This recipe for traditional crispy ciabatta is very easy to make, and before you know it you will have bread that is deliciously crispy on the outside, and light and airy in the middle.

With the Great British Bake Off in to its third week, we thought we would bring you Paul Hollywood’s very own recipe for classic crispy ciabatta for this week’s technical challenge! This scrumptious recipe is easy to make, and will fill your home with a fantastic smell of freshly baked bread! It helps if you have an electric mixer for this recipe, as the dough needs to be very wet in its consistency.



  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 400ml tepid water
  • Fine semolina for dusting (optional)


Step 1- Lightly oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container. It has to square to help shape the dough!

Step 2- Take the bowl of your electric mixer and add the white bread flour, salt and yeast. It is important that you do not pour the salt immediately on top of the yeast. Also add three-quarters of the water and the olive oil, and slowly start to mix. When the dough starts to bind, add the remaining water and mix for a further 5 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

Step 3- Then add the dough to the lightly oiled square plastic container, and cover it with a tea towel. Leave the dough until it has doubled or tripled in size. This should take between 1 and 2 hours, but it is possible that it may take longer.

Step 4- At this point, heat your oven to 220 degrees celcius and line baking trays with silicone paper.

Step 5- Now the fun starts! Cover your work top in flour and add the semolina if you have any. Don’t worry if you don’t have any semolina, as this is optional! Remove the dough from the container carefully, trying to keep it in as much of a square shape as possible. Ensure you handle the dough carefully to try and keep as much of the air inside it as possible.

Step 6- Cover the top of the dough with more flour and the semolina, remember the semolina is optional!.

Step 7- Cut the dough in half lengthways and then cut each half into 2 strips. This should leave you with 4 pieces of dough. Stretch each piece lengthways.

Step 8- Place the 4 pieces of dough on baking trays, and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before baking.

Step 9- Bake the dough for 25 minutes until it turns a delicious golden brown colour. To check if it is baked, tap the base of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, then it is ready! If not, pop it back in the oven until it does sound hollow.

Step 10- Leave the bread to cool on a cooling rack before serving. We recommend serving this will some balsamic vinegar and olive oils. Enjoy!

Source: Paul Hollywood 

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