Pain a l'Ancienne involves mixing flour with ice cold water and then left in the refrigerator for a long period (8 - 48 hours) during the autolyse phase. This long phase is meant to promote great flavor by allowing the starches to break down into sugars. I followed the recipe that DonD provided on The Fresh Loaf. He recommends 24 hours in the fridge after adding salt and yeast. I did it for 12 hours. Instead of using regular yeast, I used a quarter cup of a very active leaven from a Tartine Bread recipe.
It certainly works:
A very nice open crumb and an exceptional taste. This one is a keeper. Many thanks DonD!