The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA's Poilane Miche

david.eaton's picture

BBA's Poilane Miche

Hi there,

I've baked the Poilane Miche from the BBA a couple/few times. First times, I followed it to the letter using commercially available flour (King Arthur Whole Wheat) and got a well risen, relatively open-crumbed (for this type of bread) result. This time, I milled my own flour, red winter wheat, and the result was very good, but more dense and experiencing less oven spring and a tighter crumb. All other factors were roughly the same. I'm wondering if the flour I'm milling (I'm new to milling my own), which is obviously coarser than KA flour or others, will make a loaf inherently more dense, less risen, etc.

Again, I'm not at all disappointed with the result (in fact flavor was terrific), more curious about the factors at play. 

Thanks for your input.


proth5's picture

Why do you say that the flour you gind is "obviously coarser" than commercial flour?

The flour that I grind is actually finer and silkier than commercial.

What mill/milling techniques are you using?

But naturally the coarser flour will result in heavier bread if you use the same techniques as with commercial flour.  Some folks like to soak their home ground flour overnight so that the resulting bread will be lighter.  This hasn't made a big difference for me, but it has for some.

Hope this helps.

xaipete's picture

My home ground flour is also finer than the store bought stuff.


dghdctr's picture

Hi David,

The KA product  (  is made from hard red spring wheat, and the protein is rated at 14%.  That's a relatively high number, as with most spring wheat in North America.

I'm not certain if your red winter wheat would be designated as "hard".  If it is, it still probably has significantly less protein than any spring wheat flour.  That's the way the comparison usually goes.

I'd concur with proth5's advice to let the flour and water sit together for a period of time before mixing the final dough.  Don't add the salt and yeast or anything else until you proceed to mix the final dough later on.

How long?  I can't be sure, but maybe an hour or more would do it.  The larger particles you're obtaining need more time for the gluten to fully hydrate and get optimal results.  If you use this pre-soaking technique (called "autolyse" by some bakers), just mix the flour and water together until evenly moistened.  You'll develop gluten by hand or in your mixer later.

--Dan DiMuzio

david.eaton's picture

Thank you all for the good advice. 

I assumed that everyone's home milled flour was as coarse as mine. Even on it's finest setting, run through a couple of times, my (inexpensive) mill produces a rather coarse flour. I actually don't mind and the result is a nice, rustic loaf, but for the Poilane, I wanted to figure out how to get a bit more pep.