Homemade Rosemary Ciabatta

The smell of yeasted dough permeates the house, and causes complete happiness to all your senses!!!  It is a fact, right?  There is something so fun about making homemade bread.  To make ciabatta bread…wellllll you better set aside three days in your busy schedule.  Okay, okay, not a full three days, but I did spend time preparing different aspects of the dough the last three days.  AND it was sooooooo worth the wait!!!

I will be sharing the recipe in a moment, but first I wanted to share some fun ideas.  In a few weeks it will be a very special day, Mother’s Day!  Instead of sharing everyday gift ideas for your Mom, how about giving her some unique, and gorgeous gifts?

Here are some fun Gift ideas:

1.  A few years ago I met Susan, and was completely taken away by her gorgeous EcoCuff Wood Bracelets she creates.  The bracelets were started because they had leftover wood from the wood working they do.  Instead of throwing away the extra pieces of wood, they found a useful way to reduce, reuse, and recycle all the wood.  The bracelets are gorgeous, and they just recently came out with a man cuff, so there is literally something for everyone! The bracelets range from $20.00 to $75.00.  Here is her Etsy Website.  You can follow her on Facebook.  And she has her EcoCuffs on a wonderful site called EthicalOceans.

2.  If you are having trouble thinking of a gift to get your Mom, how about just giving her some lovely sweet treats?  Since starting in the food blog world, I have met some amazing, and talented people-  AND completely determined too!!  Michelle from Sweet and Simple is someone who is not only kind, generous, but also so determined.  She just recently launched her online store, and has box sets available that come already to give to that special person.  No wrapping involved!  The treats range from $25.00 to $85.00.  There are delicious cookies, and fudgey brownies to choose from.  Here is Sweet & Simple’s website.  You can follow her on Facebook here.


How about giving the gift of relaxation and complete happiness?  In any town you will find a acupuncture clinic,  there are several forms of acupuncture, and each type will help you in a specific way.   “The key to your health resides in strengthening and balancing your body’s energetic forces. From Healing Hands Clinic in Charlotte, NC.”  Here in Charlotte, Andi has created an atmosphere that keeps her clients coming back for more.  She knows how to help look at what is specifically needed for your body, and how to help you continue to feel good.  Acupuncture appointments can range from $50.00 to $150.00 (those prices are just ranges, each clinic is different.)  If you are local, you can follow The Healing Hands Clinic here.  You can follow the Healing Hands on Facebook here.

4. This last idea is also the fun giveaway!  For those foodies out there, Moms included, this is a fun gift idea.  EatSmart Scales are a perfect way to ensure every recipe is measured accurately.  The scale is lightweight, and works on four measurement modes- grams, ounces, kilograms and pounds.  There is no cord to get in the way when you are cooking, the scale runs on batteries.  The scales range from $25.00 to $90.00.  BUT remember I am giving away a scale to one lucky reader, so even better, right?  You can follow EatSmart Products here.


Have fun shopping for your Mom, she deserves something fun, and maybe even delicious this year!  Now if you are feeling adventurous, you could make her this ciabatta bread…using the scale you may just win….BONUS!

I am thankful for my bread baking experience at the cafe last year.  It really helped me realize baking bread was not hard, it actually is very fun!  This bread is the very definition of fun!  Thank you to Jenni from Pastry Chef Online, she was so helpful during the process.  If you need her help, just send her a message on her Facebook page, she is always willing to help!  Since I had never made ciabatta bread before, I wanted to make sure I did it right.  The recipe I will share is Pastry Chef Online’s Food52sDay recipe interpretation.  If you want to learn more about Food52sDay, here are the rules.   I will share the adaptions I made in parenthesis on the ingredient list.

Homemade Rosemary Ciabatta

A hard outer crust, with a beautiful fluffy bread inside! Every bite is full of flavor, and may cause serious happy dances!

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For the Poolish
5 oz. all purpose flour
5 oz. room temperature water
heavy pinch of yeast
For the Ciabatta
10 oz. of poolish (my poolish made 9.75oz.)
5 oz. bread flour (I used 7.5oz)
5 oz. white wheat flour (I did not use white wheat flour)
5 oz. all purpose flour (I used 7.5oz)
Squirt of honey (I used 3 tsp of honey, instead of using malt powder or malt syrup)
2 1/2 teaspoons dry malt powder (available at home brew stores) or 1 Tablespoon malt syrup (available at health food stores)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (if you only have fine salt, reduce the amount to 2 teaspoons and taste from there)
1/4 teaspoon dried yeast
About 8-10 oz. room temperature ESB (or beer of choice) (I used 8oz of a dark lager)
2 1/2 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
About 1/2 cup flour–all purpose, bread or white whole wheat, for sprinkling


For the Poolish

Mix flour, water and yeast together.

Cover loosely and let sit out at room temperature for about twelve hours (more is fine, but don’t go crazy).

For the Ciabatta

The original recipe calls for adding ingredients in a certain order. I just used the straight dough method and dumped everyone, except for the olive oil and 1/2 cup of flour, into the pool at once. This worked out nicely.

Dump all the ingredients–except for the olive oil and 1/2 cup of flour–in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or in a large bowl if you’re doing this by hand). Start by adding just 8 oz of beer.

Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes and on medium-low speed for another 7-8 minutes. The dough should be sticky and slumpy when the mixer is stopped. It’s okay if it sticks in the bottom of the bowl, but it should clear the sides. Add extra beer, a little at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. If you’re unsure, err on the side of a little too much liquid as opposed to a little too little. (If making by hand, mix the dough with a wooden spoon, then grease your hands and knead by hand for a good 15-20 minutes–kneading right in your big old bowl is fine, or you can dump it out onto your counter). Oil your hands as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. This will also deter you from adding extra flour and ending up with a dry loaf. You’re welcome).

Check to see that the dough is ready for rising by oiling your hands and pulling a piece out. It should be very stretchy–you should be able to pull it out farther than you think before it tears.

Leave the dough in the mixer bowl and spread 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over it to keep it from drying out.

Cover it loosely and let it rise at room temperature for several hours.

Whenever you think about it, fold the dough over on itself to help redistribute the yeast.

Put the bowl of dough in the fridge in the evening, and then pull it out again in the morning. Twelve hours or so in the fridge is ideal.

Pour another Tablespoon of olive oil onto the dough and let it come up to room temperature and slowly rise again for another 3 hours or so, folding it over when you think about it.

At the end of the rise, press all the gases out of the dough and divide it into two equal parts. Mine weighed 17.5 oz apiece.

Shape each into kind of an oblong and place them on a greased cookie sheet a good 6 inches apart, because they’ll spread a bit.

Liberally sprinkle each loaf all over with the flour. Be so liberal that it’s not really a sprinkle but a downpour.

Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for a good couple of hours. The loaves will almost double in size, and you’ll see cracks in the flour layer.

Preheat your oven to 450F and set your oven rack to the lowest setting. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the rack. Let the oven preheat for at least 30-45 minutes.

Put the cookie sheet on the baking stone (if using) and bake until the internal temperature of the loaves is about 200F-210F. In my oven, this took about 22 minutes. Start checking at 20. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, you can thump the loaves on the bottoms. If they sound hollow, they’re done.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Take the loaves off of the cookie sheet and let them cool on wire racks so their bottoms don’t get soggy. Don’t slice them until they’re just barely warm. If you can wait until they’re completely cool, that’s even better.





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  • This bread looks so good.  I want to pull it apart and dip it in olive oil and really nice balsamic vinegar and a bit of dukkah.  ahh...  heaven
  • Hooray! It's beautiful, Terra! I'm so glad you played along. Don't forget to link to Food52sday: http://pastrychefonline.com/blog/food-52sdays/ and/or the interpretation page for the ciabatta: http://pastrychefonline.com/blog/2012/04/17/food52sday-recipe-interpretation-rosemary-whole-wheat-ciabatta-with-esb/  I won't enter for the scale because I have one and love it and always encourage everyone to use one when baking. Good luck to everyone--and I also like your round-up of Keen gift ideas. Those cuffs are Ridiculous, and of course Michelle's stuff is sure to please:)
  • Thank you so much for the shout out, you are such a sweetheart!!! That bread looks delicious!
  • Tracy
    I have been making homemade bread for many years, including my favorite ciabatta from the Dec 1995 issue of Fine Cooking, Annie Somerville's focaccia from Fields of Greens and the many iterations of pain au levain from Daniel Leader's Bread Alone. But now I generally turn out a loaf of no-knead bread weekly. I used to love making pain epí, if that qualifies as fun, for the interesting shape. Thanks for the giveaway.
  • Maureen
    The bread looks delicious. Nothing Like homemade bread. The closest I have come to making bread at home is via a bread machine or a quick bread.
  • That's a gorgeous Ciabatta.  I remember the first time I made bread from scratch- I was jubilant that it turned out!  It was a pizza rustica with a yeast bread crust, instead of pastry, made in a springform pan.  I put it in front of the radiator to rise because I thought it needed mega heat.  Thankfully the yeast didn't die!  That same eve, I also made a braided onion bread, and I've been hooked ever since.  I follow you on Twitter, of course, and just followed EatSmart.
  • We make brread all the time! Yesterday my man made herb garlic bread, he asked me to preheated the oven, so I set the rising bread on top of the stove and turned the oven on. Then promptly forgot about it! 15 mind later the cookie sheet was hot & the bread was cooking! It came out ok, but flatter than usual! OOOPS! We're eating it anyway. :-)
  • No Twitter account, but I follow EatSmart Products on Facebook!
  • Melissa C.
    My husband and I love to make bread.  We took a couple hour class at a local kitchen supply store and have been making it often ever since... works great for pizza dough too
  • What a great giveaway, Terra! Your rosemary ciabatta looks amazing. I bet it would taste absolutely phenomenal with grilled steak and onions. Yum! I've made bread a few times, but I almost always have problems getting my dough to rise appropriately. I'll keep trying. :) 
  • You already know I follow you on Facebook. ;) 
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  • I follow EatSmart on twitter. 
  • dotgalima.wordpress.com
    i love doing fun things with bread! one time i added cayenne pepper and i loved it! it's funny how orange it gets...the last one i made doesn't really look like bread because of it's orange color! i love adding garlic chunks too! one time i did a cinnamon honey bread...which turned out good except it was a little more dense that i liked...but i loved the honey pockets! i also enjoy using a hamburger bun recipe for bread..i just stick it in a loaf pan..because the first time i made it it ended up ... "melting" while it rose... so now i just let it rise in a loaf pan..or something that has a shape! thanks for the bread recipe!
  • This is so amazing, and such a small world. I saw this on triberr and wondered if it was my rosemary ciabatta from the Food52 cookbook. When I read through it I knew - Jenni is cooking up different recipes from the book and I'm honored beyond words that my bread was one of her choices. I'm soooo glad you made it and liked it so much. It's really one of my favorites, and is one I developed when I was in culinary school. I might have to make some this week. Thanks again!!!
    •  Hi there, I am finally catching up on my blog posts:-)  Thank you so much for the sweet comment on my ciabatta bread post!  I am so excited to learn that I made your recipe, it was a lovely recipe:-) You definitely should make some more soon, so good!! Hugs, Terra
  • Deb Harris
    Is there a sub for beer? My husband loves Ciabatta bread but would prefer not using beer. I'd love to make a good one for him. I've made a lot of bread but never attempted this. Thanks
    •  I apologize for my delay in responding regarding your question on the ciabatta bread.  You could probably just add water instead of adding beer.  Enjoy!
  • I love the addition of beer Terra! Ciabatta looks perfect. Rosemary was a great choice. 
  • I love rosemary in breads. This ciabatta looks delicious!
  • The bread looks spectacular!
  • I love the captivating aromas of yeasted goodies..the Ciabatta look perfect!
  • Nancy Buchanan
    It definitely takes time, but there is truly nothing better than freshly baked homemade bread...and adding rosemary is my absolute favorite!!!
  • I typically make fresh bread once a week for my husband and I. One of the first times, I accidentally left the yeast to bloom for about 35 or 40 minutes -- it grew to the top of the medium-sized bowl it was in, resembling a human brain. All in good fun and learning, I suppose! Cheers, *Heather*
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  • Dakota
    Yum the Rosemary Ciabatta sounds (and looks) great! I haven't tried making bread yet, just breadsticks. It was one of my first ventures in gluten-free, and it was a total failure. The outsides were hard while the insides were still doughy. I'm practicing on cookies, cakes, and muffins before trying bread again. A scale would certainly come in handy!
  • Dakota
    I've liked Cafe Terra on Facebook.
  • Dakota
    I've liked Eat Smart products on Facebook.
  • i don't think the comment section allows me to share all my adventures from the beginning of my homemade bread adventures to where I'm right now  :))
  • I have never made any homemade bread [email protected]
  • What a gorgeous bread! I love rosemary breads. The scale is awesome! I've only made bread a handful of times.
  • Meghan
    I love rosemary in bread, your loaf turned out perfect!  
  • Amanda Valenti
    My mom and I tried making bread for the first time a few months ago. The paper towel that we sat on top of it accidentally took a "layer" off of the top, and it couldn't rise! All that work for nothing! lol Thanks for the chance to win the scale! Amanda Valenti avalenti6936 at yahoo dot com
  • Amanda Valenti
    Following Cafe Terra on Facebook as Manda Valenti Thank you! Amanda Valenti avalenti6936 at yahoo dot com
  • Amanda Valenti
    Following Cafe Terra on Twitter as @MandaPanda428:twitter Thank you! Amanda Valenti avalenti6936 at yahoo dot com
  • Choc Chip Uru
    I never realized how gorgeous ciabatta bread is - especially when matched with the delights of rosemary :D Cheers Choc Chip Uru http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/
  • Carmen Nuland
    I've had some pretty flat bread from time-to-time. But I love homemade bread, so I keep trying. (even if it doesn't look pretty, it still tastes great!)
  • Rosmary Ciabatta sounds already awesome fresh and full of flavoures. I am missing the italian breads around here, they r so airy and light. I wish I could have a slice now, I would munch it in front of the laptop, plain! lol I am not sure if I am too late, but I d love to participate in your give away Terra! =)
  • I love this bread.  Mine never looks this pretty.  Here's a question, on average, how long does you bread stay tasty.  Mine never holds up the next day.  Am I doing somethin wrong?  I love to make bread but I hate to waste it.  Help my friend.
  • I adore rosemary breads and your ciabatta looks amazing!