Ciabatta bread bakers

Couple of questions. I’ve found some recipes that seem good on Epicurious or Recipeczar, but would welcome any tried and true favorites that dopers have.

Couple of questions.

  1. Is ciabatta the traditional bread for paninni?
  2. how thick do you stretch out the ciabatta for the final rise? About 1 inch? And the final rise should be about double?
  3. is using regular flour ok? Should you sift regular flour? Or does bread flour or semiola flour really make a noticeable difference?

thanks in advance.

I have found bread flour [i seriously love king arthur flour] makes a difference, and they have dough additives that are worth looking into. I don’t know about the panini bit but I think so. I make it about an inch thick, and the rise is about double. I also always use coarse corn grits as a scatter on the pan to protect the bottom of the dough.

I now cheat and use my bread machine to make the dough. I roll it into a boule and coat it with olive oil and put it in a covered bowl in a warm place - then the punchdown and kneadd, then the second rise. I have heard most people dont do a 2 rise on cibatta, but I like the results.