The Fresh Loaf

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This miche is a hit!

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This miche is a hit!


 


We baked a miche the last day of the SFBI Artisan II (sourdough baking) workshop. This was one of the breads we mixed entirely by hand. The students' miches were scaled to 1 kg, as I recall, but our instructor baked a couple larger ones, using the same dough.


These miches were among the favorites of all the students for the wonderful texture of their crust and crumb and their flavor. I gave one of mine to brother Glenn, who has stopped reminding me in the past few days that I promised him the formula.


This formula is substantially different from the miche formula in Advanced Bread and Pastry. I blogged about the background of that miche last month. This one is more similar to contemporary versions such as that of James McGuire, Hamelman's adaptation of which is found in Bread.


The formula we used at the SFBI calls for mostly white flour, with a little whole wheat in the levain refreshment and a little toasted wheat germ in the final dough. From my reading, a high-extraction flour is preferred for miches. I had some of Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour on hand, so that is what I used.


 


Total formula

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

702

100

Water

515

73.33

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

2.5

Salt

15

2.08

Total

1250

177.91

Notes

  • The SFBI formula used 96.67% “Bread flour” and 3.33% Whole wheat flour. All the whole wheat flour is used in the levain. I used Central Milling's “Organic Type 85 Flour” for both the levain and the final dough

  • I did not use wheat germ since I was using high-extraction flour, but this ingredient did contribute to the great flavor of this bread as we made it in Artisan II.

 

Levain

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

93.7

100

Water

93.7

100

Liquid starter

50

46.8

Total

237.4

246.8

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water and mix in the flour. Desired Dough Temperature: 78ºF.

  2. Ferment for 8-12 hours.

 

Final Dough

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

586

100

Water

398

68

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

3

Salt

15

2.5

Levain

234

40

Total

1251

213.5

Procedure

  1. Dissolve the levain in the water. Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. DDT: 75-78ºF.

  2. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

  3. Ferment for 3-4 hours with 4 folds at 50 minute intervals. (I did this by the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique.)

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Pre-shape as a tight boule.

  5. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes to relax the gluten.

  6. Shape as a tight boule and place, seam side up, in a floured banneton.

  7. Cover with plastic and retard overnight in refrigerator.

  8. Remove the boule from the refrigerator and allow to warm and complete proofing for 1-3 hours. (Watch the dough, not the clock!)

  9. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the over to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. When the loaf is proofed, transfer the boule to a peel. Slash the boule as desired, and transfer it to the baking stone. Steam the oven and reduce the temperature to 450ºF.

  11. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove any water remaining in your steaming apparatus.

  12. Continue baking for another 40-50 minutes. (If you have a convection oven, switch to “Convection Bake” and reduce the oven temperature to 430ºF at this point. But see my tasting notes.)

  13. Remove the boule to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Notes on procedure

  • Traditionally, we were told, this bread is scored in a diamond pattern, but any scoring pattern that pleases you is fine. Just be aware that the diamond pattern tends to yield a flatter profile loaf than a simple square or cross.

  • This bread benefits from a very bold bake. The crust should be quite dark. It may look almost burned, but the flavor and crunchiness that is desired requires this.

  • This type of bread often improves in flavor very substantially 24 hours after baking.

    Crust

    Crumb


    Crumb close-up

Tasting notes

I sliced and tasted the bread about 4 hours after removing it from the oven. The crust had crackled nicely and was very thick and crunchy – the kind that results in crust flying everywhere when you slice it. The crumb was well-aerated, but without any really large holes. The crumb structure is similar to that I got with the miche from BBA made with this flour, but a bit more open. The crumb is chewy-tender.

The flavor of the crust is very dark – caramelized-sweet but with a bitter overtone where it is almost black. The crumb is sweet, wheaty, nutty and absolutely delicious. My note above notwithstanding, it's hard to imagine the flavor getting any better in another day.

I am enormously impressed with the flavor of the breads I have baked with Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour. I want more of it, and I want to try some of their other specialty flours, including those they mill for baguettes.

I will definitely be baking this bread again. I would like to make it as a larger miche, say 2 kg. Next time, I will lower the oven temperature to 420 or 425ºF when I switch to convection bake for the crust to be slightly less dark.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Comments

varda's picture
varda

I will try it.   Thanks for sharing the formula.   -Varda

M2's picture
M2

This miche is AMAZING!  David, thank you SO MUCH for sharing this formula and your notes.


I just baked this bread today.  After 3 1/2 hours of waiting, I couldn't wait longer.  I did a 360 degree evaluation before I cut it open, and guess what I saw?  Crack marks all around the bread! When I sliced it, the lovely sound of crunchiness is loud and crisp.  You are right, the colour of the crust is very dark, and I was very worried when I took it out from the oven.  However, after one bite, I was in heaven, and I went on and ate a few more slices (more than I should have).


David, do you think I can obtain the same quality of the bread but the dark crust if I bake this bread using the dutch oven method?  Will I compromise some of the good qualities of this miche?


Michelle


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm so glad you enjoyed this bread. I think it is one of my all-time favorites.


I would imagine you would get wonderful results baking in a dutch oven, if you have one big enough. I am convinced that the large dough mass does contribute to the great flavor of this bread.


If you do bake it again in a Dutch oven, please share your results.


David

M2's picture
M2

I'll surely share the result...I have a big enough but oval shape dutch oven..


If I do it in a dutch oven I guess steaming isn't necessary.  However, how about the changes of oven temperature and timing?  I did follow your advice by pre-heating the oven to 500F, then 450F for 20 mins, then 430F in convection mode for 40 mins. 


Should I remove the lid after 20 mins in 450F, and followed by the same procedures?


Thanks in advance,


Michelle

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Michelle.


I don't have any standard method for adjusting procedures when adapting a bake to a Dutch oven.


Based on my current state of ignorance on the subject, I would leave the timing and temperature unchanged. My biggest concern would be burning the bottom crust. I've found that a generous dusting of the bottom of the loaf with semolina seems to help prevent this, based on a single trial.I dust the bottom of the loaf while it's still in the banneton, before flipping it onto the peel for loading.


Please do share. We will all learn from your experience.


David

M2's picture
M2

Hi David,


Thanks for the tip re: burned bottom crust.  I have this problem every time I use the dutch oven for baking bread.  Will let you know the result!


Michelle

alldogz's picture
alldogz

Instead of the High Extraction Flour? I guess this might be a dumb question..i have limited space so i have limited flours to bake with...could i do whole wheat with all purpose and yield a similar bread (i have the wheat germ)...it looks SOOO good...thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Yes, KAP AP and WW can be used. In fact, that's what the original formula calls for. See this post: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21875/miche-sfbi-artisan-ii-2-kg


David

alldogz's picture
alldogz

I cannot wait to try this..i don't know how i missed the other post because i follow what you do pretty close. Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

jsk's picture
jsk

David this miche looks amazing!


I would make it as soon as my new starter will be ready (sadly I had to throw away my last one because of mold).


Tell me, Is the dough with 96% bread flour and 73% hydration is a bit too slack? More like Ciabatta? I cant get my hands on High Extraction Flour here, so what flour combination you think will yield the best results?


Thanks, and again- this miche looks so delicious!


Jonathan.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The dough was very easy to handle, once the gluten was well-developed through the stretch and folds.


Please see this topic, if you don't have high-extraction flour:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21875/miche-sfbi-artisan-ii-2-kg


David

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

David,


I made this miche and I'm very satisfied. I used "tipo 2" flour (0.95% ashes) that should be very similar to first clear flour, at least in theory. There's no visible bran in it (or at least not to my sight) but there are particles of germ. To say the truth I should have used "tipo 1" (0.80% ashes), but since I had this bag hidden since forever it was big time to use it.


I used my rye starter rather than the wheat one because I feel much more confortable with it.


The loaf came out like an old-timer, something that I  could never reproduce with other flours.


Thanks for the recipe!


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It looks great!


David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful Miche, Nico!

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi David,


I am so glad to try your Miche!  The taste of  bread is outstanding like I never forget the texture and taste. I used KA AP for levain, and KA bread flour for the final dough. I baked this early morning after I proofed it at room temperature for 1.5 hours after retarding for 12 hours in a refrigerator.  I started to make this Miche with 3g raisin yeast water +23g water / 26g KA AP.


I don't know why my Miche looks very shiny, and I burnt the bread. I forgot to reduce the oven temeprature from 470F to 450F. I cooked the dough with steam at 470F for 5 minutes by my mistake. After I took the steaming towel out of the oven, I reduced the temperature to 420F from 450F.




I sliced it 12 hours after I baked.  I really like this bread crumb, very moist and chewy but soft as you described.   I was little afraid to retard it overnight, the bread would be really sour. Fortunetely, My miche is not sour. I tasted a little bit of sour that is good for me.   I like to eat this bread without toasting.  When I toasted a slice of the bread, I tasted sourer.   Your miche is one of my favorite breads already.


Thank you for posting your wonderful Miche,


Akiko


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I am glad you enjoyed the miche. It is a delicious bread. Your crumb looks wonderful!


The miche does not look burned to me. This bread should have a very dark crust. A shiny crust is usually from too much steam, yet you say you only steamed for 5 minutes. You must have made a lot of steam!


Did you use any whole wheat flour? Toasted wheat germ? These really improve the flavor.


David

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I am very sorry to describe how I made your miche. It was mixed up with Hasjoakim's 70% rye bread that I was baking in the same day.


 I baked it with Sylvia's steaming method for 5 minutes.


How I baked your miche:


 I used 2 pans like this: I baked it with steam for 20 minutes as I followed your method.



I did use the toasted wheat germ in the dough. It still looks fairy white, doesn't it?  I better use some whole wheat flour when I make it again.  I ate another slices of this miche with homemade straweberry presereves after dinner.  It is a truely tasty bread.


Thank you again David!!


Akiko 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I have a question, David.


Why do you proof at room temperature after retarding the dough in a refrigerator for overnight?  If it is fully proofed in a refrigerator (Example:A longer time in refrigerator :around 14 hours or so - Does it damage the dough structure and flavor?) Do you think that we don't need to proof the dough at room temperature? What is the purpose of proofing at room temperature after retarding?


I am sorry if you answered the same question already on your blog. I couldn't find it when I searched using the search box here.


P.S  Updating of the taste of my miche after 24 hours: It became difinitely sourer and I still tasted  great sweetness in the bread, too.  When I bit off the piece of my miche, I felt nicely cold moist in the crumb on my lips that was a amazing moment to see how moist the miche is.   I am making your miche now :) This time, I will retard it at 50F for several hours to get slightly sour bread that My family and I like.  Thank you so much.


Best wishes,


Akiko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

When the bread is fully proofed, it's ready to bake. I retard at 40ºF, so, once the dough cools down to that temperature, most fermentation stops. The dough is not ready to bake without some additional proofing at room temperature. 


This may not be true, if you retard at 50ºF, or if you proof for a couple hours before retarding the loaves at 40ºF. This should be judged by the condition of the dough, not by the clock.


When I retard dough in bulk, I often find it is much more extensible and less elastic. I believe this is due to protease activity degrading the gluten. This is more an issue with high-hydration doughs, in my experience. It is less an issue when I retard shaped loaves.


I hope this answers your questions, Akiko.


David

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, David.   I still have questions.



When I retard dough in bulk, I often find it is much more extensible and less elastic. I believe this is due to protease activity degrading the gluten. This is more an issue with high-hydration doughs, in my experience. It is less an issue when I retard shaped loaves.



The dough which you mentioned is final dough ?  If it is a final dough, I understand because I have the same experience.   I haven't retarded the final dough in bulk ( first proof) since I found it out, however, I  like to retard levain in bulk as soon as I refresh ( feed) because that strength the dough, also develop the taste in the dough  from my experience.



This may not be true, if you retard at 50ºF, or if you proof for a couple hours before retarding the loaves at 40ºF. This should be judged by the condition of the dough, not by the clock.



I thought if I retard the shaped dough at 50F before baking, The bread will be sweeter bread .( not sourer bread)  Although I understand the taste will be vary depends on how we make the bread.( from mixing to final proof)



When the bread is fully proofed, it's ready to bake. I retard at 40ºF, so, once the dough cools down to that temperature, most fermentation stops. The dough is not ready to bake without some additional proofing at room temperature.



What if we retard the final dough before baking  for overnight ? It stops fermenting slowly when we put the dough in a refrigerator taking a long time. But it still fermentes in the cold place. It will be fully fermented if we retard the dough for more than 12 -14 hours or so (not 24 hours) so that we might not need the time to proof at room temperature?: I understand that the time will be changed depends on the dough's condition.


 Best wishes,


Akiko


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

When I talk about "bulk retardation" I mean storing the complete (final) dough before it is divided and shaped into loaves.


If the dough is at 50ºF, the metabolic processes that produces acetic acid will be relatively more active than at 70ºF. A dough fermented at the cooler temperature will be more sour. To maximize sourness, you want a low-hydration, cool environment. This is usually achieved through the levain's fermentation, but cold retarding the dough in bulk or the shaped loaves will also generate more acetic acid.


Retarding at 40ºF will result in more sourness, as the dough cools down. But, once it is at 49ºF, all the fermentation and bacterial metabolism and enzyme actions are really slowed down. 


If you want less sourness, use a liquid levain and don't use cold retardation.


I have achieved pretty sour bread by using a liquid levain (100% hydration) but cold retarding the dough in bulk for 36 hours. So, hydration of the levain, hydration of the dough, percentage of levain in the final dough, temperature of fermentation and length of fermentation all influence the balance of lactic versus acetic acid and the total amount of acid production. 


When I retard either the dough in bulk or formed loaves at 40ºF, I see the dough expand for about an hour before it just stops. So, if I want to bake loaves right out of the refrigerator, I would proof them almost completely before retarding them.


I hope this answers your questions.


David

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you for taking more time to explain to me as always.


I think what you wrote above is based on sourdough that is started with whole wheat or rye flour and water.   Fruit yeast water, and Flour yeast which is started with white flour and water are very different from sourdough in my opinion.  You can read Ron ( Ronray)'s yeast water processes and you can understand how he made non sour bread with his yeast water even he retarded it.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20693/culturing-growing-and-baking-range-wild-yeasts#comment-143857


You might be interested in this thread, too.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20460/banana-saga-%E9%95%B7%E7%AF%87%E6%95%85%E4%BA%8B#comment-167080


Very best wishes,


Akiko


 

varda's picture
varda

I have been meaning to make this since you posted but was stymied by High Extraction flour.   Finally I just sifted Whole Foods Whole Wheat which I think you said was Central Milling.   I think you can see from crumb color that I didn't get quite to 85%.   Better sifting tools required.   But quite different than what this would have looked like (tasted like) without the sifting.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

How was the flavor, with the sifted WW flour?

David

varda's picture
varda

David,  This tastes almost like it would if it were 100% whole wheat, but with completely different texture, i.e. no cakiness - which then again impacts the taste.    If I were going to do this again with the same tools for sifting I would add more water, as it seems a little dry.   When I mixed in all the ingredients, I was then able to handmix with no stickiness at all which surprised me because the hydration is pretty high.   Between each stretch and fold it seemed to soften and smell, but then with the stretch and fold, it perked back up.   I probably could have proofed for longer as I see quite a difference between your picture and mine with the ridges along my score lines around a centimeter high.   In the oven it sprung  straight up which also surprised me because I thought it would spread out with the diamond scoring and have a flatter profile.   -Varda  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hmmmm .... Rather than using sifted WW, I would use a mix of AP (or Bread) flour and WW - maybe 75:25. 

If you've followed the Further Adventures of this miche, you may recall that, currently, I am using a 50:50 mix of AP and High-extraction (CM Organic Type-85). Personally, I think any of these options would be preferable to home-sifted WW. And 100% high-extraction flour is excellent also.

The hydration level that is best will vary significantly, depending on flour choice. The dough should be pretty slack and sticky until after the first S&F.

I did take note of the great bloom you got. It's amazing how big a difference 15 minutes proofing, more or less, can make.

David

varda's picture
varda

David, I think the right thing for me in future would be to mix AP and sifted whole wheat.   The sifting does remove the large bran flakes and so changes the character of the flour in a way that using even a small quantity of whole wheat would not.   I weighed before and after, and really couldn't get below around 90% extraction.   I had not realized you had moved to half and half AP and 85%.   The reason I would go to partial AP/BF would be to cut the taste of the whole wheat which doesn't seem to go away by removing the large bran.   Not that I don't like it but it is very strong.    And then try to make it sticky by adjusting the hydration.   Thanks for your comments.   That helps a lot.  -Varda

kakuzookakura's picture
kakuzookakura

I followed this recipe very closely and it tastes great but fell flat. The only thing I did differently was put the free-form boule in a 400 degree oven without a baking stone. I tried 450-500 degrees in the past and the bread nearly caught fire. Those temperatures work for pizza but not for loaves in my experience.

Every time I try to make a high-hydration loaf like this one, the bread spreads out and rises very little. I can always get a good rise with a stiff dough, but then I don't get a nice, open crumb.

Why do bakers say that water makes the bread rise better? It doesn't! The higher the hydration, the more the bread is likely to turn out like a flat ciabatta.

I am envious of your bulbous boule! What am I doing wrong????

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, and welcome to TFL!

If your boule spread out instead of rising, there are four most likely causes which may exist in any combination:

1. You have not developed the gluten fully enough. You should have some window paning at the end of mixing, and the dough should be increasingly elastic after each stretch and fold.

2. You have not formed the boule with a tight gluten sheath. This bread benefits from a tight pre-shaping and shaping.

3. You have not proofed the boule in a container that supports the sides such that expansion is vertical rather than horizontal. You can use a banneton or a chouche.

4. You have over-proofed the boule so it doesn't have good oven spring.

If you have questions about any of these factors, please ask.

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello kakuzookakura,

Unfortunately, the only thing you are doing differently, not using a baking stone, is of immense significance in David's process.

Using an oven stone allows the oven to build up heat which is stored in the stone.   Without that, your oven set at very high temperatures is constantly demanding fresh heat which is either radiated around the oven or convected around with a fan.   This is what causes your bread to burn.

The significance of conducted, stored heat in baking breads of this type cannot be over-emphasized.   My best advice is to buy a baking stone and pre-heat your oven properly.   That way you will witness your loaves standing up in the oven, and not spreading out flat.

Best wishes

Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Is your oven so small that you burn bread at higher temperatures, kakuzookakura? Did you measure whether the temperatures in your oven are correct? In a lot of ovens the temperatures are off.

I'm asking because I bake all my lean breads at temperatures between 475  and 425 F, with the oven preheated even higher.

Karin

kakuzookakura's picture
kakuzookakura

Thanks for the help, my friends. After testing my oven thermometer in order to calibrate it, I found it to be accurate. My breads all burn after 15 minutes at heats above 450 no matter where I place them in the oven. It is a mystery to me why some recipes call for 1 hour at 500 degrees!

I'm not sure whether the problem with my spreading loaves is due to poor gluten development, since I kneed my dough for about 30 minutes by hand using either the conventional method or the stretch and fold technique. They always pass the window pane test.

There's no chance that I'm overproofing, because I never let the dough completely double before baking, and it always passes the touch test.

When I form my boules, I try to get the surface as tight as possible, almost like a baloon. During proofing in the brotform banneton, however, it loosens up and starts to spread out to fit the boule. Should I shape it again before putting it in the oven instead of just flipping it out onto a pan and scoring it?

Perhaps it has something to do with my sourdough yeast being too weak? Or my oven temperature being too mild?

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