The Fresh Loaf

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Hamelman's Miche, Pointe-à-Callière

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's Miche, Pointe-à-Callière

I haven't blogged about this bread for a while. We have lots of new members, and they should be aware of this wonderful bread. The recipe is in Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." Like Poilâne's Miche, it is an attempt to replicate the bread of the common folk in the 17th and 18th century in France and Quebec. A "Miche" is a very large boule. This recipe makes 3.6 lbs of dough.


This is a pain au levain made with 100% high extraction flour. I used the first clear flour that Norm got in December and shared with some of us. This flour is more finely milled than KAF's First Clear. It is slightly gray in color and acts like a high-gluten flour.


This dough is higher in hydration than Reinhart's Miche in BBA. It is quite slack. It makes a very moist and open crumb. The taste is wonderful and gets better for several days after baking. The bread stays moist for nearly a week. 



Miche, Pointe-à-Callière





Miche, Pointe-à-Callière Crumb


David

Comments

suave's picture
suave

David, I'm glad to see that it turned out the way it did, this bread was my primary reason for getting first clear.  I tried it a while ago using Hamelman's advice to use 90% ww and 10% white flour and the resulting bread ended up very dark, with crumb nowhere near the color he shows in the book. 


Mike

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've seen all sorts of ratios of WW to white flour as a substitute for high extraction flour. I've also made this miche with Golden Buffalo high extraction flour. For me, first clear has worked best.


So, how did you like it with first clear flour when you made it?


David

suave's picture
suave

Haven't touched the bag yet - there wasn't time to try it - what with holidays and job troubles and test recipes.  One of these days....

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

That is a BEAUTIFUL loaf of bread. I don't have that book. What is the hydration and what temp does it bake ? In the Clayton book he uses 1c ww and the rest bread flour to replicate Poilaine's mixture. Where does one get "first clear" that is like this ? Thank you , caroline

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Caroline.


This particular bread was made with first clear flour I got as a portion of a bulk purchase Norm did last month. However, you can buy first clear flour from KAF. Watch out for sticker shock. To me, it's worth it, but YMMV.


Hamelman's formula is 82% hydration overall, but it includes a firm sourdough build. The bread bakes at 460F for 15 minutes, then 440F for another 45 minutes.


David



oleteeth's picture
oleteeth

Caroline,


I just bought 50 lbs of 1st clear so if you want I would sell you some for what it costs me, that is $1/lb plus shipping. Let me know if you are interested.


Mitchell

oleteeth's picture
oleteeth

Caroline, If you are interested in some 1st clear, email me at oleteeth@comcast.net


Mitchell

paddyboomsticks's picture
paddyboomsticks

I've not made this recipe, however working my way through, I've stumbled across some great stuff (let the record reflect David, your Russian Rye is still a staple of my weekly bake!).


Have you tried his potato bread? It's also very good. I am very curious about that  three stage, 90-100% rye, but it will take a while to work up to that one!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, paddyboomsticks.


I have not made the potato bread, but it's been on my "to bake" list for a while. 


I'm glad you like the Russian Rye. Weekly? Wow! I guess you do like it. However, as I recall, I got the recipe from Kosherbaker.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Very interesting crust David. It looks like you just scratched the surface. The dough is so wet it looks like it seals up in a pod. Did you leave it in for further hardening of the crust as you do with other SD boules?


So, other than using the first clear it was pretty much by the book? This is so pretty David I'm going to have to make one. Thank you for the inspiration.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I scored the loaf "normally," but it had incredible oven spring - maybe 40% - with relatively little bloom.


I did not have time to leave the loaf in the oven to dry out. We were rushing to get to a restaurant at which we had reservations. The bread had to fly out of the oven as I flew out the door. Yet, the crust stayed crisp, and it had those cracks and crackles that I love to see but can't seem to get when I want them.


The recipe in the book has an aparent calculation error. It calls for 2.25 cups or 1 lb. 6.4 oz of water. I usually add 1 lb 2-4 oz of water, but this time I added 1 lb. 5 oz. It's amazing how big a difference so little water can make. But, yes. I make it "pretty much by the book." Well, the one difference is that I do my last refresh of my firm starter a day ahead. I use it right out of the fridge and compensate by using slightly warm water (80F or so).


My use of First Clear flour is not an exception. Hamelman specifies "High-extraction flour," and I imagine he probably uses KAF First Clear. I used the first clear that Norm got. It has a finer texture than KAF's, and the taste is "cleaner," less grassy. I haven't noticed a difference in rye breads, but in the Miche, it's 100%, including the firm starter's last build.


This is a wonderful bread. I'd encourage you to try it.


David

proth5's picture
proth5

Mr. Hamelman is usually quite clear in stating which flour is to be used.  I suspect that he uses high extraction when he can get it - which is very different from first clear. First clear is the first milling result that is clear of bran - high extraction means that the bran is reduced, but still present. I have had occaision to compare this miche formula with high extraction vs a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat and the difference is quite pronounced - with the mixed flour bread being much darker.


Although it's a good variation, it is a variation.  If you can get some real high extraction, you may wish to try the formula again.  Or stick with the first clear.  Hey - good bread is good bread and this does look lovely!


Don't wish to be contrary, but understanding the flour that is called for in this particular formula is an area where I have some small expertise and I wanted to clear up any misunderstanding.


Happy Baking!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,
I checked my book and find the calculations to be right on. Maybe you have an older version. The Levain build calls for 3.8 Oz. and the dough calls for1 Lb 6.4 Oz. That's 26.2 Oz Water divided by 32Oz flour for a rounded Hydration of 82%.


I have one in the basket as we speak and it handled wonderfully. I thought I would try Mark's machine folding since it is quite slack. It seemed to work fine, as I get a better feel for how long is enough.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


2-1/4 cups = 8 + 8 + 2 = 18 oz.


1lb 6.4 oz = 16 + 6.4 = 22.4 oz


That's the discrepancy to which I was referring.


My hunch is that the ingredients table should have listed water at 22.4 oz (2-3/4 cups). Maybe just a typo/editing error. In any case, the weight is almost certainly correct, not the volume.


I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of your oven and how you like it. Don't be surprised when it spreads like crazy when you transfer from the banneton to the peel. Just sit in front of your oven and enjoy watching the oven spring, especially that which occurs surprisingly far into the bake.


David.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

One of the reasons I use weights is so I don't have to search for a magnifing glass to read the fractions. My book says 2-3/4 cups of water in the dough. 8+8+6=22

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi Eric.


Well, I'm going home now and look at my book under a magnifying glass! Maybe I have been misreading it. The print is pretty small for my aged eyes. (Not that they were so good when they were young!)


Is your miche out of the oven?


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thank you for the heads up on the spread. I about had a heart attack when it first spread and then when I slashed it it overflowed the paper some. I was able to get it on the stone OK but it was like trying to plate a bowl of jello-lol I have high hopes!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My Miche overflowed my "generaously sized" parchment too. That's what caused it's charming, rustic asymmetry.


BTW, my copy of "Bread" definitely says 1 lb 6.4 oz of water = 2-1/4 cups. Wrong!


Does your copy have the instructions for kneading in the bowl or the recipe for beer bread on pg. 249?


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

My copy has "Un-Kneaded 6 fold French Bread" on Page 249.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


I assume your copy of Bread is a later printing than mine, with some changes. Hmmm ... Time to check the publisher for an errata sheet.


Thanks for checking.


David

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

This is such a different approach to baking bread that I am really having to try hard to "wrap" my brain around it. Thank you , c

Aprea's picture
Aprea

After scanning these blogs for a couple weeks - I am a little discouraged that good breads like this require hi-gluten or first clear.  Both inaccessible here.  I can however get KA bread flour, whole grain, AP, and white whole wheat.


 


Which of these choices would you use - or what combination - to best substiture for the first clear.


 


Thank you - By the way David - my second round of BBA french bread was much improved due to your advice to spend more time mixing (kneading in my case).

proth5's picture
proth5

First clear is a very specific type of flour which is milled primarily from the outer part of the endosperm giving it a higher ash content and a "higher quality" gluten for freestanding loaves.  It would be difficult to simulate this with any of the flours you mention.


High extraction flour is essentially whole wheat flour with some of the bran removed.  I have seen high extraction flour simulated from whole wheat flour by sifting the whole wheat flour.  Depending on the coarseness of you sieve and your patience, you can approximate high extraction flour.  Since this is the flour called for in the original formula, you may wish to try that.


I think that in the past few weeks discussion has gotten quite intense around specialty flours.   Good breads can be made from all the flours to which you have access.  It is a matter of adjusting formulas and techniques to take advantage of the flavor that these flours have to offer.


Hope this helps.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Pat.


As I see it, First Clear is one type of high extraction flour. All high ex traction really means is that the flour contains a high percentage of the total wheat berry as compared to patent flour, which is just the inner-endosperm.


From a taste perspective, I happen to like the flavor of the Miches (Hamelman's, Leader's and Reinhart's) I've made with First Clear more than those made with a mix of Bread Flour and WW or those made with Golden Buffalo (which is a high extraction/not First Clear flour). YMMV


Now, from an historical perspective, I wonder what would be closest to the flour used in France (or Quebec) in, say, 1700. I suspect it would be more like what a home miller might get by grinding wheat coarsely, sifting out some of the bran, then re-grinding to a finer flour. What do you think?


David

proth5's picture
proth5

Actually the typical extraction rate of commercial milling is 72-75%.  Clear flour is but a part of this total extraction - the rest being variants on patent flour.  Clear flour is only the outer part of the endosperm. Given that clear flour is but a portion of the 72-75% extraction, as a miller, I am hard pressed to call it high extraction.  Clear flour does not contain bran.  I would see that as a distinction between clear and high extraction flour. The darker color of clear flour comes from minerals at the outside of the endosperm, not from bran.  This weekend I did some prep work for milling clear flour and believe me, you don't get that much of it compared to the total weight of the wheat berries.


As for the formula for the miche, I currently grind an 80-85% extraction flour by doing a few mill passes and sifting the results after each pass and eventually removing what is left in the sieve.  I would consider that people who do almost subsistence milling would mill to at least that extraction.  That is why I suggest that sifted commercial whole wheat flour would be a more "authentic" substitute if high extraction flour is not available. I have this on good authority.


My current milling practice is inspired by this loaf and conversations that I have had about it with people who have a first hand knowledge of the formula.  It was this very loaf and those discussions which pushed me to get past "hippie whole wheat" milling to what I can do today.  So you can imagine I think about it quite a bit. 


But as I said, good bread is good bread.  If you like the first clear, use the first clear. Gee, if we aren't baking bread that we like, why bother?  Actually, contrarian that I am, these discussions on various flours have sent me back to baking enriched pan breads.  I've got 5 lbs of leaf lard to use up and I just finished a sandwich on lovely, soft, enriched sandwich bread made with home milled high extraction flour, leaf lard and a liquid levain base.  It's been a while.  I forgot how good it is.  (And so is that bite into the crisp crust of a perfectly cooled levain "baguette" - each in its place!) The baker is the artisan.  Any bread baked with care can be excellent bread.


Happy Baking!


Pat


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Anna.


This Miche does not require high-gluten flour. You can make it with a combination of bread flour and whole wheat. You can order first clear flour from KAF. You could get coarsely milled whole wheat and sift out some of the bran then use what's left as a true high extraction flour.


I'm glad your French bread is coming along!


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David I do have a question on the oven times/temps.


JH calls for "440F for about 60 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 420F after 15 minutes."


Does this mean 440 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 420 for an additional 45 minutes? What do you do?


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


Is that what the book says? Hmmm ... As I recall, I baked at 460F for 15 minutes then 440F for another 45 minutes. That would explain the crust I got! A fortuitous error on my part.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner





It was a long 55 minutes in the oven and I checked the internal at over 200F so out it came. I used 440F and 420F as specified. Can't wait to see the crumb.


ADDED BY EDIT: Wow what a full flavor! My teenage daughter says it's the best crust ever and the flavor is incredible. It's a little crusty for my wife but she doesn't like crunchy things in general. I'm really impressed at the full flavor of this relatively simple formula. I also used the first clear we were sent from the boss (Norm).


Thanks again David for the inspiration for this loaf. It is everything you said it would be.


Just a question about how you store it to keep it fresh on the counter?


Eric

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Eric,


Bold baker, bold loaf!


Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Great job, Eric! That's just one magnificent Miche you baked!


If you think the flavor is good now, wait until you eat it tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.


I've never tried to keep the whole Miche "fresh." I would if I were taking the whole thing to a party, but with just two of us at home ... nah.


I generally cut the Miche in quarters, wrap 3 quarters individually and freeze them. It's never quite as good after freezing, but, you know, it still makes delicious toast and sandwiches.


I still have some bakery bags from Brotkonig, which unfortunatey went belly up. I bought some bamboo-cloth bread bags from bamboobag.com which I am testing. They seem to be keeping bread fresh fairly well.


Norm's first clear flour definitely has a cleaner flavor than that from KAF. I must try making baguettes and a San Joaquin Sourdough with it. We might have to try working another group buy when this is gone, if Norm is up to it. 


Wow! I really like your Miche. 


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Paul and David. The recipe is so simple I can't get over it. I really like the machine folding with this dough. It makes the procedure so simple even I can stay attentive! Just drop the hook back in and run on low for 5 or 6 seconds, remove the hook and cover it up for 50 minutes. after 2 "folds" it was well developed. After 2 hours in the oven proofing at 75F I removed it and let it sit on the counter while the oven warmed. The dough had risen to fill my large sfbi linen basket and was very wobbly as I turned it out. Lots of 50/50 rice/ap dusted in the basket and on the loaf before it went in and it dropped right out without a hitch.Surprised me!


David I'm looking at the height of your loaf and wondering if you might be on to something with your slightly less hydrated mix. It would be nice if this were just a little higher. I don't know, it is so pretty the way it is.  I tightened it up a fair amount in shaping.


A friend of ours is going to love this bread. They have 3 hungry lads and they love good bread. I think I'll make another tomorrow.


Eric


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


Actually, I pre-heated the oven to 480F, then baked 20F hotter than Hamelman specified. That might account for more oven spring too. 


If you look at the photo of this bread in the book, the profile is somewhere in between yours and mine.


BTW, I misspoke about following the recipe exactly. Your description of your intermittent machine mixing reminded me. I used the stretch and fold in the bowl technique x2 at 50 minute intervals, rather than doing it on the bench.


David

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Wow, what beautiful miches both of you! Eric, that's a fabulous loaf, one of the best I've ever seen anywhere!


Question: how do I make this recipe if I don't have access to "high extraction" or "first clear" flours as you two seem to be using, does Hammelman provide suggestions in his book with ratios of WW, AP, rye, etc? (that's one book unfortunately I don't have here at home, maybe I should try to find it in the Library).


Also, how did both of you get such beautifully carmelized crusts, do you think it was the flour you are both using, or the specific bake time/temp, or...something else?


I'm really impressed and would love to try this... 


Oh, also, FWIW what I do to keep the miche fairly fresh on the counter all week long is wrap them in aluminin foil and warm in toaster oven toward end of week to freshen it up before serving.


--Mountaindog


(edit 1 hour later: OK, forgive my ignorant question abour first clear flour, I am trying to catch up on all of the differennt flour threads on this site and I just saw the one in FIRST CLEAR FLOUR, so I guess finding a mixed substitute is debatable. I'll see if a local bakery (Bread Alone) has some first clear or even something like T65 from Canada that they could sell me).

oleteeth's picture
oleteeth

I have 5 lbs of 1st clear that I could sell for what it cost me, about $1/ lb plus shipping is you are interested.


Mitchell

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Ok, now I have a few minutes to spend here so I can reply properly.


When I first started with this forum, you were my guide. You were baking some very nice breads which I tried to imitate, mostly in vain. Your folding procedure was the thing that really helped me understand how develops. Thank you Mountaindog, I really appreciate all the time you spent with me back then.


I have been busy since then learning about sourdough and yeasted breads. I just came off a period of yeasted only breads with long ferments that convinced me I can make very very good bread using Instant yeast. If only I give myself the time necessary to create the acids.


This Miche David wrote about is really something. He is the one who has been baking it for a while and is such a masterful baker I'll leave it to him to describe why it caramelizes so well. It is a Jeff Hamelman "Bread" recipe. It is a pretty straight forward method and although you do need to be around the hose for most of the afternoon, I managed to sneak a quick trip into Milwaukee today during the bulk ferment.


One interesting thing I noticed is that it caramelizes all the way around the loaf. The bottom is almost as well colored as the top. I made another today and experimented with the addition of a small amount of white rye and .5 Oz less water. I was hoping to get a slightly higher profile. It did hold just a little more and I didn't want it high. I also played with the oven time and temp. Setting the start temp to 440F for 15 Min then 420 for 15 min and finally down to 400 until 55 minutes had elapsed total.


It starts at 82% hydration and I forgot to weigh this again before I sent it on its way to a friend but it feels light. The after taste lasts for over an hour, it's sooo delicious.


Anyway, I love "Bread" as do many of us here now. Hamelman has a solid feel for what works and tastes good. He is easy to understand and presents direction in several formats. A pro baker will like the book. I'm going to buy a 50# bag of the first clear I got from Norm. It's really strong if you want it to be and does a terrific job with my Rye breads and bagels.


I think Norm is new since you were a regular. He is a retired Pro Baker from NYNY that has been very helpful in sharing some of the breads and baked goods that made NY famous. All I have to do is whisper "Jewish Deli Rye" and I get a double line at the front door these days. It's that good.


I hope you will stick around a bit MD, I know I'm not alone when I say you have been missed. I see you added the dog image. Very nice!


Cheers,
Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, mountaindog.


I've made this bread 6-8 times, and the crust is always well-caramelized. I think it's due to a combination of factors, including the long bake, of course.


While I have a good supply of first clear flour at present, I'm still tempted to buy a bag of organic stone-ground whole wheat flour and sift out some of the bran. I really want to see what kind of flavor I get and how it compares to Norm's first clear flour.


My next step in exploring flours and flavor is still bubbling in my head (having just been refreshed) but not yet ripe enough to bake with.


Please let us know how things turn out with your visit to Bread Alone. If Leader uses a high extraction flour (not first clear), you might want to try that, or try both! And if you can determine his sources for these flours, that would be of interest as well.


If you need the recipe, Buns of Steel wrote it out in this topic:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6405/pointeacalliere-miche-move-over-bba-quotpoilanequot


And here's an example of a miche I made with a "true" high extraction flour (Golden Buffalo):


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6382/hamelman039s-miche-ponteacalliere-golden-buffalo-flour


David

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Thank you both! You guys are great. Eric, you give me far too much credit, you've become a fantastic baker and have done more baking in the past year than I have in the past 2 years (garden and dogs keeping me too busy, but I'm not complaining.) David - I echo others' sentiment about how well-written and informative all of your posts are, I really appreciate the time you take to answer everyone's questions and your skills are wonderful.


Now, David, back to miche recipe and flours: I just ordered Hammelman's Bread online, which now brings my bread book collection close to that of my garden book collection in size. I've actually been meaning to get that (in fact, I had to double check that I didn't already have it and forgot about it!) I've always wanted to try Jmonkey's Normandy Apple Bread that he made from Hammelman, so now I'll be able to after it comes in. Meanwhile, thanks for pointing me to the miche formula on TFL.


I ventured out of the house yesterday for the first time in awhile (recovering from pneumonia nicely now) to pick up some meds at the Boiceville Pharmacy, right next to Bread Alone. It was a good day to stop in as they were not busy, and I spoke to the person who orders a lot of their flour. Their next shipment is due the 27th, so they didn't have much for sale yesterday, all I could get there was regular AP flour by Dover (Canada) Farine, called "Oak" (11.2 % protein), so I'll give it a try, but it's certainly not first clear, it looks just like KA AP as far as I can tell, and feels like it too. This is not organic, although Leader uses mostly organic for a majority of his bread by La Meunerie Milanaise in Quebec, in various custom blends he orders, I've used the Organic AP and it is nice, but made my bread very dry. I'll try to go back to Bread Alone and see what else I can buy when they get their shipment in at the end of the month.


So, I have my levain ripening right now for the Pointe a Calliere miche. I only have AP and WW and rye flour on hand. I see your results with first clear flour produce a very light colored bread that looks a lot like my Leonard boule when I use a mix of about 25% WW with 75% AP. I see different advice on how to mimic high extraction flour:


1) sift coarsly ground (Graham) WW flour to remove 20% or so of the weight in the form of bran (note, I tried this 2 years ago when trying to make the BBA Poilane and not only was it very difficult for me to sift out all that bran, but the resulting crumb was very dark and looked just like 100% ww bread, maybe my sieve was too coarse)


2) Use Glezer's tip on pg. 133 of Artisan Baking to sub 25% WW and 75% AP or Bread flour to approximate high extraction, which is how the Thom Leonard recipe works, and gives a very white crumb.


3) Use Leader's tip on page 120 of Local Breads to sub 80% ww and 20% AP or Bread flour to approximate high extraction for his version of Poilane. (this would produce a very dark crumb and is the opposite of how Glezer suggests mixing flours to approx. high extraction - confusing!) Sounds like Hammelman agrees with Leader on these ratios though (80/20 WW to AP).


Suggestions? Eventually I'd like to try real "high extraction" as well as first clear and see how they do, but can't right now.  (Pat "proth5" thanks for clarifying the difference between high extraction and first clear, I understand they will give different results and color to the crumb). I think for today I'd like to make a lighter crumb that looks more like David's result with first clear, so maybe stick with 25/75 WW to AP?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, mountain dog.


Looking forward to seeing your miche and hearing how you like your flour mix.


I've decided my next experiment is going to be buying some organic stone-ground coarse WW flour and sifting out some of the bran. I plan on using the result for a miche and for a "San Joaquin Sourdough" - haven't decided on baguettes or batards or boule.


I wonder how long it will take to sift a kilo of WW and what % will be sifted out.


David

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Miche is now in 2nd half of bulk ferment. I have it in a warm 76F spot, so should be ready to shape in 1.5 to 2 hrs. Since it's getting late, though, I had hoped to shape and let it proof overnight in my cold mudroom rather than stay up until 1AM or so to bake, anyone think this may adversely effect this particular recipe, or should I go for the overnight retardation?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Mountaindog-Hamelman says specifically that this recipe doesn't lend it self to overnight retardation.. Don't know why other than at 82% hydration it might consume so much of the food it might end up sticky on the way to rags. Not sure really.


I too am anxious to see how yours looks. My second Miche was great looking and the folks who ended up with it called today to say it's the best bread they had ever eaten.


 


Yes I decided to automate for the larger bakes I seem to be doing. The DLX is a wonderful machine and I use it mainly for larger batches and high hydration. Most of my daily bakes I still hand mix and handle the way you do with one small difference. I mix and frissage, then I wait 1 hour and french fold. I also like to stretch and fold one time to be sure about the development. I have been trying to be very careful to not over develop. So I will spread the dough out and test it gently to see how it resists. If it pulls back firmly I stop and go into pre shape. "Only just enough for the best crumb".


Thank you for your kind words MD, I have been covered in flour many times since you taught me the folding. I am starting to feel like I know what I'm doing in a basic way. Still have a lot to learn but it's coming along.


 


I know you will enjoy Bread. Take the time to read it through and understand his writing style. Very different from anyone else. I felt like he was sitting in my living room talking with me, very personal. Being an advanced baker yourself you will have no trouble with the formulas. I'll be waiting to get your reaction.


Stay warm MD. If I recall you are in upstate NY so you are headed for sub zero soon.


Eric

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Well, I did not retard, I took a nap and got up at midnight to bake these off (my schedule is all off anyhow right now). I doubled the recipe and made 2 for the extended family. You are right, the wet dough made them proof quickly in the warm 76F spot they were in, and I almost panicked as the first one hit the baking stone and spread out like a pizza, so thanks for your warning on that.


As soon as I put the first miche in the oven, I placed the second banneton in my 40F mudroom to slow down fermentation until the first was out of the oven. That second one turned out better then the first, as it had a more open crumb, so I think it needed a little more proofing. Both needed 70 min total in my gas oven to fully bake, though (I used the full 1lb 6.4 oz water per miche in recipe)


(Below) First one on left with denser crumb, second one to right with spiral top. The crumb on the second was better and had a nice shiny gloss to it, and it tasted great this morning for breakfast. You can see that my mix of 25% WW to 75% AP gave it a nice tan colored crumb, but I'd definitely like to try first clear as you both got much bigger holes than I got and a darker crust I think. Nice recipe, I will tweak this some more and try it again, very tasty! I think I may try it with slightly less water and an overnight retard in a cold 40F spot to see if that gives an even more open crumb (as well as fits my normal schedule better). Look forward to getting Hammelman's book, my DH just ordered it for me along with a used version of Calvel. Thanks again to you both for tips and inspiration!  --MD



dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, mountaindog.


I'd say both loaves turned out very nicely. How do you like the eating?


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

One word.... GORGEOUS!

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

David, Jane - thank you for your kind words...the taste was exquisite! In fact, since I last reported in, there has been a little miche mania around here, 3/4 of all the miche are already gone...a friend who has been helping me out while sick stopped by, spotted the miche, drooled, and of course I had to give her half in return for her kindness. The inlaws got the other full miche. our half has been cut into and a large portion brought to work today by my husband, who excitedly called me from work to report it was the absolute best bread I have ever made, better than my other sourdoughs, it reminds him of a true miche he'd get in France, best crust yet, I must make this again, etc. etc....wow! Some of his co-workers had a taste and want more...


So I guess this will be my new go-to recipe! David, your miche and Eric's still look much nicer than mine, however, both crust and crumb. Perhaps I ought to try an 80/20 ww/AP ratio next time to be truer to Hammelman's recipe. Thank you again for the guidance!


One thing though, I am surprised at how flavorful this turned out, given that I did relatively short, warmer ferments than usual when I cold retard my other country breads like the Thom Leonard. The flour mix I used here is even similar, but the hydration is way higher, the handling slightly different, and the baking longer at a hotter temp...maybe the amount of levain also makes a difference?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The miche I baked last weekend had the best flavor ever, and Eric was enthusing about the flavor of his. Maybe the planets are alligned just right.


I have dough fermenting using a different formula but the same first clear flour. I'll bake it tomorrow afternoon. We'll see if I get the same wonderful flavor.


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I think the amount of starter makes a big difference.


I was surprised when Hamelman wrote that this and some other of his breads didn't fair well with an overnight retarding. I think that would be a question of taste and worth trying. Maybe he had a classic French levain in mind which actually has a very subtle flavour. But since the Nury's rustic rye is so wonderful, why wouldn't this type of bread be, too?


I find that I go through phases when I find a type of bread very much to my liking and I make it a million times, then I try something new, love it and stick to that for a while. I'm talking about levain breads.


You all are inspiring me to do up one of these again, though! A BIG miche for the weekend.


Jane

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Both of your breads look lovely! It's breakfast time here. For the question about high gluten flour, I have made this and very similar breads with my T65 as a base. It really doesn't NEED high gluten flour and is a "French " inspired type bread, anyway. You just have use a nice blend of flours (white, ww (not much), medium rye) and make sure the dough is strengthened enough with some folds and it will turn out great! I used our T80 to make it.


Jane

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Ho boy! More flour mixes to play with!


Jane, the flavor and aroma of this bread is so wonderful, it makes real everything you have said about the lack of flavor in bread made with American white flour. I think this flour would make very good-tasting baguettes using Anis' or Gosselin's techniques, yet they probably wouldn't taste like baguettes made with your good organic stone-ground T65. <sigh>


David

BurntMyFingers's picture
BurntMyFingers

This weekend I'm making 3 miches using a variation of the Miche Pointe a Calliere recipe with KAF High-X, KAF First Clear, and a WW/BP blend of the type that would be of interest to the baker who does not have access to the first two flours. The blend is what I'm struggling with.

Hamelman's book suggests a 90% WW/10% Bread Flour blend but if the extraction of bread flour is 70% then that yields a very different extraction % than the 85% of the High-X. I'm more inclined to use 60% BF/40% WWF which does net out 85% extraction.

Would appreciate comments from readers (if you're still there... I know this is a very old thread) who have tried different percentages, and what results you have gotten.

I did see suave's comment on the very dark crumb with the Hamelman percentage, proth5's idea about sifting WWF (which I'm not going to do because I want to come up with something easily reproduceable, and different sifters with different flours will yield different results), and mountaindog's suggestions for blends. All helpful but I'd like to build from there. Anyone who has done a WWF/BF combo or WWF/APF combo that comes very close to High-X in your experience.

Thanks and of course I'll report back with the results of the tst.

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