The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dmsnyder's picture

This weekend I made a miche with Gérard Rubaud's flour mix for the first time. It's nowhere near as beautiful as the ones with which Shiao-Ping introduced Rubaud's formula to TFL, but it is delicious. The miche does seem to have a more mellow flavor than the other breads I've made with this flour mix, but then I didn't slice and taste it for a good 15 hours after it was baked.

The flour mix and formula I used was ...

Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain


Baker's %

Total Dough

Flour 1 – AP



Flour 2 – WW



Flour 3 – Spelt



Flour 4 – Rye




Total Dough: 

Baker's %











Conversion factor





Baker's %














Final Dough: 

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I also made a couple 1 lb boules of the San Francisco Sourdough from "Advanced Bread & Pastry" by Michel Suas. It was an extremely extensible dough, made this time with WFM AP Flour (non-organic. They were out of the organic). I retarded the loaves overnight but wanted to give them an early start, so I took them out of the fridge and turned on my oven when I first got to the kitchen this morning.


I trust you correctly inferred this was done before my first cup of coffee. Always risky. 


Well, I did have my baking stone in the oven when I turned it on but not my steaming setup. I discovered this when the loaves were ready to load, of course. I did give the oven a series of spritzes with a spray bottle, but my result was a nice illustration of why we bake with steam. So, for your interest ...


Note the dull crust and the modest bloom and spring.


I haven't cut it yet. I'm sure it's fine eating, but beautiful it ain't.





breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hey All,

Just wanted to share with you a very large 2.225 kg mixed levain miche that I baked on 2/23/10.  It is roughly 12 1/2" in diameter by 5 1/2" tall.  It was well worth staying up late on a weeknight to do.  We cut into it on 2/25/10 at a dinner part, and it was worth the wait...

Please excuse the crumb shot as it was from my friend's iPhone under less than stellar lighting conditions...



Stiff Levain

216g - AP

129g - Water

22g - Firm SD starter (60-65% hydration)

366g total

Liquid Levain

144g - AP

144g - Water

14g - Firm SD starter (60-65% hydration)

302g total

Final Dough

576g - AP

286g - BF

144g - Organic Hard Wheat Berries (freshly ground)

44g - Organic Spelt Berries (freshly ground)

30g - Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)

762g - Water

26g - Kosher Salt

366g - Stiff Levain

302g - Liquid Levain

Approx 2500-2600g total dough



7:00am - Mix stiff and liquid levains, place each in covered containers and let ferment on counter for 8-10 hours.

6:40pm - Measure out final dough ingredients.  Prepare a bowl of water for dipping your hands to knead.  Place all water in large mixing bowl.  Cut up stiff levain and place in mixing bowl along with liquid levain.  Add all try ingredients on top and mix well with wooden spoon.  After all is combined, with wet hands, knead dough in bowl using french fold method squishing out any lumps.  Knead for about 5 minutes until relatively smooth dough, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

7:15pm - Turn dough using stretch and fold method, cover and let rest.

7:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

8:15pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

8:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

9:15pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

10:15pm - Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and shape into boule.  Cover and let rest for 15mins.

10:30pm - Final shape and place into floured linen lined basket, lightly flour top of dough, place towel on top, place basket in plastic bag, proof for 60-90 minutes.

11:15pm - Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom, prepare steam pan, preheat 550F with convection.

11:45pm - Add 1 cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Turn boule out onto floured peel, slash, place directly onto baking stone, add 1 more cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Turn oven down to 460F, no convection.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Rotate loaf, bake for another 15 minutes.  Then turn down oven to 400F and bake for another 55 minutes, rotating half way.  Loaf is done when internal temp reaches approx 210F.  Cool and rest for 24hrs before eating.



breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Just want to start out by thanking both MC, and Shiao-Ping for their detailed postings and directions on making the Gérard Rubaud Miche.

Also, since so many people have tried out this method, I figured that I'd try it out too...  And my hand crank grain mill arrived a few days ago, and today was a snow day, so no work...

So here is my attempt that came out of the oven earlier today.  I have to say that it is the most amazing bread that I have made so far...  I probably should have let the loaf age for 1 day before cutting, but I was impatient and cut into it when the internal temp almost hit 80F.  I was not disappointed.

Please find the pictures and recipe below.  Also, I didn't really follow MC's or Shiao-Ping's instructions on building the levain, or on mixing, etc...  Lemme know what you think.  Thanks.



Special tools:

Small Iron Grain Mill from Lehman's as described on MC's blog about Gérard Rubaud

2 - 8" linen lined bannetons or brotforms

2 baking stones

Steam tray or method to create steam.


600g AP Flour (60%)

100g Bread Flour (10%)

150g Organic Winter Hard Wheat Berries (15%)

100g Organic Spelt Berries (10%)

50g Organic Rye Berries (5%)

250g Firm Sourdough Starter @ 60-65% hydration (25%) See notes below.

750g Water (75%)

20g Kosher Salt (2%)

Total Dough Weight: Approx 2000g

Yield: 2 x 800g loaves after baking

Evening of Day 1 - Preparing the Firm Sourdough Starter


Ingredients below not included in above recipe.)

- Grind 25g wheat berries, 15g spelt berries, 10g rye berries with a grain mill.

- Take 100g of your firm storage starter from the refrigerator, mix with 150g AP flour, and 50g of the freshly ground wheat/spelt/rye berries, and 130g water.  Cover and let rest on counter for 2-4 hours.  Starter should double...


- Measure out all ingredients.

- Grind the wheat/spelt/rye berries.

Day 2 - Mixing Final Dough and Baking

12:00am (Midnight)

- Put water, and 250g of firm sourdough starter in large mixing bowl, place dry ingredients on top, mix with wooden spoon until all combined into shaggy dough.  Knead dough in bowl using wet hands using the french fold method for 1 minute making sure to squish out any dry bits or lumps.  Do not add any extra flour.  Dough should be pretty smooth.  Put dough into oiled plastic container, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 25 minutes.


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 20 minutes.


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rise overnight on counter.  Go to bed.


- Check dough to see if it has doubled in size.  Also press dough with we fingertip.  If impression remains, dough is ready to be divided and preshaped into 2 boules approx 1000g each.  Cover with towel and let rest for 15 minutes.


- Final shape into tight boule, then place into lightly floured banneton/brotform seam side up and place into large plastic bag so they don't dry out, and proof for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs.


- Arrange 2 baking stones on racks in oven, one should be the 1st space from the bottom, and the next should be 2nd from the top.  Arrange steam pan.  Preheat 550F with convection.


- Remove proofing baskets from plastic bag, and cover with dish towel.


- Lightly flour the boules before turning them out onto a peel, slash as desired, place directly on baking stone.  Repeat for 2nd loaf.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water to your steam pan, close oven door.  Turn oven down to 450F with covection and bake for 25 minutes.  After the 1st 25 minutes, rotate the loaves between the stones and bake for another 25 minutes with convection at 425F.  Loaves are done when the internal temp reaches 205F to 210F.

11:45am - Take loaves out of oven and cool for 3-4 hours or until internal temp is 80F.  Loaves should weigh approx 800g after baking.

Notes: for the AP flour, I mixed Whole Foods 365 AP, and Gold Medal Unbleached AP.  The bread flour is King Arthur.  The organic whole grains are from Fairway Market in NYC.  The grinder is really cool!  Hard wheat is hard to grind.  Spelt is easy, and rye is about as hard as hard wheat...

 Submitted to Yeastspotting on 2/11/10

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I've been looking at this formula for a couple of weeks now. The mix of rye and whole wheat looks so darn inviting! Even the starter is 50/50. Finally, I get the chance to bake it!

This poor loaf was doomed from the start. I was so excited about this formula. To begin with, I had to retard the starter because I needed more than 12 hours (more like 24) between the last build and starting my final dough. So, I did as the book says and added salt, put it in a cool place. (outdoors) Ok, so it was nicely domed and looks good at this point, we're doing fine.

Next, I can't get to the final dough until 5pm rather than first thing in the morning as originally planned. So, it's actually more like 30 some odd hours for the poor starter. But, it's still looking pretty good at this point. I start final dough, look at recipe and count hours. Looks like I'll be baking at 10pm so maybe I'll just put it in the fridge or outside until morning.

Nope, last sentence in the recipe says "this dough does not lend itself to overnight retardation".

This must be the first bread I've ever made that "doesn't lend itself to overnight retardation. Oh well, 11pm is about my bedtime so that's fine. I can still do this. Onward we go. My third fold is 30 minutes late (on an every 40 minute schedule) because I have a 7pm meeting. Dough is looking really nice, goes from unbelievably extensible on 2nd fold to nice and strong but still stretchy on the third fold. Hasn't risen much though, hmmm.

9pm, still hasn't risen much and it should have already been shaped? Hmm, not too sure about this. I go ahead and give it a preshape, make it into a boule. Put upside down in a steel bowl, covered with plastic. 10pm, no rise. I'm not baking it this way! I would be baking a brick! Ok, now what? Stay up until it rises? The phrase "this does not lend itself to overnight rise" keeps going off in my head!!

Finally, at 11pm I take a "drop dead" look to make the final decision. It does not look ready. It's going to have to rise overnight. My life is not revolving around this loaf of bread! I stick it outside the door to the RV on a table. Should be about 45 degrees tonight, it will be totally "retarded" by morning.

Wake up and it looks very nice, ready to bake! Yeah!! Now, bought new pizza stone for the camper oven last week. I've had some problems with it. Burned a couple of loaves of Eric's Fav Rye but I moved the stone up to the next shelf so I think I have that solved. Last nights pizza was "so, so" but I think maybe the oven didn't preheat long enough. Now I'm going to try putting a loaf directly on the stone for the first time ever. I put the corn meal on the peel. Carefully shape my loaf into a nice "torpedo". Slash with the best slashes I've ever made. I even garnish with some poppy seeds. This is looking really good. My fanciest loaf ever. (except my braided Finnish pulla) Getting excited now!

I open oven, put peel in. Loaf sticks. Grab pastry knife. Push loaf. It squishes up. Folds over. Plops onto stone in a squished up mound. I try to unsquish the mound and push farther into the oven but it's stuck to the stone. Oh no!! Well, Maybe best thing is to leave it until it drys out and unsticks?

Mist oven for steam, close door. Open door to check. Bread has stuck to the door. Crap! Peel parts of bread off of door, try to push loaf back a little bit farther by squishing with pastry knife again.

Alright, nothing I can do now but wait and bake. 30 minutes later, I smell burned bread. I check and have a perfectly scorched loaf, insides are 170 degrees. I flip the loaf over and turn the oven off.

After about 50 minutes, bring the loaf out. Cut off the bottom with a bread knife. How sad! But, let me tell you that this bread tastes so good! The best sourdough I've ever made. I'm glad I didn't retard it any longer as it would have been too sour but as it is, perfection! Very chewy crust, dense but big holes. Complex flavor.

This will be my "go to" everday bread from now on. Eric's Fav Rye will be our sandwich bread and Hamelman's Oatmeal Cinnamon bread is the one I will make for my husband's treat. I will use this mixed flour bread to practice, work on technique. What a nice bread!

Now, about that stone. I think it's going to have to go. It's just too big for my little tiny oven. Back to the old cookie sheet solution until we're back in the house. I think I'll try pizzas on the grill this weekend sometime. For now, I'm already building starter for two more of these mixed flour miches to take to my parent's house on Saturday. Scheduling when I will build/bake these will be a challenge as I'm working a 12 hour shift tomorrow. Why does work always have to get in the way of our important hobbies?

CaptainBatard's picture


I am totally exhausted after packing and cleaning my house for the last three weeks in anticipation of perspective renters coming to look at it on Saturday....I can see the light end of the tunnel with my fingers crossed. One more day of cleaning and then a quick trimming of my sleeping garden and I can get to the real business at hand, taxes, getting a plane ticket, studying French, once again packing and of course, the weekly bread fix!

I want to really thank all the people at FreshLoaf for making this site what it is, a place to learn and exchange ideas about the one thing that brings us all together... the passion for flour, water and salt!

This weeks bread, MC's Gerard Rubaud Miche ala Shiao-Ping is probably the tastiest bread that I have made in my limited baking experience. I used to be a by the book Loafer, but that has all changed since I became aware of the talented baker here at The FreshLoaf and out in the Blogosphere who have expanded my knowledge and comfort zone. The Gerard Rubaud Miche with a whopping 80% hydration had me second guessing myself  the whole time, talk about comfort zone! Will it come together or will it remain the blob that came from the deep lagoon? I have tried several of Shiao-Ping's recent posts, so a wet dough was nothing new and I should of realized it would come together in the end. I followed her basic methodology with a few variations. I used a KA for a quick mix to get the dough into shape for a autolyse and poured it into wood bin to develop the structure with 5 sets of stretch and folds. At this point I thought the dough would yield to a good gentle shaping...but it had other plans! At this point I just laughed...looking down into the bin and said "You want to be difficult do you?" and remained calm. I had to remember that is was 80% hydration after all and to be patient. In the back of my mind I remembered a comment that MC made to Shiao-Ping about the way Gerard treats wet I turned out the dough onto a floured surface and did several more gentle full S+Fs at 10' intervals and that was the ticket!  The rest of the process was uneventful, after an overnight rest in the frig., they went into a hot oven with plenty of steam. When they came out of the oven they began to sing and crackle...and oh.... the smells. I watched the crumb shrink as  the loaves cooled and the crackel pattern become more prominent like a crackle glaze pattern on a fine celandine porcelain vase. The taste was nutty, creamy and moist with a slight tang to the mouth. This is definitely one that will become a favorite.

Thank you Gerard, MC and Shiao-Ping for this wonderful bread.



                                                            "Heavenly....your bread put my head in the clouds..."








This is being sent to Susan@YeastSpotting



breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

I just wanted to share with you my final bakes of 2009.  I was unable to post them earlier as I went to Japan for Christmas and New Years...  This was a year of much improvement for me, perfecting my version of baguettes, getting the hang of sourdough, refrigerated bulk fermentation, baking very large loaves, making pizza dough, and kneading large quantities (7-8kg) of dough by hand successfully.

Wishing all of you much baking success in 2010.  Now I'm off to do my first bake of the 2010.



breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Just wanted to share with you some pics of the 2.2kg miche that I baked on 12/13/09...  It's the biggest bread that I have ever baked, and one of the best tasting...  Enjoy!


dmsnyder's picture

We're invited for dinner tomorrow at the home of one of my favorite high school teachers. He and his wife have become our good friends over the years. I offered to bring bread and decided to bake two different breads that I think they will enjoy: The Miche, Pointe-à-Callière from Hamelman's "Bread" and my own San Joaquin Sourdough. (This version)

My wife thought the miche would be just too much, so I divided the dough and baked two boules of 820 gms each.

Boules, Pointe-à-Callière

Rather a "bold bake" of these, but I expect the caramelized crust to be very tasty. 

Boules, Pointe-à-Callière crumb

Here's another photo of the boule that's going to dinner.


And the San Joaquin Sourdough. I think it was a bit under-proofed. The oven spring was ... exuberant. 

San Joaquin Sourdough 


Submitted to Yeast Spotting


SumisuYoshi's picture

Brotform shaped Panmarino

I've been a longtime reader (lurker) of the The Fresh Loaf and haven't really had the chance to bake for a while, oven use when it was hot out just wasn't working, I was really busy with work, etc. But I recently jump started myself back into it with the BBA Challenge, and the realization that my girlfriend didn't care about me using the oven at her house!

Since then I've been practically a whirlwind of baking. That Panmarino up at the top, from BBA, was the first in the whirlwind! Except for the last 2 weeks, helping her move up to Fairbanks, Alaska from Los Angeles, CA for a PhD program. Now that we're done with the drive, and up here and a bit more settled I finally have the chance to sit down and type up this post. I've been just itching to bake, but I don't really have the facilities up here.

Well, since I haven't been able to bake for a bit I'll just give a few of the 'greatest hits' from recently.

I made these right before I left on the trip, two loaves of pugliese from Bread Baker's Apprentice. I deviated from the recipe a little bit and made them sourdough with 100% semolina flour.

Baked Pugliese

Also a pannetone made with golden raisins, triple cherry blend, and blueberries.

Baked Pannetone

A week or so before I left for the trip I made the BBA Miche using a blend of whole wheat, white, spelt and rye flour. It was a little tricky handling a loaf that big but it turned out beautifully! Really awesome mix of grain and sourdough flavor in that one.

Miche Loaf

And lastly, cinnamon rolls from BBA, these were a huge hit with my friends and at work!

Cinnamon Rolls

So again, hello to everyone and may all your baking go well!


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