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So far all the "classic" ciabatta recipes I have found propose using small amounts of instant yeast.

But I'm pretty sure that ciabatta predates invention of instant yeast so why not use sourdough instead?

It work pretty well for me except the poolish doesn't get bubbly overnight in the fridge (6 degree Celsius) but if I keep it for like 3 days it looks like gluten gets over-fermented. On the other hand, if I add more sourdough to the poolish it probably will get too contaminated with over fermented whole wheat and rye (I use it to feed my sourdough). So is it the reason?

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    Ciabatta probably predates the electric and gas ovens as well, but most recipes will still tell you to use one. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan May 27 at 5:29
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    It's likely because most people don't have sourdough sitting around, and when you're writing a recipe for a magazine, cookbook, or website, most people are just going to ignore a recipe that requires a month to make. So they tell people to use yeast, instead. But I've always thought of really good ciabatta as kinda a half-way sourdough ... maybe a hint of sour, but not so much that it's blatantly a sourdough. (and this is conjecture, not an answer, before people complain yet again about me putting things in comments, I really have no idea why) – Joe May 27 at 6:00
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    @AvnerShahar-Kashtan As GdD's answer says, Ciabatta was invented in 1982. Gas ovens (1826) and electric ovens (1891) are a mite older than that... – Chronocidal May 27 at 13:44
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    @Chronocidal True, in this case (and interesting to learn) but the point still stands. Were he to ask about an older bread, like this 12th century Tuscan pane sciocco, he would still find recipes using commercial yeast, modern ovens, and even plastic wrap. Recipes are modernized all the time. thehumbledish.com/simple-tuscan-bread-recipe/493 – Avner Shahar-Kashtan May 27 at 14:45
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    @Joe people complain about comments like that because comments are for clarifying and improving the question. Having partial/guesses at answers in a comment is bad because they can't be downvoted or edited. If a few people agree you're right but you're actually wrong, the handful of upvotes will make you seem correct, since the people who know you are wrong can't downvote, and any comment they leave in response could easily be missed. Not a statement on the quality of your current comment, just an explanation in general of why that's the rule about comments. – Kat May 28 at 2:29
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Commercially produced yeast has been around since the mid-late 1800s, and the commercial strains we use today have been around since the 40s while Ciabatta was invented in 1982. So while ciabatta seems like it's a very old traditional thing it is relatively new, and commercial yeast was widely available.

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  • The question wasn't asking for a categorical list of yeast @Chronocidal, it was making the assumption that ciabatta is on old type of bread. – GdD May 27 at 13:46
  • You might want to link this Guardian article or Wikipedia as your source for Ciabatta's invention in 1982. (A source for commercial yeast isn't a bad idea either, though it's not as much of a surprise...) – Joe M May 27 at 18:06

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