I've been wanting to try making Mr. Hamelman's / Mr. MacGuire's Miche, Pointe-à-Callière.
This is the third of three tries, based on Andy's recent post on his beautiful Miche (thank you Andy, for your beautiful example of a Miche, and for the helpful instruction in your post!).
Given the historical note in Mr. Hamelman's book regarding this bread, this miche was stencilled to try and mimic
the Quebec flag:
I used a combination of 53% bread flour, with the remainder evenly divided between 75% sifted Red Fife whole-wheat, and coarsely-ground whole-wheat (Cliff's flour from fol epi bakery). The hydration ended up being 80% overall.
My first two tries I overfermented the dough. This time, to try to slow down fermentation, I used Andy's method for cold autolyse, but first sifted out the larger pieces of bran from Cliff's flour, soaked the bran in twice its weight of water. (Thanks, Mini!, for that idea). The bran soaker was refrigerated for same length of time as the water/flour autolyse. When building the levain, I used only bread and Red Fife flour.
The dough was much easier to manage using Andy's method for the mixing / cold autolyse.
This miche had the best oven spring of the three, and measured 10" across.
The crumb (not outstanding!):
The was the first one (made with 85% coarsely-ground whole wheat and 15% bread flour); the dough started to spread after turning out of banetton onto the peel, and there was virtually zero oven spring while baking; measured 13" across!:
Four things I can identify that went wrong (I'm sure there were more, that I'm not aware of!):
-not the right substitution for high-extraction flour
-forgetting to reduce water in the final dough for the ounce of so of water I used to dissolve the coarse sea salt
-over-proofing (two hours for final proof was too mich, I think, for this dough)
This was the second one (made with same flour mix as the third try, above, but without separating/soaking the bran); this one spread out more than the first, overflowing the peel. As the dough was spreading, I couldn't stencil fast enough! And what a mess I made of it :^) This one had a bit of oven spring, and measured 12" across:
This time, my levain was over-ripe by the time I could mix the dough, and I think the dough was underdeveloped too.
I also decided to bulk ferment a little longer, to try and get lots of bubbles in the finished crumb, and shortened the final proof to 1 hour. Given how the dough behaved after turning out of the banetton, this method was not successful.
Thinking about what I liked about each miche:
First try: best flavor of the three
Second try: best crumb of the three
Third try: best oven spring of the three
I'll be happy to keep trying this formula in hopes of improving on the finished bread, as actually each time, we've really liked the flavor!
Happy baking everyone,