Wild Garlic Ciabatta

Usually at this time of year two things happen, firstly I find myself with an awful lot of wild garlic butter after hitting the woods hard already & secondly, the weather is generally a bit cheerier than it has been for the beginning of spring in 2021. It’s the combination of these two things that led to the creation of this recipe a couple of years ago & yes, a barbeque & a few ciders were involved.

Wild Garlic Ciabatta

It’s not uncommon on any given fine spring day to spend an afternoon walking through the countryside & inevitably foraging for wild garlic, neither is it uncommon to crack out the barbeque at any given glimmer of the sunshine or warm weather on a bank holiday weekend. On one such, fine day in May about 2 years ago, we’d done just that, after whipping up another batch of wild garlic butter with my haul, I had a leftover loaf of ciabatta that I’d made the day before. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the only thing that can make bread even better is the addition of butter, especially if that butter is packed with garlic goodness, so I figured I’d try something with it & create a nice little side dish for our evening’s feast.

Wild Garlic Ciabatta

I scored & stuffed my ciabatta to within an inch of it’s life, wrapped the whole thing in foil & popped straight on the barbeque. The result is so tender, moist & packed with flavour as the wild garlic butter melts into all of the crevices & created glorious little buttery pockets within the air pockets of the ciabatta & the chopped wild garlic leaves give everything a pop of colour inside. It’s such a good tear & share recipe (sharing is of course optional) & to this day, I continue to make this year upon year, just switching it up to the oven if the weather doesn’t permit al fresco dining.

Wild Garlic Ciabatta

(makes one 2lb loaf)


  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 7g dried fast-acting yeast
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 7g salt
  • 300ml water
  • 500g wild garlic butter, chilled


  • In a large bowl, combine half of the flour, half of the yeast & half of the water to form a soft dough
  • Empty the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface & knead for 10 minutes (or 5 minutes if using a stand mixer with a dough hook) until it is smooth & elastic when stretched
  • Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling film, a damp tea towel or plastic bag & leave to rise for approximately 3-4 hours, until it has doubled in size
  • Once risen, knock the dough back to remove any large air pockets & add the remaining flour, yeast & water to the bowl along with the olive oil & salt
  • Use as stand or hand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment to mi the dough for 10 minutes until it becomes loose, soft & stretchy
  • Oil a deep, rectangular container (anything like some tupperware or even a medium roasting dish will do) & tip the dough into it
  • Cover the top of the container & leave the dough to prove for approximately 1 & a half to 2 hours, until it has doubled in size
  • Once doubled, flour a work surface well & carefully tip out the dough
  • Cover the dough with a little more flour & use a sharp knife or a dough scraper to divide the dough into 2 separate pieces down the length of the dough
  • Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking parchment lightly dusted with flour & very carefully move & place the two pieces of dough onto it, being careful not to knock out any of the air within the dough
  • The dough will be very loose so you can shape it into a more rectangular shape by simply folding it in on itself, don’t be tempted to press it down though, simply lift, fold & place the sides on top of the centre
  • Cover the loaves again & leave to prove for another 30 minutes
  • Bake the ciabatta at 200C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top & the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath
  • Remove from the oven & set aside to cool completely
  • Once cooled, take a sharp bread knife & use this to score the bread with diagonal lines, creating a diamond pattern on top. You want to score quite deeply into the loaf to allow the butter to melt through but being careful not cut all the way through the base
  • Next, take your wild garlic butter & cut it into thin slices, then cut each slice in half
  • Carefully use one hand underneath the bread to push it up & open up the diamond scores & use your other hand to slot in the sliced butter, filling each score within the loaf
  • Place the ciabatta onto a baking sheet & place back in the oven at 180C for 5 minute to melt the butter, alternatively you can wrap the whole loaf in foil & pop it on the barbeque

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