The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

The History of Ciabatta

albacore's picture

The History of Ciabatta

I fell down an internet rabbit hole (as Alfanso would say!) and discovered that ciabatta is a surprisingly new invention - first created in 1982 not by a baker, but a miller, Arnaldo Cavallari, though he had some help from baker Francesco Favaron.

It seems that creation and consequent sales  of the required flour for the ciabatta (high W, with good water absorbtion) ensured the survival of the mill, which was going through a sticky patch.

The Italian Gourmet site gives an outline of events:

but more interesting is this site:

and especially this blog post:

which shows a picture of Arnaldo's original notebook and a copy of the recipe (complete with yeast quantity tweak!)

It makes we want to have another go at ciabatta making. You live and learn!



tpassin's picture

Interesting... the origin story I have read, and that is repeated in Wikipedia FWIW, is that the miller and baker were worried that baguettes were becoming so popular in Italy, often made with loaves imported from France, that they wanted to come up with an purely Italian bread that would outdo the baguette as a sandwich loaf.

I suppose that tale is compatible with the stories given in Lance's links.


Abelbreadgallery's picture

Ezio is a great master and a phenomenal teacher. I recommend you to get some classes with him.