Ciabatta a'lancienne

Ciabatta a'lancienne (to mix languages somewhat) based on Peter Reinhart's a l'ancienne recipe.

The Dough

Ingredient Weight US Volume Bakers Percentage
Flour 500 g 17.64 oz 3.92 cups 100.00%
Starter 200 g 7.05 oz 1.57 cups 40.00%
Iced Water 360 g 12.7 oz 1.53 cups 72.00% (hydration)
Salt 10 g 0.35 oz 0.64 tbspns 2.00%
Total Weight: 1070 grams / 37.74 ounces
Total Flour Weight: 500 grams / 17.64 ounces

Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted. Note: This recipe was uploaded in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures, let us know of any corrections.


Mix well and knead once (~30 secs) - put in fridge overnight

Then next morning fold hourly for 5 hours, divide, stretch a little and transfer by hand to pot. Bake in pot.

This dough is very sticky and hard to handle.
It was a little sluggish - after being in the fridge all night.
I folded the first few times on an oiled surface, then on a liberally floured surface. After folded the last time - into a rough rectangle, I simply cut that into four fat strips - tossed more flour over them, and put them on a heavily dusted tea towel (bunched up in between the pieces) to wait their turn to bake.
I used an oval casserole that had been in the oven since it was  turned on.
With floured hands I picked up the dough from either end (a little rough handling really doesn't matter with this dough), then dropped it (carefully) into the pot. Put lid on, and put pot back in the oven.
Baked for about 20 mins with lid on, and 10-15 mins with lid off in very hot oven


(originally from the Ciabatta Bake-Off)


Hey Dom,

I have just been scrolling through the Food Art Challenge starting with TP's wonderous swans, and Pab has posted a beautiful picture of 'Couronne à l'Ancienne'.  Both breads look so great, but is a l'Ancienne a l'Ancienne?  I'd love to try and make a Couronne, even though it won't taste any different it sure looks FAB!  Would this dough stand up to being proofed in  a bannetton or too 'soft'?


Very Nice Dom

Looks really good did it taste ok


hi there,

when baking in a pot, do you have to oil/grease the inside to prevent sticking?

 Hi Dom, thanks for this recipes, as a novice bread maker I have a few questions if you don't mind:

  • did you let the dough rise after you divided it? Or straight into the pot?
  • what temperature did you bake at? (ahem, I just read your other blog post on using fan ovens, this answered my question)

Mine's nearly in the oven, can't wait to see how it turns out.


I have just made this bread using a starter from another source ( Tassajara Bread Book) thati already had made up and it is everything I have been wanting to bake for years but unitl I found this site didn't know how. I am thrilled as the crust was crisp and the insides chewy with large holes--really yummy.

I substituted in about a cup of whole wheat flour and shaped it with a banneton bowl for the last rise. It was magical!

As you can see from the photo, I forgot to slash it.

Great recipie with solid, fundamental techniques. So easy a muggle could do it.


Hi there,

Just wondering how many loaves this makes? I'm a little confused when you say divide and stretch...could you explain this a little further?

Many thanks


Hello beginnerbaker,

It is hidden a bit but he does say that he divided the dough in four.

Good luck with your projects.


Hi Farinam

Thanks for your response. The loaves would be quite small with the ingredient amounts listed? If this is the case, could I divide the ingredients by four to get one loaf?


Hello beginnerbaker,

You could make a quarter recipe if you wished but ciabatta are usually quite small, flattish loaves with a very open texture (large holes) and would only make a couple of sandwiches each.  A lot of the commercial ones are even smaller, not much more than a bread roll size and are used as such, one sandwich per loaf.

The recipe makes a kilogram (more or less) of dough so each loaf as described would be about 250g so I guess it depends on how much bread you use and what you want to use it for.

Let us know how you go.