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Ciabatta (Italian pronunciation: [tʃaˈbatta], literally slipper bread) is an Italian white bread made from wheat flour and yeast. Ciabatta is somewhat elongated, broad and flat and is baked in many variations.
A toasted sandwich made from small loaves of ciabatta is known as a panino (plural panini).
Ciabatta was first produced in Liguria, but at least one type of ciabatta can be found in nearly every region of Italy nowadays.
The ciabatta from the area encompassing Lake Como has a crisp crust, a somewhat soft, porous texture, and is light to the touch. The ciabatta found in Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche varies from bread that has a firm crust and dense crumb, to bread that has a crisper crust and more open texture.
When made with whole wheat flour, it is known as ciabatta integrale. In Rome, it is often seasoned with olive oil, salt, and marjoram. When milk is added to the dough, it becomes ciabatta al latte.
In Argentina, sandwiches made of ciabattas are very popular, especially those containing minute steak.
United States 
Ciabatta bread was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1985 by Marks & Spencer, then brought to America in 1987 by Orlando Bakery, a Cleveland firm. They brought over 3 bakers from Italy to develop the product and the mass production process. They successfully introduced a fresh bread, then later, a frozen version. It was quickly copied throughout the United States.
The more open-crumbed form, which is usual in the United States, is made from a very wet dough, often requiring machine-kneading, and a biga or sourdough starter.
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