Chef John's Whole Wheat Ciabatta


This whole wheat ciabatta is like the old no-knead ciabatta with a higher-fiber makeover. Since I don't have much whole wheat baking experience, I did what any good chef would do: I didn't do any research and just tried to figure it out. I was quite happy with the taste and texture, and going 50-50 with the all-purpose flour provided just enough of that crusty, chewy "normal" bread experience.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
16 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
17 hrs 30 mins
1 loaf



  • 1 cup warm water

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour

  • ¼ cup rye flour

  • ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • ½ cup water at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons shelled sunflower seeds

  • 1 tablespoon polenta

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, for dusting

  • ½ teaspoon cornmeal, or as needed


  1. Make the sponge: Stir warm water, flours (all-purpose flour, whole wheat, and rye), and yeast together in a large bowl until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit until bubbly and doubled in volume, 5 to 6 hours.

  2. Start the ciabatta: Stir all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, water, sunflower seeds, polenta, flax seeds, salt, and honey into sponge with a wooden spoon until a very sticky dough ball forms, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume, 10 hours to overnight.

  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust parchment paper with 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour and cornmeal.

  4. Scrape dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface; press down to remove air, then form into a smooth oval loaf. Place dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Dust top of loaf lightly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place a baking dish filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven.

  6. Remove plastic wrap from risen dough and mist the top of the dough with water.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven, misting the top of the loaf with water every 8 to 10 minutes, until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes total. Transfer bread to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

135 Calories
2g Fat
27g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 349mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 102mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love