The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dmsnyder's blog

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


The “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière” from Jeffrey Hamelman's “Bread” is one of my favorite breads. I've made it a great many times. But I have a confession to make: I've never made it with the proper hydration level.


It started out by my finding one of the very rare errors in this marvelous book. Hamelman's ingredient list in the “Home” version of the Final Dough calls for “1 lb., 6.4 oz (2 ¼ cups)” of water. Now, 2 ¼ cups of water weighs less than this. I initially assumed the volume measurement was correct, and I used 1 lb., 2 oz. of water. You know, this made an outstanding bread. It did have more oven spring and a higher profile than expected, but the crumb was nice and open with large holes, and it tasted great, so I kept using my “corrected” formula.


Now, “Bread” has been such a reliable book, I always doubted my solution. Finally, I compared the ingredient quantities in the 3 listings Hamelman gives with the baker's percentages he gives. It turns out that the error was really in the volume measurement, not the weight. The home recipe should call for 2 ¾ cups of water, which is 1 lb., 6.4 oz.


So, today, for the first time, I made the Miche at the 82% hydration called for in Hamelman's formula.


At the higher hydration level, this dough is not just slack. It is truly gloppy. Hamelman says to mix it 2 to 2 ½ minutes (in a professional spiral mixer) to get “moderate gluten development.” I mixed it in a Bosch Universal Plus for 17 minutes to get something less than “moderate” gluten development. Hamelman then calls for 2 or 3 folds during a 2 ½ hour bulk fermentation. I implemented the “stretch and fold in the bowl” approach and did 30 folds at 30 minute intervals over 2 hours, then I let the dough proof for another 45 minutes. (This is much like the method McGuire uses in his “Pain de Tradition,” as Shiao-Ping has shared with us. Since the Miche, Pointe-à-Callière is also a McGuire bread, according to Hamelman, using this method seemed entirely reasonable.)


I “shaped” the miche by dumping the dough onto a heavily floured board and folding the edges to the center. I made 6-8 folds. The loaf was then transferred to a linen-lined, floured banneton and proofed for 2 hours and baked with steam.



 


I am cooling the miche overnight before slicing. 



Miche profile


This miche still has a higher profile than those pictured in Hamelman.



Miche crumb


The crumb is about right, but, interestingly, I've gotten more open crumbs on previous bakes using somewhat lower hydration. My hunch is that the difference is related to how I did the bulk fermentation.


David


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


George Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker” is a wonderful source for traditional New York-style Jewish baked goods. It has been criticized for giving ingredients in volume measurements only, though. I have previously provided Greenstein's formula for Jewish Sour Rye with ingredient weights, but I realized today that I had never done this for another of my favorite Greenstein breads – Pumpernickel. So, here is Greenstein's pumpernickel formula converted to weights.


This is Jewish pumpernickel. It is moist and chewy. It is not the dry, dense German-style pumpernickel. I make it generally as long loaves, as pictured. However, you can also make it as round loaves, in which case you should "dock" the loaves by making 6-10 holes in the top with a skewer or ice pick, rather than scoring them across with 3 slashes. You can also make this bread in loaf pans, in which case I would score them with a single slash along the center of the long axis.





The recipe that follows is taken from Secrets of a Jewish Baker, by George Greenstein. The ingredient amounts are both those Greenstein specifies and the ingredient weights I actually used. The procedures are adapted from Greenstein's.



Ingredients

Volume (per Greenstein)

Amount (per dmsnyder)

Warm water

1 cup

240 gms

Yeast

1 pkg active dry

7.5 gms instant

Rye sour

1 cup

250 gms

Altus (optional)

1 cup

1 cup

Pumpernickel color

4 tablespoons

1 tablespoon caramel color

Common (First Clear) flour

2 ½ to 3 ½ cups

350-400 gms

Pumpernickel flour

1 cup

115 gms

Salt

1 tablespoon

8 gms

Caraway seeds (optional)

1 tablespoon

Not used

Cornstarch solution

(see below)

 

Notes on ingredients:

1. Rye sour: This is a rye sourdough starter. You can make it from scratch. You also can easily convert a wheat flour sourdough starter to a rye sour by feeding a small amount of your existing starter with rye flour and refreshing it a couple of times.

2. Altus: This is “old” rye bread cut into small pieces, soaked in water until saturated and wrung out. It was originally a way for bakers to re-use bread they hadn’t sold. "Waste not. Want not." However, it does make for a more tender and flavorful bread and has become traditional. It is optional. I keep hunks of leftover rye bread in a plastic bag in my freezer to use as altus.

3. Pumpernickel color: This is really optional but is necessary to give the "black" color expected of pumpernickel. It also gives the bread a subtle bitter undertone without which it just doesn't taste "right." You can use 1 tablespoon of powdered caramel color, instant espresso cof

fee or cocoa powder. I use powdered caramel coloring from King Arthur’s Baker’s Catalogue.


4. Pumpernickel flour: This is whole grain, coarsely ground rye flour. You can use dark rye flour, but it won’t be quite the same. I get pumpernickel flour from King Arthur’s Baker’s Catalogue. Like other whole grains, it will spoil in time. I keep it in my freezer in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag.


5. Common flour: This is also known as first clear flour. Its definition gets into esoteric grain milling stuff, but it is necessary for authentic Jewish rye breads, including pumpernickel. It also makes wonderful sourdough breads as a substitute for bread flour or a mix of white and whole wheat flours. I get First Clear flour from King Arthur’s Baker’s Catalogue.


6. Cornstarch solution: Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water. Pour this into 1 cup of gently boiling water in a sauce pan, whisking constantly. Boil until slightly thickened. Set aside. It can be kept refrigerated for a few days in a sealed jar or covered bowl.


7. Caraway seeds: I don’t use them in pumpernickel, myself. You can add other things to pumpernickel, though, such as flax seeds (soaked overnight), sunflower seeds, raisins, minced onion.


 


Procedures


Mixing (by hand. See Note below for mixing with a stand mixer.)


In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water to soften; stir to dissolve. (If using instant yeast, mix it with the flour, don’t dissolve it. Add the water to the rye sour and mix.) Add the rye sour, altus (if desired), pumpernickel color, pumpernickel flour, 2 ½ cups of common flour, and salt. Mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.


Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour as needed. Make the dough a bit stiffer than normal, since this dough softens as it is kneaded. Knead the dough until it feels smooth and silky (5-8 minutes).


Note: I mix in a KitchenAid mixer. I put all the ingredients in the bowl and, using the paddle, mix well at Speed 1. Scrape the dough off the paddle and replace it with the dough hook. Knead at Speed 2 for about 8-10 minutes. If you do not use altus, the dough should form a ball on the hook and clean the sides of the bowl. With altus, even when an additional 50 gms of flour is added, the dough does not clean the bowl. I then hand knead until the dough is smooth and silky.


Fermenting


Shape the dough into a ball, place in a large oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.


Shaping & Proofing


Punch out all the air, cut in half and shape into rounds, and let rest for 10 minutes.


Shape into round loaves, long loaves or pan loaves. If baking free form, place the two loaves on a baking sheet sprinkled with coarse cornmeal. (Or on parchment paper if baking on a stone, which I prefer.) Cover and proof until doubled in size. (About 90 minutes, or more depending on room temperature). Brush with cornstarch solution. Score the loaves across if long dock them if round. If using caraway, sprinkle seeds on the top of the loaves.


Baking


Bake with steam in a preheated 375F oven until tapping the bottom of the loaf produces a hollow sound (30-45 minutes). The internal temperature should be at least 190F. If the crust seems soft, bake 5-10 minutes more. (The crust should be very firm when you take the loaves out of the oven. It will soften as the bread cools.)


Note: I use a pizza stone for baking free form loaves. I heat it at least 1 hour before baking. I produce steam by preheating a cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks in the oven along with the stone and, right after putting my loaves in, pouring 1 cup of boiling water into the skillet. Be careful you don’t scald yourself with the steam!


Cooling


After baking, place on a rack to cool and brush again with the cornstarch solution. Let cool thoroughly before slicing and eating.


This type of pumpernickel is one of the breads we always had in the house when I was a child. I usually ate it un-toasted, spread with cream cheese. My grandmother ate it spread with sourcream. I think this pumpernickel is especially good with smoked fish or herring, and it is my favorite bread to eat with scrambled eggs.


Unfortunately, my wife isn't as fond of pumpernickel as I am, so I also made one of her favorites – the Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread from BBA.




David


Submitted to Yeastspotting 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


A bowl of cherries


Hi, loafers!


I just returned from a week on the Oregon coast vacationing with our sons and their families. <sigh> It always seems too short.


I took along some previously baked breads - a Miche, Pointe-à-Callière, a Susan from San Diego's Ultimate Sourdough and Salome's Sourdough Potato-Walnut Bread. I also baked a couple loaves of San Joaquin Sourdough while there, again hazarding an unfamiliar oven and no baking stone. The breads I baked there suffered most from the scoring not opening up well. One I baked under a stainless steel bowl to steam. The other loaf was steamed by pouring boiling water into a heated skillet. The magic bowl technique worked better, I think.




I believe my older (3 years old) granddaughter ate the lioness' share of this loaf as PB&J sandwiches!


I also made AnnieT's Sourdough Pancakes with local blueberries twice. One time, I made some with roasted pecans. Yum! Highly recommended.


I took along starter in two forms: I dried some starter, and I made a very firm ball of starter about the size of a golf ball. I only ended up using the latter. It traveled for two days at room temperature without appreciable expansion. (No problems with Homeland Security.) I cut it up into very small pieces and soaked them in water for a while, then mixed the slurry well and added enough water to make an intermediate starter of about the consistency of my usual 1:3:4 (S:W:F) starter. This fermented overnight and was reasonably happy the next morning.


The other essential equipment I took along included a large Silpat mat for stretching and folding and forming loaves, an instant read thermometer, a plastic scraper and some instant yeast. I purchased a couple of large stainless steel bowls and a large cookie sheet in Oregon before heading to the beach. 


There was nothing I didn't take along that I wished I had. I think this is a good, minimal equipment list for bread baking on vacation.


My only regret is that my vacation coincided with Shiao-Ping's SFBI adventure. It would have been so neat to have met her face-to-face while she was in California! And tomorrow, I start Jury Duty. Not my choice for how to ease back into the real world after a wonderful vacation.


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


There has been quite a bit of discussion on TFL regarding cold retardation of late. This is a recurring issue, as a site search on “retardation” will reveal. My overall conclusion has to be that, particularly for sourdough breads, there is no hard and fast rule. This is not surprising, since review of several highly-regarding bread books reveals considerable variation in how this subject is approached.


Most home bakers are fundamentally pragmatic. Some groove on the science and want to understand each process in detail, but most just want to make really good bread. Retardation is mostly a matter of convenience – to fit bread baking into a busy schedule – for both the home baker and the professional. For some, retardation during bulk fermentation works better. For others, retardation of the formed loaves is more convenient. But does the choice effect the quality of the bread?


I have generally made my own choice according to the procedures specified in the formula I was using. I've made breads that call for retardation in bulk, like Nury's Light Rye and Anis Bouabsa's baguettes, and I've made breads that are retarded after the loaves are formed, like most San Francisco-style sourdoughs. But I've never switched a recipe from one to the other, until today.


The bread I chose to make was Susan from San Diego's “Ultimate Sourdough.” I have made it several times before. I have made it without any cold retardation and with cold retardation of the formed loaves. I decided to see how it would turn out with overnight cold retardation in bulk.


Susan's formula makes one smallish boule. I generally double the recipe to make 2 small boules. This time, I tripled it to make two somewhat larger (22.5 oz) loaves. For your interest, I have included a table of ingredient quantities for one, two and three small loaves.


 


Ingredients

 

 

 

 

1 loaf

2 loaves

3 loaves

Active starter

12 gms

24 gms

36 gms

Water

175 gms

350 gms

525 gms

Whole Wheat Flour

25 gms

50 gms

75 gms

Hi-Gluten Flour

225 gms

450 gms

675 gms

Salt

5 gms

10 gms

15 gms

For this bake, I used KAF White Whole Wheat and Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached flours.

Procedures

 

  1. I dissolved the starter in the water in a large bowl
  2. Both flours were added to the water and mixed thoroughly.
  3. The bowl was covered tightly and the dough was allowed to rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes.
  4. The salt was then added and folded into the dough using a flexible dough scraper.
  5. After a 20 minutes rest, the dough was stretched and folded in the bowl for 20 strokes. This was repeated twice more at 20 minute intervals.
  6. The dough was then transferred to a lightly oiled 2 liter glass measuring “cup” with a tightly fitting plastic cover and refrigerated (10 hours, overnight).
  7. The next morning, the dough had expanded very little. I took it out of the refrigerator and left it at room temperature. After 3 hours, it had expanded only slightly, and I was concerned how little gas formation was occurring. I transferred the dough to a lightly floured bench and did a single stretch and fold. The dough was then returned to the bowl. From that point, it became more active and doubled in another 2.5 to 3 hours.
  8. I then divided the dough into 2 equal parts. One was preshaped into a round and the other into a rectangle. After a 10 minute rest, I shaped one boule and one bâtard, each of which was placed in a floured banneton and then in a plastic bag to proof.
  9. I proofed the loaves until they were expanded by 75% or so. They were then transferred to a peel, slashed and transferred to a pre-heated baking stone. The oven was then steamed.
  10. The loaves were baked at 480F with steam for 10 minutes, then another 17 minutes at 460F without steam. They were left to dry for another 10 minutes in the turned off oven with the door ajar.

 

      The dough did not become too extensible during cold retardation. This may have been due to the very strong flour I used. However, I did find the crumb less chewy than expected. The crumb structure, on the other hand, was not appreciably different from what I got when I retarded formed loaves of this bread. There was no significant difference in the flavor. You might note, however, the absence of the "birds eyes" - the little bubbles of CO2 under the crust surface. 

      I would not hesitate to cold retard this bread in bulk again. When I do the cold retardation would be governed by my scheduling needs. The end result is about the same: Really good sourdough bread.

      David

      David

       

       

      dmsnyder's picture
      dmsnyder

      Almost all the breads I bake are sourdoughs, but there are two non-sourdough breads I really like – Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut bread and a hearty 100% Whole Wheat sandwich bread. Whole wheat bread is my bread of choice for tuna salad or egg salad sandwiches and for nut butter and jam sandwiches. It's one of my favorites, toasted, to accompany eggs, although it has stiff competition from San Francisco-style Sourdough bread and un-toasted Jewish Sourdough Pumpernickel (with cream cheese).

      My favorite whole wheat bread has been the “100% Whole Wheat Bread” from Peter Reinhart's “The Bread Baker's Apprentice.” It uses both a poolish and a soaker and is essentially identical to what Reinhart calls the “foundational bread” in his later-published “Whole Grain Baking” book. It incorporates what Reinhart calls “the epoxy method” in the later book.

      These books are widely available, so I will not duplicate the formulas here. However, Reinhart offers a number of options, and I will tell you which I used for this bake.

      The Poolish in Reinhart's BBA formula isn't really a poolish in the classic sense of a 100% hydration mix of flour and water with a little yeast. In the WGB book, he calls it a “barm,” and it's not really a barm either, as I understand the strict definition. I suppose you could call it a “sponge.”

      The Soaker calls for “coarse whole wheat flour or other coarsely ground whole grains.” In the past, I've used bulghur (medium size). This time, I did have some coarse ground whole wheat flour on hand. I used 2 oz of the coarse whole wheat and 2.25 oz of bulghur, soaked overnight in 6 oz of buttermilk (One of Reinhart's options), rather than the water I had used before.

      The final dough uses fine ground whole wheat flour, salt, honey and instant yeast. No additional water is added in the formula. An egg and 1 T of vegetable oil are optional. I used the egg but not the oil. The honey I used was Orange Blossom honey.

      Using these ingredients, the dough was considerably drier than it had been when I had used water (rather than buttermilk) and all bulghur (rather than coarse ground WW and bulghur). I ended up adding about 3 T of additional water during mixing and still ended up with a rather stiff, barely tacky dough.

      Fermentation to doubling and proofing to almost doubled took about 75% as long as the recipe specified. This was because my kitchen was 80F yesterday.

      The dough made two 17 oz pan loaves which baked at 350F for 45 minutes.

       

      This is a very flavorful, somewhat dense yet tender bread. The flavor of red whole wheat predominated, but the Orange Blossom honey flavor was very much “there,” too. If you pay attention, I think you can also taste a tangy overtone from the buttermilk. I tasted some just after it cooled and had more toasted with almond butter and strawberry jam for breakfast. It's still a favorite.

      I am curious how I would like this bread made with white whole wheat, and I'll probably make it that way next time.

      David

      Submitted to YeastSpotting

      dmsnyder's picture
      dmsnyder

      A couple days ago, I baked some baguettes with a new (to me) flour – Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour. The dough was much more elastic than I expected, and the baguettes had a thicker, crunchier crust and chewier crumb than expected from a flour that is supposedly 11.7% protein, the same as KAF AP flour. (The Nutritional Information on the BRM bag specifies 4 gms of protein in each 34 gm serving.)


      The BRM flour acted more like a higher gluten flour than it's protein content would suggest. Now, the packaging does say it's made from hard red spring wheat. As Dan has been telling us, that's what bakers look for when they want the strongest flour. We've also heard that “protein content” is not the same as “gluten content,” and also there are differences in the “quality” of gluten in different wheats. Is that what I encountered?


      I decided my next step had to be to make another bread with this flour, to be sure my baguette experience wasn't the result of something other than the flour. I wanted a recipe that I had made before and knew how the dough should be, and I wanted one that was meant to be chewy, unlike baguettes.


      Today, I baked a couple loaves of Susan from San Diego's “Ultimate Sourdough.” Susan likes chewy bread, and her recipe calls for “High Gluten” flour. I used the BRM Organic Unbleached Flour, rather than the KAF Bread Flour or Sir Lancelot I had used for this bread before.


      Again, the flour acted like a high-gluten flour. It absorbed more water than KAF Bread Flour. It made a very elastic dough that was dryer than usual – just barely tacky. I fermented the dough until doubled (7 hours) and formed two boules which were cold retarded overnight after proofing 45 minutes at room temperature.


      This morning, I allowed the boules to warm up and proof for 3.5 hours to about 1.5X their original size before baking. I baked them on a pre-heated stone with steaming by pouring boiling water over lava rocks in a cast iron skillet. (Forgive me, Susan! No magic bowl.)




       


      The result was indistinguishable in chewiness and flavor from the other loaves I've baked with this recipe. (And that is very good!) The crumb was okay but noticeably less open than usual.


      My conclusion is that this flour, which has a protein content of 11.7% (by my calculation), acts like other flours I've used with 14+% protein. 


      If anyone else has more information about this flour or personal experience using it, I'd love to hear about it.


      I also wonder if anyone knows if "hard red spring wheat" usually has higher protein content than winter wheat, or is it's gluten content a greater percentage of the total protein, or is it of higher quality.


      David

      dmsnyder's picture
      dmsnyder

      I'd have made a killing!


      Six weeks ago, I blogged on my Sourdough Italian Bread. I made an offhand remark that "I am pretty sure this is the roll I would choose for a meatball sandwich, oozing mozzarella and dripping marinara sauce."


      Well, I obviously stimulated lots of people's cravings. The past two weeks have seen a virtual meatball bombardment, here on TFL and even on SusanFNP's Wild Yeast Blog


      I'm slow, but I finally got around to making meatball subs for dinner tonight. 


      The rolls were made in the manner previously described, except I didn't coat them with sesame seeds. The meatballs were made using the recipe from Marcela Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook, except I used ground chicken thighs rather than beef, and I baked them rather than frying them.


      Here are the meatballs after baking at 375/convection for 27 minutes:



      After cooking in one can of chopped Italian tomatoes, they looked even better.



      I also sautéed some Italian sweet peppers and sliced some fresh mozzarella. 



      Mis en place


      My wife wanted hers open-faced.


      The sandwiches were assembled and run under the broiler until the cheese was melted and the bread slightly toasted.



      Dinner's ready


       



      • Meatball sub with mozzarella and peppers.

      • Fresh corn, sautéed in olive oil with chopped red onion, dressed with lemon juice and lime juice.

      • Mixed cherry tomatoes.

      • Fresno State Barbera.





      Better late than never. Way better!


      By the way, as predicted, the rolls held up wonderfully well. No sogginess. No falling apart.

       


      David

      dmsnyder's picture
      dmsnyder

      Shiao-Ping's blog entry on James McGuire's Pain de Tradition  certainly stimulated a lot of interest. I made the sourdough version a couple days ago. Today, I made the straight dough version.


      The formula is in Shiao-Ping's posting. I followed it, changing only the flours. I used Giusto's Baker's Choice rather than KAF AP, and I used 10% KAF Organic White Whole Wheat. 


      Shiao-Ping, in her excellent write up, mentioned that this dough could be used for baguettes. I was a bit skeptical regarding a 80% hydration dough for baguettes, but I gave it a try. 


      The dough developed beautifully with the stretch and fold in the bowl procedure. By the 3 hour point, it had moderate gluten development and was already pulling away from the bowl. In my warm kitchen, it was quite puffy and expanded.


      I treated the dough to pre-shaping and shaping as I would any straight dough. I lost some of the openness in the crumb, but it was still pretty nice. I baked at 460F with light steam. I removed the steaming skillet at 10 minutes. The baguette baked for 20 minutes, the bIatard for 30 minutes. The loaves were left in the oven for another 10 minutes with the oven off and the door ajar.



      The cuts didn't open up as well as I had wished, but the crust ended up the closest to classic, crackly baguettes as any I've baked. The loaves sang for a long time, and the crust cracked during cooling, which I take as a positive sign of a thin, crisp crust.



      As I said, the crumb was nice, but not as open as expected, given the high hydration. This may reflect my firm-handed pre-shaping and shaping. I may have erred on the side of under-steaming, too. I had proofed to 1.75 times the original volume. I feared over-proofing and may have slightly under-proofed. Oven spring was fast and large. 



      Baguette Crumb



      Bâtard Crumb


      The flavor was amazing. It was wheaty and slightly sweet, and it had an almost herbal overtone and complexity of flavor I can't say I've ever tasting in a white wheat, straight dough bread before. Perhaps this was due to the White Whole Wheat. I'm sure the long fermentation played an important role. Whatever. The flavor was there in both breads. It was not there when I first tasted the baguette but developed about 3 hours after baking.


      This is a remarkable bread.


      I like the results from baking it at the higher temperature, especially on the crust crispness. A longer bake at a slightly  lower temperature is worth a try though. This is my new method to fiddle with on the continuing baguette quest for sure.


      David

      dmsnyder's picture
      dmsnyder

       


      Even before the recent crop of beautiful breads made with James McGuire's “Pain de Tradition” formula, I had been planning to bake the “Miche, Point-à-Callière” from Hamelman's “Bread” this weekend. Hamelman attributes this bread to McGuire, whose intention was to replicate the type of bread baked by the first French settlers of what ultimately became Montreal. The name of the bread, “Pointe-à-Callière,” was the name of their first settlement.



      Miche, Pointe-à-Callière


      The other, more well-known, bread meant to approximate French bread of that era is Pain Poilâne. Hamelman's formula is for a 82% hydration Miche (very large boule) made with high-extraction flour. It is a pain au levain with no added yeast. The principal difference between McGuire's and Poilâne's miches is the higher hydration of McGuire's. Actually, I make this bread with 2 oz less water than Hamelman calls for, which makes it a 76% hydration dough.


      I have made this bread with first clear flour, Golden Buffalo Flour (a high-extraction flour from Heartland Mills) and with a mix of bread flour and whole wheat. Personally, I prefer the results with first clear flour over the others.


       


      Overall Formula

       

       

      High-extraction whole-wheat flour

      2 lbs

      100.00%

      Water

      1 lb, 8.2 oz

      76.00%

      Salt

      0.6 oz

      1.80%

      Total

      3 lb, 8.8 oz

      177.80%

       

      Levain Build

       

       

      High-extraction whole-wheat flour

      6.4 oz

      100.00%

      Water

      3.8 oz

      60.00%

      Mature culture (stiff)

      1.3 oz (3 T)

      20.00%

      Total

      11.5 oz

       

       

      Final Dough

       

       

      High-extraction whole-wheat flour

      1 lb, 9.6 oz

       

      Water

      1 lb, 4.4 oz

       

      Salt

      0.6 oz

       

      Levain

      10.2 oz (all less 3 T)

      Total

      3 lb, 8.8 oz

       

       

      Procedure

      1. Make the levain about 12 hours before you want to mix the dough. Dissolve the mature culture in the water, then mix in the flour. Cover tightly and ferment at room temperature. (I let the levain ripen at room temperature for about 10 hours overnight. I then refrigerated it for another 6 hours. This was a matter of my convenience. It probably did increase the sourness of the final dough, which happens to be fine with me.)

      2. To make the dough, mix the flour and water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one that can handle this much dough. Cover and let stand for an autolyse of 20-60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the dough, add the levain in chunks and mix thoroughly. Hamelman says to mix the dough at second speed for 2 to 2 ½ minutes to get a loose dough with only moderate gluten development. This time would be for a professional spiral mixer, of course. DDT is 76F. (I mixed the dough in a Bosch Universal Plus. It took about 4 ½ minutes to get what I regarded as “moderate gluten development.” I think one could easily use the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique with this bread and achieve equally good results, if not better.)

      3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, large bowl, cover tightly and allow to ferment for 2 ½ hours. Fold the dough twice at 50 minute intervals. If the gluten development was less than “moderate” after mixing, a third fold may be needed. If so, do the three folds at 40 minute intervals.

      4. After fermentation, transfer the dough to a floured board and lightly pre-shape into a round. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes, then gently round up the dough and transfer it to a well-floured banneton. Cover with a slightly damp towel or with plasti-crap. (The miche could be proofed on a well-floured linen couche, in principle. I have never attempted to transfer a slack dough loaf of this size from a couche to a peel. I imagine the results would be … amusing.)

      5. While the bread is proofing, pre-heat the oven to 500F and set up your steaming method of choice. (Hamelman calls for heating the oven to 440F.)

      6. After steaming the oven and loading the bread, turn the oven down to 440F. After 15 minutes, remove the steam source and turn down the oven to 420F. Hamelman says the total bake time is “about 60 minutes.” You can leave the miche in the turned off oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes after the bread is done. This will dry out the crust somewhat, but this is a very wet bread, and the crust will soften.

      7. Cool thoroughly on a rack. Hamelman prescribes covering the cooled miche with baker's linen and delaying slicing for at least 12 hours. (I think I actually did forgo slicing it for 12 hours once. It is an excellent idea, but I am weak.)

      Miche Crumb

      Miche crumb close-up

      The flavor of this bread, like Poilâne's Miche, definitely improves over 1 to 3 days. I personally like the flavor best the day after it was baked. Of course, the next day is also pretty terrific, and the next … Hamelman says that the bread gets more sour and the “wheat flavor intensifies” over several days. My experience has been that the sourness does increase. I would describe the change in flavor as “mellowing” rather than intensifying. I think that is the same as what Hamelman describes as “the flavors melding.”

      This bread has excellent keeping quality. Kept in a bread bag or bread box, it is very enjoyable for a week. It also freezes well. I usually cut it in quarters to freeze, wrap each quarter in 2 layers of freezer wrap and place them in food-safe plastic freezer bags.

      Enjoy!

      David

      Submitted to YeastSpotting

       

      dmsnyder's picture
      dmsnyder

       


      When Shiao-Ping showed us the “Pain de Tradition” of James McGuire, I knew I was going to make it. The bread she made was gorgeous and good to eat. The techniques used were very congenial to me, since I have really had good results from “stretch and fold in the bowl” mixing with other breads. Besides, the one bread attributed to McGuire I've made (repeatedly) – the “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière” in Hamelman's “Bread” - is a wonderful bread.


      I immediately thought of making this bread as a sourdough. Shiao-Ping and then Eric beat me to the draw. Here is mine.


      I followed Shiao-Ping's formula. My starter has some rye and some whole wheat flour, but I used KAF Bread Flour exclusively to make the dough. I did add 2 gms of Instant Yeast, although my feeling was, like Eric's, that less would be better, particularly since my kitchen temperature was around 80F.


      As I did the repeated stretch and folds, I felt the dough was not developing as well as I was accustomed to using this technique. So, for the last two sets of stretch and folds, I folded 15-20 times, rather than 8-10 times. At the end, the dough was still very loose. My inclination would have been to do a tight pre-shaping, but I stuck with the directions and just transferred the dough to a floured board to rest for 15 minutes under the bowl. I shaped a boule by gathering the edges of the dough to the center and sealing the seams. I then transferred the loaf to a well-floured, linen-lined banneton to proof.


      I proofed for about 40 minutes, at which time the loaf had expanded no more than 50%. I transferred it to parchment on a peel and loaded onto my pre-heated baking stone. The rest of the baking procedure was as Shiao-Ping described.



       


      This is the lightest-colored loaf I've baked in years. I might like this bread baked darker (by baking at a higher temperature), but the light-colored crust sure shows up the yellow pigments in the flour. Others have remarked on how yellow or “cream”-colored the crumb is on this bread. Well, my crust was too!


      I baked the loaf to 210F internal temperature, then baked it 5 minutes more, then left it in the oven for 10 minutes more with the oven off and the door ajar. The crust still softened as the bread cooled.



      The crumb is classic sourdough - randomly scattered holes of varying size. The mouth feel is cool and tender yet chewy. When first tasted, completely cooled, it has a lovely aroma and flavor. It is actually more assertively sour than expected.


      This is a lovely bread. I'll make it again. I'd like to try it with a darker crust and a thicker one. 


      David


       


       


       

      Pages

      Subscribe to RSS - dmsnyder's blog