Ciabatta Rolls are a combination of a crispy crust and a chewy crumb that is airy, filled with holes! This version can be made in a few hours instead of over the course of a day or two.
Ciabatta (pronounced cha-bah-tuh) is an Italian white bread that is known for it’s gorgeous holes inside. The bread, or in this case rolls, have a rustic feel which means they don’t ever look perfect, which means no matter what they look like, they are perfect.
The dough is also really unique. Made up of only the simplest ingredients the final dough is WET. Wet, but totally manageable. Honestly, this may be my favorite dough to work with.
Back in the day, this bread was made my slapping the wet dough onto the counter instead of kneading. Luckily we can use a higher speed on our stand mixer to do this easily for us. If you don’t have a stand mixer personally, borrow one from a friend because that is one tool you’ll definitely need to make this recipe.
You can make Ciabatta Bread, in a loaf, or you can make ROLLS, which is what we are talking all about today. After many, many batches and tweaks, I’d like to report that I have made better Ciabatta rolls than I can get at Sam’s Club.. and Sam’s Club is 30 minutes away! So by the time I drive there, spend way too much money inside and then drive home, I could have made them from scratch. Boom-shaka-laka. 😉
My absolute favorite thing to pair with my Ciabatta Rolls is shredded beef to make delicious French Dip Sandwiches. This bread is perfect for soaking up all of those drippings!
Ingredients in Ciabatta Rolls
- Water: We will need warm water for this recipe, looking for anywhere around 100°.
- Yeast: Active Dry or Instant Yeast will work well for this recipe. We will use a total of 1 3/4 tsp.
- Flour: No fancy flour needed, all we will use is All-Purpose Flour.
- Salt: There is 2 whole teaspoons of salt in this recipe, this does not make the bread salty by any means, it enhances the natural flavor of the bread.
How to make Ciabatta Dough
Ciabatta dough is comprised of 2 parts. The Biga (think of it like a starter) and then the ciabatta dough. The Biga is classically mixed together and then sits, bubbles and ferments overnight prior to baking the bread or rolls.
Don’t worry, we won’t be waiting. I have a cheat for that! The Instant Pot Yogurt Button. (cue the hallelujah chorus.) The Biga is a combination of water, yeast and flour. The Biga will sit and ferment quickly using the yogurt (less) button in 45 minutes! When it is done it will be warm, and have a lot of bubbles in it. (see photo below) Psst. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can do the same in a warm oven!
The Biga is what gives the roll it’s flavor, chewy crust and crumb, so definitely don’t skip this!!
The Biga is now mixed together with more water, yeast, flour and salt in a stand mixer. I use a Kitchenaid Mixer. Mix everything together slowly using the dough hook until all of the flour is combined. Then kick the speed up on your stand mixer until it is about medium high, in between the 4 and 6 on your Kitchenaid. Now, walk away (but keep and eye on it, it is going to get a little crazy!) for a good 10 minutes. (pro tip, just put the mixer on the floor so it doesn’t fall off of the counter. 🙂 )
The dough is very wet. You are going to think you’ve done something wrong but hold tight!! At about the 10 minute mark, something magical will happen. The dough will pull away from the bowl and gather around the hook. You will hear regular slapping of the dough against the sides of the bowl. Allow the dough to knead like this for an additional 5 minutes after it gathers to the hook.
If your dough isn’t gathering around the hook, add in a little extra flour 1 tbsp at a time until it gathers around the hook.
As soon as you stop the mixer, the dough will slow motion puddle at the bottom of the bowl, that is exactly what you want to see. It will be very smooth and shiny.
Rising the dough
Now, let’s let this dough rise until triple! You can do this on the counter in about 2-3 hours time or we can do it in 30 minutes using our (well greased!) Instant Pot on the yogurt normal setting. (The Instant Pot yogurt button makes me geek out. I love it so much.) The top row of photos below is right when I put it into the Instant Pot, the bottom is 30 minutes later. Look at the measurement on the side of the pot!! Again, you can do this in a warm oven if you don’t have an Instant Pot. Details in the recipe card below.
From here, generously flour your counter top and gently roll the dough out of your Instant Pot/ rising bowl. Be careful not to squash all of those precious air bubbles!!
Shaping/ Cutting and Baking Ciabatta Rolls
Gently shape into a long rectangle. We will now cut the rectangle into 12 rolls using a pizza cutter. Don’t be shy with the flour, but be very gentle! Don’t destroy the bubs. 😉
Arrange your rolls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Gently use your fingers to press down, flatten and shape the rolls into squares if they got a little out of shape while cutting. Again, be carful not to ruin all of the air bubbles! Gently!! The rolls will puff up quite a bit while baking.
Allow the rolls to rest while the oven preheats to 450°. Once the oven is heated, bake for 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.
For the best texture and crumb, allow them to cool completely before using with a sandwich.
How to Store Ciabatta Rolls
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. They are best the day of, though. If you want to extend the life even longer, as soon as they are cool pop them into a freezer zip top bag and freeze until you are ready to use them.
What to eat with Ciabatta Rolls
I like to use them with French Dip Sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, lunch panini’s, garlic bread or as a side to soup or stew.
More Must Try Bread Recipes
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Ciabatta Rolls Recipe
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- In the Instant Pot liner*, stir together the ingredients of the Biga. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Turn on the Instant Pot to Yogurt LOW, cover with a lid and let the Biga sit for 45 minutes. The Biga should be warm and bubbly at the end of the 45 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water, yeast and biga. Stir with a silicon spoon to break up the Biga.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl, and knead using the dough hook. Start slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Once all of the flour has been incorporated, bump the speed up to 4-6. The dough will be sticky and thin. At about the 10 minute mark, the dough should hold onto the hook and not stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Continue mixing for an additional 5 minutes after the dough holds onto the dough hook. The dough will be very smooth and have a shiny appearance. When the mixer stops, the dough will fall down to the bottom of the bowl.
- Clean out the Instant Pot liner and then spray with non stick spray. Place the dough into a well greased Instant Pot. Place a lid on top. Allow the dough to rise on Yogurt NORMAL* for 30 minutes.
- Carefully pour the dough out of the Instant Pot and onto a floured counter top.
- Shape the dough into a long rectangle and use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
- se your fingers to dimple and shape the rolls into a square.Allow the rolls to rest while the oven preheats to 450° and bake for 20 minutes.
- use your fingers to dimple and shape the rolls into a square.
- Allow the rolls to rest while the oven preheats to 450°.
- Bake for 15-20 mintues or until the rolls are golden brown.
- For best results, allow the rolls to cool prior to cutting and using for sandwiches.
Cooking with Karli says
Yes you can, although it will be difficult and you will get a good workout. 🙂
Karli Bitner says
Hi Wendi- you’ll use the ferment setting. 🙂
😆 Thank you, I will now try it and let you know.
MJ Ray says
It can be done by hand by stirring with a very sturdy spoon for longer, but it is exhausting!
When using the oven to prepare the Biga should I allow it to heat to 350; or set it to 350 and turn off after 5 minutes.
My oven has a bread proof setting that is 100 degrees F. Would that be warm enough?
Karli Bitner says
The bread proofing setting should be warm enough!
I am so excited to try this recipe. I’ve never made ciabatta but love to eat it. Anyways I eat it with avocado and a poached egg. The holes fill up with the yolk and avocado- delicious!!!
Can’t wait to try it!!
I have made those at least 10 times by now. Sometimes when I want to cut the time she have it in the morning I make the biga the night before add leave it on the counter. I do have to add more flour though if it’s sitting overnight. From half to one cup.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you so much for amazing recipe I just finished it already ate 2 its delicious sooo good. Never buying again from store.
Sandra ~ wife on a boat says
Yummy!! I need to work on my shaping skills but these tasted great and were perfect for lunch and breakfast! No more store bought ciabatta for us.