Kale and Garlic Ciabatta | Karen's Kitchen Stories

This Kale and Garlic Ciabatta begins with one of my favorite doughs, Peter Reinhart's Pain à l'Ancienne. It's a rustic high hydration dough that is cold fermented. You can also use this dough for rustic baguettes and focaccia.

Kale and Garlic Ciabatta

The dough for this kale and garlic ciabatta requires very little mixing, thanks to the "stretch-and-fold" method of mixing bread dough. I first tried it after reading Peter Reinhart's book, Artisan Bread Every Day, which I bought seven years ago. I highly recommend this book.

To make these loaves, I added a handful of baby kale and whole head of roasted garlic. The kale added a nice dimension to the look of the bread, and the roasted garlic added an amazing aroma and flavor. It's pretty much garlic bread from within.

Kale and Garlic Ciabatta from Pain à l'Ancienne

Just toast slices of this bread, spread it with butter, and enjoy! So good.

What is the stretch-and-fold method?

Essentially, once you have briefly mixed the dough, either by hand or machine, you let it rest, and periodically stretch the dough over itself three to four times, usually at 30 minute intervals. It takes the place of kneading the dough to develop the gluten. 

This dough is very forgiving. Once you get used to handling wet dough, you will absolutely fall in love with it. Just keep a dish of water nearby in which to dip your hands before handling the dough. 

Because this dough is fermented in the refrigerator, it has lots of time to develop flavor. The longer the dough ferments, the more flavor is developed. 

Ciabatta from Pain à l'Ancienne with Kale and Garlic

Dip slices of this bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also spread it with this white bean dip. Delicious. 

Timeline for making this bread

Day One:

Mix the dough and perform 4 stretch and folds over a period of 40 minutes. Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight, and up to four days.

Day Two, Three, or Four (Baking Day):

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, let it lose its chill, shape, and bake the loaves. 

How easy is that?!

How do I roast the garlic?

Cut the top off of a head of garlic, place it on a piece of foil, and drizzle it with olive oil. Wrap it up, and bake it in a 400 degree F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool. 

Squeeze the cloves of garlic from its paper and mash it. Set aside to incorporate into the dough. 

This month, the Baking Bloggers are presenting recipes with garlic. It seems pretty appropriate for October, better to keep the vampires at bay. After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the recipes that include garlic. 

bread, ciabatta, kale, garlic, garlic bread



Yield: 2 large loaves

Ciabatta from Pain à l'Ancienne with Kale and Garlic

Kale and Garlic Ciabatta


  • 4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) (567 grams) unbleached bread flour

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) ( 454 grams) cold water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

  • 4 to 7 ounces of baby kale, chopped, depending on your preference

  • 1 head roasted garlic, cloves removed and mashed


  1. Combine the flour, salt, yeast, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on low for one minute. Let rest for five minutes. 

  2. Drizzle the olive oil over the dough and mix on medium low for one minute with the paddle attachment. Transfer the dough to lightly oiled dough rising bucket or bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest or 10 minutes. 

  3. Stretch and fold the dough with wet or oiled hands from all four "sides" and form the dough into a ball. Let rest for another 10 minutes. Repeat 3 more times within the next 40 minutes, adding the kale and the garlic during the final stretch and fold. 

  4. Cover the dough bucket with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to four days. 

  5. When you are ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let rest for 1 hour. 

  6. Line a baking sheet or pizza peel with parchment paper and generously dust it with flour. Gently transfer the dough to your work surface. Dust the top with flour and stretch it out to a 9 inch square. 

  7. Cut the dough in half. Gently fold the dough in thirds, like a letter. Don't apply any pressure. Lift the dough and place it on the floured parchment paper, seam side down. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. 

  8. After an hour, roll the loaves so that they are seam side up and stretch them out to seven inches in length. Flip the dough over one more time so that the seam is at the bottom. Shape with a dough scraper to tuck the sides under. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Proof for one hour. 

  9. Heat the oven to 550 degrees F with a baking stone on the middle rack and a broiler pan on the bottom rack. 

  10. Place the dough, parchment and all, onto the stone. Add 1 cup of hot water to the broiler pan and lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. 

  11. Bake the loaves for 27 to 35 minutes, until the crust is a deep brown. Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes before slicing. 


Karen's Kitchen Stories

Ciabatta from Pain à l'Ancienne with Kale, Garlic, and olive oil

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