Ciabatta-Hamburger-BunWhat’s everyone’s favorite from the grill? Hamburgers, of course. But the problem with hamburgers is watching your bun melt away when you put a big, thick, juicy burger on it. Ciabatta to the rescue! Ciabatta is a soft and chewy Italian roll with with plenty of big holes that will soak up just about any liquid you give it. Perfect for hamburgers, hot italian beef, or even a sub slathered in oil and vinegar; once you learn how to make these chewy Italian Ciabatta buns, you’ll never go back to those grocery store weaklings.

This recipe requires start a Biga, or sponge, 5 – 12+ hours before making the rolls. The Biga, made of a small amount of flour, yeast, and water is what gives the bread its big holes and chewy texture. Just make the biga the day before and let it sit at room temperature until mixture looks very bubbly.


Chewy Italian Ciabatta rolls

makes 8


  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp instant yeast


  • Biga
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  1. In a medium bowl, mix first four ingredients for the until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 5 – 20 hours. Mixture should be bubbly
  2. For the dough, mix biga with the rest of the ingredients in a stand mixer with bread hook for ten minutes, or in a bread machine on the dough setting. Dough should be soft and sticky, add additional flour or water if necessary.
  3. Let dough rise in a greased bowl or container for 90 – 120 minutes until doubled in size.
  4. Turn dough onto well floured surface and shape into a 6 x 9 inch rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into eight 3×3 inch squares. Place squares onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise 45 – 60 minutes until puffy.
  5. Place a baking stone in your oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
  6. Slide parchment paper and rolls onto the baking stone and bake rolls for 13 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown. If you don’t have a stone, place entire baking sheet with rolls on the center rack of the oven and bake. Remove and cool on wire rack.