How to Toast Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta is a traditional Italian bread that supposedly gets its name from its resemblance to house slippers -- "ciabatta" being Italian for slipper. Crusty on the outside with a soft texture on the inside, ciabatta bread takes well to toasting. Use it for sandwiches, as a partner for soups or saucy pasta dishes, or as a base for fresh or sautéed vegetables. Most ciabatta is made with white flour. For more fiber and B vitamins, look for whole-grain ciabatta or make your own with whole-wheat flour.

In the Oven

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife to cut the ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 3

Brush the top surface of each slice of ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven.

Step 4

Bake the ciabatta for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before serving.

On the Grill

Step 1

Cut the ciabatta into thin slices with a sharp knife. Set the bread aside.

Step 2

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Drizzle each slice of ciabatta evenly with a small amount of olive oil.

Step 3

Place the ciabatta slices onto the grill. Allow the bread to toast for one to two minutes.

Step 4

Use tongs to turn over each slice. Toast the bread for one to two more minutes before removing it from the grill, cooling and serving.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife

  • Rimmed baking sheet

  • Pastry brush

  • Olive oil

  • Tongs

Tip

Instead of cutting the ciabatta into individual slices, simply cut a whole loaf in half lengthwise and toast or grill each half to yield a larger base for toppings.

For ciabatta with additional flavor, rub the finished toast with the cut side of a halved raw garlic clove. Or use olive oil flavored with herbs, peppers or garlic for brushing on the bread.

If you're pressed for time, skip the oven, the grill and the olive oil, and use your countertop toaster to quickly toast thin slices of ciabatta.

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