into 5-6 even-sized squares. Place the squares on a piece of parchment paper, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest one more time for 40 minutes. While the dough is proofing a final time, preheat the oven and baking stone at 420°F. You can preheat the oven for the full 40 minutes to ensure your oven is nice and hot. About 15 minutes before the end of final proofing, boil 2 cups of water and place an oven-safe pan or bowl with the boiling water at the bottom of the oven and to the side so the steam has a chance to reach the bread.
- Once the dough has rested for 40 minutes, carefully transfer the parchment paper with the dough squares onto the baking stone. You can also have the paper and dough on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet right on top of the baking stone. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the rolls and place them on a cooling rack to cool.
- If you live in a dry climate, you may need to add a little more water in step 2 to ensure the dough is wet, sticky, and shaggy looking. Add 1 tablespoon at a time until you are satisfied with the texture.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
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