The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This miche is a hit!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This miche is a hit!


 


We baked a miche the last day of the SFBI Artisan II (sourdough baking) workshop. This was one of the breads we mixed entirely by hand. The students' miches were scaled to 1 kg, as I recall, but our instructor baked a couple larger ones, using the same dough.


These miches were among the favorites of all the students for the wonderful texture of their crust and crumb and their flavor. I gave one of mine to brother Glenn, who has stopped reminding me in the past few days that I promised him the formula.


This formula is substantially different from the miche formula in Advanced Bread and Pastry. I blogged about the background of that miche last month. This one is more similar to contemporary versions such as that of James McGuire, Hamelman's adaptation of which is found in Bread.


The formula we used at the SFBI calls for mostly white flour, with a little whole wheat in the levain refreshment and a little toasted wheat germ in the final dough. From my reading, a high-extraction flour is preferred for miches. I had some of Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour on hand, so that is what I used.


 


Total formula

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

702

100

Water

515

73.33

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

2.5

Salt

15

2.08

Total

1250

177.91

Notes

  • The SFBI formula used 96.67% “Bread flour” and 3.33% Whole wheat flour. All the whole wheat flour is used in the levain. I used Central Milling's “Organic Type 85 Flour” for both the levain and the final dough

  • I did not use wheat germ since I was using high-extraction flour, but this ingredient did contribute to the great flavor of this bread as we made it in Artisan II.

 

Levain

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

93.7

100

Water

93.7

100

Liquid starter

50

46.8

Total

237.4

246.8

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water and mix in the flour. Desired Dough Temperature: 78ºF.

  2. Ferment for 8-12 hours.

 

Final Dough

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

586

100

Water

398

68

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

3

Salt

15

2.5

Levain

234

40

Total

1251

213.5

Procedure

  1. Dissolve the levain in the water. Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. DDT: 75-78ºF.

  2. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

  3. Ferment for 3-4 hours with 4 folds at 50 minute intervals. (I did this by the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique.)

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Pre-shape as a tight boule.

  5. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes to relax the gluten.

  6. Shape as a tight boule and place, seam side up, in a floured banneton.

  7. Cover with plastic and retard overnight in refrigerator.

  8. Remove the boule from the refrigerator and allow to warm and complete proofing for 1-3 hours. (Watch the dough, not the clock!)

  9. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the over to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. When the loaf is proofed, transfer the boule to a peel. Slash the boule as desired, and transfer it to the baking stone. Steam the oven and reduce the temperature to 450ºF.

  11. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove any water remaining in your steaming apparatus.

  12. Continue baking for another 40-50 minutes. (If you have a convection oven, switch to “Convection Bake” and reduce the oven temperature to 430ºF at this point. But see my tasting notes.)

  13. Remove the boule to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Notes on procedure

  • Traditionally, we were told, this bread is scored in a diamond pattern, but any scoring pattern that pleases you is fine. Just be aware that the diamond pattern tends to yield a flatter profile loaf than a simple square or cross.

  • This bread benefits from a very bold bake. The crust should be quite dark. It may look almost burned, but the flavor and crunchiness that is desired requires this.

  • This type of bread often improves in flavor very substantially 24 hours after baking.

    Crust

    Crumb


    Crumb close-up

Tasting notes

I sliced and tasted the bread about 4 hours after removing it from the oven. The crust had crackled nicely and was very thick and crunchy – the kind that results in crust flying everywhere when you slice it. The crumb was well-aerated, but without any really large holes. The crumb structure is similar to that I got with the miche from BBA made with this flour, but a bit more open. The crumb is chewy-tender.

The flavor of the crust is very dark – caramelized-sweet but with a bitter overtone where it is almost black. The crumb is sweet, wheaty, nutty and absolutely delicious. My note above notwithstanding, it's hard to imagine the flavor getting any better in another day.

I am enormously impressed with the flavor of the breads I have baked with Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour. I want more of it, and I want to try some of their other specialty flours, including those they mill for baguettes.

I will definitely be baking this bread again. I would like to make it as a larger miche, say 2 kg. Next time, I will lower the oven temperature to 420 or 425ºF when I switch to convection bake for the crust to be slightly less dark.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Comments

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David, Thank you for posting the SFBI Miche formula.
I look forward to trying this. Your miche is beautiful - I love the diamond scoring!
Regards, breadsong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This one will definitely sing your song!


David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

I really am grateful you've posted another SFBI Miche formula.
I was thrilled with how my first SFBI Miche turned out and it will be fun to try this one next.
Thanks again, from breadsong

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

This is the one I've been waiting for - thanks David! Love the look of that crumb!


Too bloody hot to bake here at the moment, but as soon as we get some respite, I'm going directly to this one without passing Go!


Cheers!
Ross


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I know you will enjoy it! Let us know how yours turns out.


David

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Very pleased with how it turned out, although mine is a far more modest version that doesn't quite qualify as a miche - too small. So I've called it a boule! I made a few mods for reasons I've outlined in my post here.


Thanks again, David. A lovely bread!


Ross

copyu's picture
copyu

Do you think 'atta' (or Indian/Pakistani whole-wheat chapatti flour) is a fair substitute for 'high-extraction flour'? I know the gluten content of the 'atta' I can buy is about 12% or a bit over...I'd be inclined to add the toasted wheat-germ to guarantee that the flavour is what it should be...


I'd love to give this formula a try. Am I on the right track?


Thanks for your valuable time!


copyu

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, copyu.


My understanding is that atta is generally made from wheat that is more like (identical to?) durum wheat than hard red winter wheat. I would think atta would give a different flavor and performance, but it might be to your liking.


David

copyu's picture
copyu

We have a lot of flours available here in Japan...but even after consulting Hamelman's "Bread" I'm none the wiser...I now understand what "High Extraction Flour" means, but I wouldn't know what to ask for in Japanese!


The atta flour that I can buy is a sort of "white wholemeal"...it's white in the package, but only reveals its 'whole-wheat' properties after hydration


I might gve it a try and, if successful, will report back


Thanks again,


copyu

Franko's picture
Franko

Hmmm, what a beauty David.


Absolutely perfect crumb for my taste, and nicely gelatinized to boot. No wonder it's a hit, just from appearances alone, but I can also tell there's a lot of flavour going on as well from the way the crust gradually colours into the actual crumb. That's good baking IMO, and a great loaf. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your notes.


Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

arlo's picture
arlo

Mmmm, when I return back home this week this loaf is on the agenda!


By the way, do you special order your flour directly from Central Milling? Since I have heard you mention Central Milling and this type 85 flour a few times, I think this morning when my rep arrives at the bakery I will ask what he has to offer when it comes to Central Milling and see what goodies I can get my hands on!


It is Snyder approved afterall!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Arlo.


My brother picked up the flour at the CM warehouse for me. Since he drives by Petaluma pretty often on the way from SF to his north coast get-away, I hope I can use him as my "distributor" in the future. 


Their web site lists a vast array of flours and grains. Unfortunately, they don't describe their specialty flours or provide specs online. Hmmmm ... I may have to plan a visit myself.


Nicky Guisto recommended their Type 85 flour as closest to the flour that Lionel Poilâne used for his Miche. Frankly, I like the one I made better than how I recall Poilâne's bread from the taste I had of it in Paris. That was quite a while back though, and I'm planning to do a bakery tour of Paris this Spring. In all fairness, Poilâne deserves a second chance, don't you agree?


David

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey David!


 


Great miche! This has to be the formula to test the high extraction flour with that I found after turning this city upside down (Amsterdam).


 


Usually it's very difficult here to find out what sort of flour you're dealing with; they just don't put any info on the label other than "flour".... yeah, I knew THAT...


 


Every disadvantage has it's advantage though; after trying all sorts of flour, I found that the one on the lowest shelf in my supermarket around the corner yields the most reliable results at.... 69 cents per 2 kilograms :-)


 


But this one is a no brainer; 85% "bise-flour", and from what I read on the net and on this site, it must be the "strong stuff" I was looking for.


 


Can't wait to get started on this miche with the high extraction flour! I succesfully revived a rye sourdough starter after a long sleep in the fridge.


 


One question I hope you can help me with: I usually make stiff starters, and this formula asks for a liquid starter. How much of the stiff starter would I use in this formula?


 


Greetz from Amsterdam!


 


Freerk


 


P.S. Whilst managing my profile and bookmarks, I realized that about 50% of my "favorites" come straight from your pages and comments. I guess a big THANK YOU! is appropriate! And, just out of curiosity; your last name suggests a Dutch heritage, is that the case?


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It sounds like your flour is just perfect Let us know how it turns out for you.


To convert a firm starter to liquid, just feed it a couple times like this:


Flour 100%


Water 100%


Starter 40%


Percents are baker's %.


The family name is of German origin linguistically, although my grandfather immigrated to the US from Russia. We don't have any Dutch connections, to my knowledge.


David

freerk's picture
freerk

My rye starter is roaring and all ready to go after a few days of refreshing. I'm going to feed it into a more liquid state. Can't wait to try this miche formula!

To be continued :-)

Freerk

freerk's picture
freerk

The Dutch miche :-)


 


So here it is: I haven't tasted it yet (still cooling) but once again too impatient to wait, so here is an impression of the crust;


Not as dark a crust as yours... but I still think it looks pretty. Can't wait to taste it...


 


I'll post some crumb pics later :-)


 


Thanks for this formula! I literally had my miche "oven-springing" into the grill in the top of my oven. Usually the second to the top slide has my preference, but for this high riser, I need to put it in the middle... I LIKE THAT :-))))


 


Freerk

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

From the photo, I'd say I'd prefer the crust somewhere between yours and mine.


Looking forward to seeing your crumb and hearing how you like the flavor of your bread.


David

freerk's picture
freerk

Great taste! I love the thickness of the crust. "Juicy" bite. Decent crumb, but a bit uneven, due to a work schedule interfering with my bread baking ;-)


 


Freerk


Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi David, Freerk,


I don't think I can get type 85 flour locally but can get it online. It is from Flour Bin. They give this information: 



FARINE de BLÉ TYPE 85 (de MEULE)

A traditional very pale brown, stone ground bread flour with a lovely taste. Use about 10% less water than normal because it is still a fairly soft and comparatively low gluten flour. Best made by hand, although it can be done in a machine with practice.

I haven't tried it yet but it sounds lovely.

Regarding 85 "bise-flour": My French is rusty and I thought at first this was 'kiss flour'! Then realised it meant 'grey-brown' flour, presumably because of the bran content. Have read elsewhere that type 80 can be called 'bise; or 'bis'. Hope it makes lovely bread.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

freerk's picture
freerk

Hey Daisy,

The Bise-flour is stone milled very slowly to prevent overheating of the grain/flour in the process. That way a lot of the flour's strength is preserved, as well as it's nutricients. The entire wheat germ is milled.
At the end of this process 85% of the kernel is used in the flour. The remainders are sifted out (mostly wheat germ)
The flour is indeed greyish in appearance.

Can't wait to see the result! More to follow!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Perfect in every way David! The scoring shows a well trained hand. The luster of the crumb speaks flavor as Franko suggests above. Well done!


I've been searching for a local source for Central Milling products since I started looking at Tartine. Nicky says he will ship me 50# bags but the freight is $50 so I'm still looking.


Would you make a suggestion on how we can approximate the high extraction flour? I have seen combination's of WW and AP that seem to get in the ball park. Perhaps sifting the WW to remove the rough component? Getting the flour right has a lot to do with a successful miche.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've seen so many different AP:WW ratios for approximating high-extraction flours, I just don't know what to recommend. 


I provided information regarding the original SFBI formula, and will clarify if needed. I can say (and Glenn can substantiate) that the SFBI formula produces a spectacular bread. They just used some WW flour to feed the levain, but then added toasted wheat germ to the final dough. I may try this bread again with added toasted wheat germ, even using the Type 85 flour.


My best suggestion is for you to visit Petaluma with an empty suitcase. The nearest airport is Santa Rosa. Plan B might be to call Nicky Giusto and find out if they have a distributor in the mid-west. My local market that carries bulk flours says they will order me a bag (50#) of whatever their distributor carries. Since this is just added to their own order, there is no shipping charge to me. It's still a lot of flour, and, if it has wheat germ in it, it should be frozen or refrigerated if not consumed within a reasonable time.


Good luck!


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Very nice loaf.  And thanks for posting this formula (finally!).  Now I can thaw and eat the last piece of your SFBI miche.


One question, though.  If the formula calls for bread flour plus a bit of germ, how similar is your version with 100% Type 85?  I'd think your version would have a lot more germ and bran.


I have had great success with Central Milling's flours.  I like the Organic Type 85, and the Organic Artisan Baker's Craft (the flour Acme uses for baguettes, as I understand it).


As to sources for Central Milling Flour out of the Bay Area, I have not heard of any.  I did hear that Nicky will now sell 5 pound bags of most things if you call ahead and pick up (I know that doesn't help much for people who are distant).


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Comparing the SFBI miche with the one I made with Type 85 flour: The flavor is very similar. My loaf had a less open crumb. This is probably due to the increased bran in the high-extraction flour. I could offset this somewhat by increasing hydration a bit.


Either way, the bread is going to be wonderful. Both Susan and I really love the flavor of the breads I've made with CM Type 85 flour though.


We need to figure out just how I'm going to get my next delivery, and I'd like to try that other CM flour you're recommending. 


David

ml's picture
ml

Hi,

I live in Idaho & was able to order CM flour direct from the company. I ordered 4  5#bags, but could've ordered more, or less. They are very nice & helpful.

Margie

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Hi David,


I noticed that the % of water in the final dough of your miche formula is 68%.  Was the % of water also the same in the original recipe from SFBI since it had bread flour?  I am thinking that type 85 flour absorbs a bit more water than bread flour.


Carl

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The formula, including hydration, is unchanged from the SFBI original. I am sure you are correct regarding the Type 85 absorbing more water. BTW, what SFBI calls "Bread flour" is equivalent to KAF AP in protein content.


David

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

If Whole Foods Stores 365 Organic Flour is from Central Milling maybe Whole Foods sells a high extraction flour too or could order it. WF is about an hour from us in Ohio which is a lot closer than CA.


Has anyone used the 365 Organic that I think sells for $3.50/5lb.


Also, what about KAF's First Clear Flour, isn't that a high extraction and can it be used in this recipe?


Your loaf is gorgeous David!


weavershouse

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Yes. My understanding is that WFM 365 AP and Organic AP flours are from Central Milling, at least in CA. However, I don't know which of their several AP flours is sold by WFM under their 365 brand.


KAF First Clear is milled by a different process than high-extraction flours. It has a distinctive flavor. I like it, but it's not the same. I have used in many times to make miches, and liked them. So, "You pays your money, and you takes your choice."


David

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi David,


That is one splendid looking miche. Many thanks for sharing this. Daisy_A

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

wally's picture
wally

the whole thing looks perfect, David!  I think you've nailed this very traditional bread.  I'd be interested in the results of a really large loaf - I understand they can stay fresh for quite a long time.


Larry

RikkiMama's picture
RikkiMama

Beautiful loaf, David!  This one was one of my favorites from SFBI's Specialty Bread weekend workshop. 


I was wondering about your thoughts on this bread compared to the other miches you've made.  Do you prefer any of the other miches over this one?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Do you prefer any of the other miches over this one?



Nope. The one in Hamelman's bread would be runner up. When I get around to making with with this flour, it may re-take the lead.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I wonder how Heartland Mill's Golden Buffalo would work out with your formula.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I bought a 10 lb bag of GB 2 or 3 years ago. I baked several miches with it and did not especially like the flavor. I much prefer CM's Type 85. Others who baked with GB liked it though, so you have to judge for yourself. 


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

We have a whole foods not to far from here...I will have to check out their flours!


The crumb looks so delicious!  Thanks for sharing the nicely written formula!


Sylvia

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful, David! Lovely miche!Do you think it may use some extra final fermentation time? The crumb could be more open i presume. I've seen Giovanni, a TFL member, bake miches to perfection, and i believe you aremore than capable of doing so. It may be the final tightening of the boule that squeezed the larger bubbles out?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Excellent questions!


Giovanni's miches are magnificent, indeed! I really should attempt one of his formulas.


I bulk fermented longer than the formula specified, because my kitchen was cool. Maybe I could have gone a bit longer. On the other hand, the complete aeration seen in the crumb suggests adequate fermentation to me. Do you think otherwise? I think mine was proofed about right. It had very good oven spring. I would have like a bit more bloom. Your point about the "final tightening of the boule. Is interesting. The instructions were to shape a "tight boule," and I did so. However, I shaped gently, too, so I don't think I changed the crumb structure too much. I think it is more a reflection of the flour used and the hydration level. I'm not unhappy with it, but I am curious about how it would turn out with slightly higher hydration - say 75%.


David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,


there are aspects of this bread that your post justifiably mark out at the highest quality.


I agree with your assessment of the crumb.   The close-up says it all; a more open crumb is not the goal here for me.


The dark crust with cracks, must surely yield tremendous flavour.


Gorgeous bread from clearly supreme flour.


To me, the most difficult aspect of fermentation of these types of breads, especially the very large loaves, is the lower core of the loaf.   So long as that is well leavened and not tight or "doughy", then the fermentation is good.


Great bread


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For your kind words and your helpful pointers,


When I first started baking sourdough breads, my crumb was typically "tight or doughy." At the time, I was following PR's instructions for timing of both mixing and fermentation religiously. At first, I was sure the problem was under-mixing, and I started really going for the window pane, even if it required mixing twice as long as Reinhart specified. That helped somewhat, but, of course, I was also learning how to "read" the dough at each stage.


In hindsight, I now believe my early problems were much more with fermentation than with mixing.


So, I especially appreciate your confirmation that my crumb is telling me about my judgement regarding fermentation. I have been thinking that a denser crumb near the bottom of the loaf was caused by shaping issues. I understand you to be saying that this also results from underfermentation. Would you like to share more thoughts about that particular defect? (Roles played by fermentation, shaping, proofing, other?)


David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

That is True, Andy! I think that this Miche is fermented all the way to the end, and the crumb structure, is that of a typical European style miche.


And yes, David, more hydration would be the key to a Giovanni-style Miche.


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David and Khalid,


The core at the base of the middle of the loaf is the most difficult part to reach in terms of oven spring.


You can see from my post of late that the dough was very well fermented, and the shaping was tight and smooth.


A wet dough will enable more spring, so I guess that is one reason why a lot of people have found success with this method.


However, I actually like some small amount of activity in the dough when I set it in the oven.   This will induce the right amount of spring required.   The dough should not be fermented to the limit of its life and beyond; over fermentation results in flavours in bread which I find unpleasant, and the keeping qualities are diabolical.


So, for the homebaker making miches, to me, the difficulties to overcome relate to using an oven which is lacking in power, cannot retain heat, and so will not manage to penetrate that difficult core and induce lift in a difficult to reach place.


If I'd baked the 2 leaven bread in my deck oven in College, with steam, the result would have been a more even crumb throughout the whole loaf.   By that, I mean big holes and random texture throughout, as seen in the photos.   As it was, the closer to the middle, the tighter the structure.   It was still pretty good, and a lovely loaf of bread, but a dough piece in excess of 1.5kg baked in a domestic oven does present certain challenges.


David, I'm sure you will have picked up on this from your time at SFBI: there really is no comparison between a domestic oven and the types used commercially.   No matter what measures are taken regarding use of masonry to store heat.   The difference in power is enormous!


I do hope that makes sense to you both, but I can clarify if you have further questions.   Khalid, if you want a reference point for my post, it's here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21684/rye-and-wheat-breads-january-2011-not-changing


Best wishes


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Overall, I've been quite happy with my home oven, but, as you say, it can't match the performance of the gas deck ovens we used at SFBI. We can only keep tweaking and do our best with what we have to work with.


I will be making this miche again and scaling it to 2 kg or 2.5 kg - especially now that you've thrown down the gauntlet! :-)


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Remember to use the velvet gauntlet.


I will try this formula soon.  I also plan to get more of CM's Type 85, and ask Nicky about its possible distribution beyond the Bay Area.


Glenn

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you Andy.

varda's picture
varda

David,   Can you comment about taste differences between the one you made here and at school?   It seems that you prefer this one but I'm wondering what are the major differences.   Thanks.  -Varda

varda's picture
varda

David,   Can you comment about taste differences between the one you made here and at school?   It seems that you prefer this one but I'm wondering what are the major differences.   Thanks.  -Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I really can't comment on the flavor differences. They are subtle. Also, it's been a while since I tasted the original formula, and I haven't made it at home yet.


I don't think you can go wrong either way.


David

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