My version of DMSnyder's version of SFBI miche with toasted wheatgerm
This boule version of DMSnyder's handsome miche is scaled down to 1kg, and I've altered the formula a little, hopefully while remaining fairly true to the spirit of the original.
The reasons for the mods are: I wanted a slightly more open crumb so increased the hydration a little; I do not have high-extraction flour; I wanted to include the toasted wheatgerm that was part of the SFBI formula; I prefer a less jaw-challenging, lighter browned crust. Heh heh - come to think about it, maybe the spirit of the original had flown by the time I made these mods! Anyway, using my usual biodynamic organic flours, I proceeded as follows:
435gm baker's flour
15gm wholewheat flour
325gm filtered water
14gm toasted wheatgerm
186 gm levain (100% hydration; 15% whole wheat/85% white flour)
Roughly mix all ingredients but salt and autolyse 40 mins. Cut salt into dough with dough scraper, transfer dough to oiled plastic oblong container, stretch and fold, then again every 30 mins for first hour, then bulk proof 1 more hour (total BP = 2 hours).
(Note: My BP was short because ambient temp was 27C/81F+. Extend BP if lower room temp.)
Preshape, rest 15 mins, shape, and transfer to fridge for overnight retarding period (final proof). Bake straight out of fridge next day after scoring.
15 mins with steam @ 225C/440F on pizza stone preheated in oven (turned to max for 45 mins)
18 mins @ 215C/420F
15 mins @ 200C/390F
Cool on rack for 2 hours before eating.
Looking at the pics, obviously my version was way inferior aesthetically. I never have managed to achieve the lovely even spread with the criss cross slash pattern that David's pic shows to such pleasing effect. Doubly difficult, I think, when making small bloues, and when the ambient temps are high - possibly my loaf was slightly overproofed, despite the vastly reduced proofing periods. The flavour of both crust and crumb was terrific, however. The crust, while clearly much lighter than David's, was nevertheless still full of caramelised character, and the crumb was open, spongy and had a nice cold mouthfeel. The wheatgerm added a nutty flavour note that was subtle but discernible. I always like to assess fresh bread with a thin spread of butter, and this one passed the taste test with distinction. All in all, a gorgeous bread. Thanks David!