Oprah has said what everyone else is thinking – it’s possible to lose weight without giving up anything. One of the keys to losing weight and keeping it off is to find a way to compromise. To find a way to enjoy your favorite foods while not going overboard. For many people I know, one of those things you want to keep enjoying is bread. Baked goods are something that just about everyone loves. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, diabetic and counting carbs or gluten intolerant, there is something about a chewy and delicious piece of bread that can’t be replaced. One way to make bread healthier is to use whole wheat flour. Just make sure that the flour is finely ground. If your flour isn’t finely ground, your bread could be grainy. Whole wheat flour adds a richer texture and flavor to these traditional Italian rolls. Ciabatta is rustic Italian roll that is chewy with a crispy crust. They are made with a starter, biga, that is fermented overnight. The dough is very wet, almost more like a batter than a dough. Letting the dough sit before kneading allows the flour to absorb the water so the dough is the right consistency. These rolls do take longer than normal to make, but the delicious texture and flavor definitely make it worthwhile to make a batch of these for a special occasion.

Whole Grain Ciabatta


Rustic and crusty Italian rolls made with whole wheat flour for added fiber. The key to these rolls is the starter that is made the night before. It gives the rolls the chewy texture with the crispy crust.
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Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 31 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16 rolls



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp yeast


  • 2 cups water + 2 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup seeds optional


  • For the starter, combine the flour, water and yeast in a small bowl.
  • Mix well and cover.
  • Set in a warm place overnight. It will bubble and be soupy looking.
  • The next day, add the additional yeast to the starter.
  • Stir the starter until it's mixed and no lumps remain.
  • Add the flour and salt. Stir until a very sticky dough forms.
  • Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes so the flour can properly hydrate.
  • Knead the dough, by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, for 15 minutes. The dough will be smooth, creamy and glossy.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place until tripled, about 2-3 hours.
  • Flour a flat surface and turn the dough onto the surface. Be careful not to deflate the dough too much.
  • Use a pizza cutter or pastry scraper to cut the dough into equal pieces for rolls.
  • Place the dough onto a pan covered with a parchment paper.
  • Allow the dough to rise for 30-40 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool and serve.


Entire recipe makes 16 servings
Serving size is about 1 roll
Each serving = 4 Smart Points/4 Points
PER SERVING: 140 calories; 2g fat; 0g saturated fat; 28g carbohydrates; 0g sugar; 6g protein; 5g fiber

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