Harvest Grains Ciabatta

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: two 11" loaves

Recipe photo

Coarse-textured and full-flavored, this lusty bread features our Harvest Grains Blend, which lends it extra chew and nice crunch.

Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Harvest Grains Ciabatta

star rating (19) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: two 11" loaves
Published: 01/01/2010


Overnight starter

  • 1 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour, organic preferred
  • ½ cup cool water
  • pinch of instant yeast


Tips from our bakers

  • This very sticky dough is virtually impossible to knead by hand. Please use a stand mixer, hand mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle.
  • Be sure to add the Harvest Grains Blend after you've kneaded the dough. Adding it first, along with the other ingredients, makes a REALLY sticky dough. Trust us; you don't want to go there.
  • Want to bake this bread right in the bread machine? Go for it. We've baked it in our Zojirushi here in the test kitchen, and it works just fine.


1) Combine the starter ingredients and stir till cohesive. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight, or for up to about 15 hours. The mixture will be bubbly.

2) Combine the starter with all of the dough ingredients except the Harvest Grains Blend, and mix and knead to make a very smooth, soft, very sticky dough. Using a stand mixer equipped with the flat beater paddle, knead for 7 minutes; the dough may or may not clear the sides of the bowl. Or prepare dough in the bread machine set on the dough cycle.

3) Once the dough is kneaded, add the Harvest Grains Blend, mixing just till it's well distributed. If you're using a bread machine, add the grains blend at the beep. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, add and knead for about 30 seconds, just to combine.

4) Place the dough in a lightly greased rising container (or leave it in your bread machine), and allow it to rise for 90 minutes, till it's doubled in size. If it's in the bread machine, remove the dough at the end of the dough cycle.

5) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half.

6) Shape each half into a 10" log.

7) Place the logs on a large, lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, leaving about 5" between them.

8) Cover and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till very puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

9) Spray the loaves with lukewarm water, and place them in the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown.

10) Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.


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  • star rating 12/23/2013
  • from Harleysville, Pa
  • I used a cup of sourdough starter instead of the overnight starter. Then I soaked the harvest grains for a time in H2O to soften. I think those changes made this sticky, loose dough even more so! Compensated with additional four and rise time. Baked the loaves in a loosely constructed parchment 'tube' to help maintain shape and they came out perfect! Big airy holes, crisp crust, and big flavor. Perfect!
  • star rating 11/06/2013
  • Mike from WI
  • Excellent for hearty soups and stews like oxtail-barley soup. I did substitute light brown sugar for white and will increase the amount to 1 1/2 T. Made up my own whole grain mixture and will eliminate the sesame seed in the future as it tends to be a little on the bitter side. I would also suggest an egg wash brushing at the end for presentation. Just a wondwerful bread.
  • 10/19/2012
  • Charlie104 from KAF Community
  • I haven't made this bread yet. Before I do, I would like to know if I could use the white whole wheat flour for the entire recipe?
    Using all white whole wheat will change the texture and flavor of the recipe and you will need to add extra liquid. ~Amy
  • star rating 09/22/2012
  • robinwilson from KAF Community
  • This was my first time making ciabatta bread. I took one of the two loaves to nursing clinicals and the nurses and my students ate it up! My best bread yet!
  • star rating 05/23/2012
  • Yvonne from Batavia, IL
  • PS: I also steamed these in the oven using the good old handful of ice cubes on the bottom of a hot oven trick. They steamed wonderfully and created a very nice hard crust with a nice tender crumb.
  • star rating 05/23/2012
  • Yvonne from Batavia, IL
  • I didn't have the Harvest Grain Blend on hand, so I used sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds, plus a little bit of fennel seed ground between the heels of my palms to release the oils. Next time, I will not use the sunflower seeds, as I find them a bit overpowering. I kneaded this dough as I would any bread dough on the bench and gave it 2 - 3 folds during the bulk fermentation and 1 - 3 fold on the couche. I also did a 3oz roll make-up with this formula instead of the loaf. The bread came out delicious. They rose beautifully and were light and flavorful. The extra hint of fennel tasted truly like I had added sausage essence to my formula. I would like to ask though, for the final dough, minus the preferment, if I used bread flour, how to adjust the other ingredients. Will be adding this formula to my portfolio and spicing up the harvest blend for more interesting flavors.
    We would love to help you with your questions, but may need some clarification before providing answers. Please call our baker's hotline so that we may better assist you. ~Amy
  • star rating 11/22/2011
  • EricinTX from KAF Community
  • This bread is one of our family favorites, especially during the autumn and winter holidays. Over the past year I've tweaked the recipe a tad for our family's varied tastes and figured out how to avoid the stickiness that can come with adding the Harvest Grains Blend. To avoid the stickies, presoak the Harvest Grain Blend with some of the water at room temp for 45 min's before mixing. I make a 60% hydration soaker by weight and reduce the final water amount by that which is used to soak the grains. If measuring by volume, I think about 2 tablespoons of water per 1/3 cup of the grain blend will do the job. After presoaking add the wet grains to the rest and mix everything together. Since I've been doing this, no stickies and the dough handles very easily. I do a four-way fold after about an hour of the initial fermentation, proof it on floured linen and bake it on a preheated stone. Adjustments we made for taste preferences over the range of five in our household include reducing the grain blend amount to 25% of the flour amount by weight, substituting KA's White Whole Wheat flour for one-third of the total flour used, and using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar (adjusting the water added down by half the amount of honey used). I bake this as a single free-standing loaf rather than divide it. Many thanks for this recipe -- this is one great bread!
  • star rating 07/04/2011
  • Chris from Corpus Christi
  • I didn't read the recipe carefully, and I used the whole wheat both for the starter and for the main part of the recipe. Also, I didn't have the harvest grain mix, so I improvised with some sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds that I toasted. Two observations: 1. The dough was slack and tacky, but workable. It didn't so much rise as expand, so the loaves came out kind of flat. 2. It was some of the best tasting whole wheat bread I've ever had in my life. I almost devoured an entire loaf after it came out of the oven. The bread is kind of flat, but not dense, so it will make great sandwich bread. I can cut each loaf into halves or thirds, and then slice those horizontally to make sandwiches. So don't sell the full whole wheat version short!
  • star rating 06/23/2011
  • sueandbill from KAF Community
  • Our favorite bread. I usually double the recipe, when cool, I slice and put in ziploc bags. Soooo easy to grab 2 slices for a sandwich. FREEZES BEAUTIFULLY!!!!!!!!
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