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Apr 16, 2023

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta

This mixed grains and seeds ciabatta, with a sourdough poolish is a hearty take on the airy Italian "slipper bread." 

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta on a cutting board.


The goal in making this bread is to add a lot of hearty whole grains and seeds and still capture some of the airy ciabatta-like texture in these loaves. 

With a 72 percent hydration dough, plus 90 grams of mixed seeds, this bread is both light and hearty. While you don't get quite the airiness of all white flour ciabatta, you definitely get enough to qualify this bread as ciabatta. 

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta loaves, sliced in half.

This bread is wonderful the day that it is made, sliced and buttered. It's also delicious dipped in soups and stews. 

It's also delicious toasted and buttered, and makes excellent grilled cheese. 

For the Whole Grains:

I used whole wheat flour for the whole grains, but you can use any whole grains you like. Suggestions include dark rye, barley, kamut, white whole wheat, and whole spelt. 

For the Seeds:

I used a combination of sunflower seeds (mostly), poppy seeds, flax seeds, golden flax seeds, fennel seeds, and dill seeds. You could also use pumpkin, sesame (both white and black), and millet. It's up to you. 

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta shaped loaves before baking.

Before you add the seeds to the dough, you toast them by either roasting them in the oven or on the stove top. 

Next, you soak the seeds in water for two hours. Add just enough water to cover the seeds and let them soak. If you have any excess water, you can drain it later (I did not). 

How to Make this Seeded Ciabatta:

First, the day before you make the dough, make a poolish, consisting of water, flour, and active sourdough starter. Let this mixture rest for 12 to 14 hours. 

In the meantime, roast and soak the seeds. 

The next day, mix the dough and let it rise (with one stretch and fold after an hour) and then divide it into four pieces. Stretch and fold the pieces into ciabattas and let them rise for an hour. 

Bake the loaves on a hot baking stone in a 460 degree F oven. 

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta loaves on a cooling rack.

This recipe produces four small loaves. I suggest wrapping three of the loaves in foil and plastic wrap while you enjoy the first loaf, and when you've finished the first, thaw the next one to enjoy. The loaves will last up to three months in the fridge. 

This recipe was introduced to the Bread Baking Babes by Cathy of Bread Experience. Her recipe was inspired by a recipe from The Larousse Book of Bread Recipes to Make at Home by Éric Kayser, and includes an overnight poolish similar to the method in The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking from The French Culinary Institute.

I have the French Culinary Institute book, but not the Kayser book. It's now on my wish list! 

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta slices displated on a cutting board.

More Ciabatta Recipes:

Mini Ciabatta Loaves

Ciabatta with Poolish

Kale and Garlic Ciabatta

Flaxseed and Date Ciabatta

Ciabatta with Biga

No Knead Ciabatta

Ciabatta with Cold Fermented Dough

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Bread Baking Babe's takes on this bread. 

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta on a cutting board.

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta

Mixed Grains and Seeds Ciabatta
Yield: 64 slices
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 40 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 15 HourTotal time: 16 Hour
This mixed grains and seeds ciabatta, with a sourdough poolish is a hearty take on the airy Italian "slipper bread."


  • 45 grams water
  • 45 grams bread flour
  • 15 grams sourdough starter or a pinch of dried yeast
Final Dough
  • 400 grams all-purpose flour
  • 150 grams whole wheat flour
  • 350-385 grams water, divided
  • All of the poolish
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 10 grams salt
  • 30 grams extra virgin olive oil
  • 90 grams mixed seeds (I used 55 grams Sunflower seeds, 5 grams poppy seeds, 20 grams flax seeds, 5 grams fennel seeds, and 5 grams dill seeds)
  • ½ cup water for soaking the seeds


For the Poolish
  1. The night before you plan to make the bread, blend the bread flour, water, and sourdough starter (or pinch of instant yeast). Cover and set aside at warm room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.
To Make the Ciabatta
  1. Roast the seeds: The night before, or 2-3 hours before you prepare the final dough, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes. Watch the seeds so they don’t burn. You can also toast them in a skillet over a burner while tossing them in the pan. Remove them from the heat when they are fragrant.
  2. Place the roasted seeds into a small bowl and cover them with water. Let the seeds to soak for 2 hours. Drain any excess water before incorporating them into the dough (I did not have any excess water).
  3. Final Dough: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flours and 325 grams of water. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the poolish, along with the salt and instant yeast and mix by hand or the dough hook of your mixer until fully incorporated. The dough should be slightly sticky.
  5. Drizzle in the olive oil and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the seeds. Add in additional water if necessary and continue to mix until you have a smooth and elastic dough. I used all of the additional water.
  6. Form the dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
  7. After the first hour, uncover and fold the dough. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
  8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Fold each piece over itself and stretch into a log. Cover the dough pieces with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
  9. Take one piece of dough and gently flatten it. Fold a third of the dough (long side) toward the center and press along the edge with your fingers or the side of your hand. Fold the other long edge towards the center and press the seam closed with your fingers. Continue shaping the other 3 loaves the same way.
  10. Transfer the loaves seamside down to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth or oiled plastic wrap and let the loaves proof for 1 hour.
  11. During the final proof, preheat the oven to 460 degrees F. with a baking stone on the lower middle rack and a steam pan on the upper rack.
  12. Transfer the baking sheet with the loaves to the baking stone and immediately place 1 cup of ice cubes in the steam pan.
  13. Bake the loaves for 25 -30 minutes. The loaves should sound hollow when thumped lightly on the bottom.
  14. Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Did you make this recipe?
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh, that seed mix is absolutely stunning, what gorgeous bread! The crumb and crust is just perfect.

  2. Your ciabatta loaves have such a beautiful, blistered crust and lovely crumb. Nicely done!

  3. Well. That looks easily good enough to eat all the loaves in one sitting! The crust looks so perfect. As does the crumb.

  4. Looks absolutely delicious! I haven't made ciabatta in YEARS!

  5. Slipper Bread - I like that lol Your loaves are gorgeous.


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