Me and My Mini-Miche.
I generally follow trends slavishly, but I can’t get into the nine-pound-miche thing that seems to have taken TFL by storm. In fact my one and only complaint about miches is they are too large for my small (albeit voracious) family of only two carbovores. I know they can be divided and a piece frozen, but they’re never as good thawed as fresh.
So what does one do if one loves the flavor and texture of a miche but wants smaller loaves??? I pondered this for several long minutes, and then I settled on the idea of trying a radical experiment. What if one made a miche dough, and then (gasp!) divided it into two boules!!?? Though I risk the disapproval of the Mega-Miche adherents, I took the risk in the spirit of bread science and the quest for the perfect loaf.
I am among the seeming thousands of TFLers who have tried and admired the SFBI Miche my Big Brother David posted about five weeks ago (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21644/miche-hit). It has a magnificent caramel flavor and an admirably chewy crumb. My favorite variation on that formula is to use 50% Central Milling Organic Type 85 high extraction flour and 50% Central Milling Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft (Malted) white flour, as described in my 1/30/11 blog post (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21900/bay-area-miche-sfbi-formulacentral-milling-flours).
So this week, I used the SFBI formula but with that flour combination (and no wheat germ), and then after primary fermentation I divided the 1250 gram dough ball into two boules and plunked them into small brotforms. After a night in the fridge and 150 minutes on the counter, they were baked with Sylvia’s magic steam towels for 20 minutes at 450F, and then dry for 35 minutes more at 430F.
Besides having loaves of a size we can eat, the shorter bake time produced a rich dark crust with no burned spots. And who can complain about the higher crust ratio of a mini-miche?
The flavor is more-or-less the same as the full-sized version, wheaty and moderately sour. And the crust is similarly crunchy. The crumb may be a bit more airy.
A successful experiment.
And here’s my day’s baking output, the mini-miches with the Vienna Bread Dutch Crunch rolls.
A good baking day.