The Fresh Loaf

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Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg


 


One of the breads we baked at the SFBI Artisan II Workshop last month was a miche. Everyone thought it was one of the best breads we baked. I made it at home for the first time two weeks ago, but used “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour from Central Milling rather than the mix of white and whole wheat with the addition of toasted wheat germ we had used at SFBI. (See This miche is a hit!)


This bread was delicious, but I did want to make it at least once using the formula we had used at the SFBI, just to see how it turned out at home compared to baked in a commercial steam injected deck oven. Certainly the several TFL members who have baked this miche in their home ovens since I posted the formula have found it to be good. Also, at the SFBI, we had found that miches scaled at 2.5 to 3 kg somehow had an even better flavor than those scaled at 1.25 kg. So, today I baked a 2 kg miche using the original SFBI Artisan II formula.


For those who would like to make this larger version, here is the formula for a 2 kg miche:


 


Total Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

96.67

1087

WW Flour

3.33

38

Water

73.33

824

Salt

2

23

Wheat germ toasted

2.5

28

Total

177.83

2000

 

Pre-ferment

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

75

112

WW Flour

25

38

Water

100

150

Salt

0

0

Liquid starter

50

75

Total

250

375

 

Final Dough

Bakers %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

100

975

Water

69

675

Salt

2

23

Wheat germ toasted

2.5

28

Levain

31

299

Total

204.5

2000

The procedure used was the same as in my previous blog entry about this bread with one exception – shooting for a slightly lighter crust, I baked with steam for 20 minutes at 450ºF, then turned the oven to convection bake at 425ºF for another 40 minutes. I did not leave the miche in the turned off oven to dry out before removing it to the cooling rack. I did leave it in the oven while I heated the oven back up to 460ºF conventional bake for the next loaves (about 5 minutes).

I was concerned about over-proofing this loaf, and it was lined up ahead of a couple San Joaquin Sourdough breads waiting to bake.

Miche after baking 20 minutes with steam at 450ºF

The blowout I got suggests the loaf was a bit under-proofed. I also shaped the boule really tight, which may well have been a second factor.

The miche sang loud and long while cooling. The crust had some crackles, but not like the last miche.

Crust crackles

Loaf profile, cut through the middle

Crumb

Crumb close-up

2 kg miche beside 514 g San Joaquin Sourdough bâtards

The crust was crunchy-chewy - much thinner than the last bake. It was much less caramelized, and this was apparent in the less wonderful crunch and flavor. The crumb was nice. It was quite noticeably denser in the center of the loaf. I think this is expectable with a miche of this size. I thought the crumb structure was pretty consistent from the center of a slice to the crust.

6 hours after baking: The aroma of the crumb had a pronounced whole wheat grassiness. The crumb was moderately chewy. From past experience, I expect it to be softer tomorrow. The flavor was good - mildly sour with a nice wheaty flavor - but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the miche made with Central Milling's "Type 85" flour. I think the flavor would have been better had I used fresh-milled whole wheat. That's what I will do the next time I bake this miche.

24 hours after baking: The aroma and flavor have mellowed and melded. The grassy aroma is gone. It just smells like a good sourdough country bread. The flavor is now delightful - very complex - nuttier and sweeter. A very thin smear of unsalted butter makes this bread ambrosial.

I froze half the miche. The other half will be croutons for onion soup gratiné tonight, breakfast toast with almond butter and crostini with ribollita for dinner tomorrow. (The ribollitta was my wife's all-morning project.) That should leave another quarter loaf for sandwiches, panini, French toast ... 

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

Comments

LindyD's picture
LindyD

That's both stunning and amazing, David. 


Looks like your cooling rack is bending from the weight!


I imagine the crumb will be as lovely as the miche.


Sure puts my piddly little 500 gram boules to shame.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The miche really feels heavy and dense. I didn't take a photo of it on the peel, but the oven spring was incredible. I was afraid it was going to hit the upper heating elements in the oven!


I'm curious about the crumb. I've had breads with great oven spring but, still, quite dense crumb. We'll see soon.


David

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi David,


Regardless of the blowout it's a fine looking loaf. The good thing about splits is they seldom have any impact on flavour.


  From what I've experienced with typical domestic ovens there seems to be a weight threshold for breads that produces less reliable results once you go over it. I'm not saying it's not possible, just that I don't believe most of our home ovens were ever designed with the idea that we'd be baking 2k+ loaves in them. It's probably something that can be solved somehow, but I've yet to find either the right oven or combination of work-arounds that deliver consistent bakes for these big loaves. Maybe it's time to start thinking about a WFO, I know I am.


Franko

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've been pretty successful with my home oven baking loaves up to 4.5 lbs. Most have been higher hydration miches with a lower profile than this one. I wouldn't attempt a larger specimen of this bread in my oven, just because I don't have the headroom.


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Nice looking loaf, David.  I look forward to seeing the crumb shot and your tasting notes.  


My miche (half CM Type 85 and half CM white flour, plus toasted germ) is retarding.  The dough is very slack and full of bubbles.  


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I actually preferred the even darker baked miche from last time. It looked almost charred, but the flavor of the crust was delightful. Now, I did use different flour las time, but next time I'm going to not omit the extra cooling/drying time in the oven.


Looking forward to seeing your miche. It sounds like it's going to be a winner.


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Success!  I'll post more detail on my blog, but here's a preview:


IMG_2079


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,


excellent effort in the challenge you set for yourself.


The crumb is great, especially for a home oven and a loaf this size.   Yep, the loaf will be a tad under-proofed, but I agree with Franko on this, and the effect is minimised thanks to your always excellent cutting.


You obviously know your home oven very well, and how to get the best from it.   I suspect you can get more out of it than mine can produce.   Having looked inside it and realised that all heat to the oven is conducted along piddly little wires just a few mm thick, I'm more wary of overheating it.   I've had my oven go into shutdown, just before, and even during baking....what a snore that is!


Just posted on baking these sort of breads in College on the sole of a proper deck oven.   You can find it here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21867/boules-made-gilchesters-flours-and-different-preferments


I am sure your assessment of flour choice demonstrates wisdom on your part


All good wishes


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think we lucked out on our choice of ovens, made before I was baking bread. 


I saw your latest College bakes. Lovely boules!


I never reported on it, but, when we baked the miches at SFBI, I noticed that Frank left them in the deck oven with the door open for at least 30 minutes after the bake and before unloading. I think this was a major factor in the crust quality we got. I did this at home for the last bake but not for this one - a big mistake, I think. 


Do you ever do this?


David

ananda's picture
ananda

That would be great for some of the breads I make David.


All I have are the 3 deck ovens you see in the photos...and I work my students hard across a range of bread and confectionery items.


All good wishes


Andy

Dave323's picture
Dave323

David, 


I was wondering about your comment of leaving loaves in the oven with the door open after they are baked. My oven’s bottom rack is covered with quarry tile. Do you think your trick would work in such a setup, or would the tile hold so much heat the loaves would burn? I am always in search of a way to get very crisp crust. 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Dave323.


I don't see why this should be a problem, if your bottom crust is not too dark from the bake. At least it's never been a problem for me using a baking stone.


David

Dave323's picture
Dave323

Thanks for the advice. I think I'll give it a try this week.


 


Keep on baking!


 


Dave323

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Another nice one, David. Love those crumb shots.


I get blowouts from time to time, too, and while I understand that ambient temp largely dictates ideal proof time, I still don't have a reliable way to assess when the bulk proof is complete. (The poke test is OK as an indicator of the completion or otherwise of the final proof, but I rarely use it because I like to retard overnight after the BP and bake straight out of the fridge next day...chilled dough responds sluggishly to being poked, whether it's properly proofed or not).


I don't find the windowpane test very helpful. I have found that more often than not my dough doesn't pass this test, even though the BP period appears complete due to the state of the dough, and this is borne out by the final outcome...most of the time when I assess the BP as finished the loaf works out well, without blowouts or other signs that the proof periods are not ideal.


I've stopped doing the windowpane test, preferring to assess the dough by its feel and appearance, but I still get it wrong sometimes when there has been a change in recent average ambient temp.


Do you, David, or anyone else, have some clear, reliable pointers on how to tell that the BP is complete?


Cheers!
Ross

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Generally, I bulk ferment in a glass container. I can see the bubbles forming in the dough as it ferments, and I use this to judge completeness of the fermentation. I find the poke test helpful for judging bulk fermentation, although I asked my instructor at SFBI about this, and he said it's not reliable as it is for final proof.


The pros at SFBI sort of pat the fermented dough and seem to judge bulk fermentation by how it feels. (This is with much larger dough masses than we make at home, of course.) I haven't done this, but you are prompting me to incorporate that into my routine and see if it helps.


One other point: When someone asked our SFBI instructor about how long to wait before baking a loaf that had been retarded, he said that smaller loaves can be baked right out of the retarder (50ºF), but larger loaves like miches should be allowed to warm up for an hour or more at room temperature before baking. This makes sense to me, as it would take a lot longer for the center of a large loaf to be impacted by the oven heat. If it started out cold, it might be under-baked when the crust is fully baked.


I do find the window pane test useful, but when I'm using stretch and folds I rely more on how elastic and extensible the dough feels. I think this is measuring the same thing.


David

RikkiMama's picture
RikkiMama

Now that you mentioned it, I recall Frank opening the deck oven doors after the miches were done, but not unloading them right away during our Specialty Breads workshop. He took care of unloading the breads while we were busy working on the other breads (7 breads in two days was a lot to do).  So that piece of information didn't completely register.  Going to have to make a note on my copy of the formula so I'll remember to do that for my next attempt at the miche.


Also, thanks for providing the information on how long after retarding does one need to wait before baking.  We did so much over those two days, I didn't remember whether or not we baked the miches right after they were taken out of the retarder.  That's another note to add to my copy.

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Sorry David - meant to get back before now.


Thanks for your comments in response to my bulk proof query. I do pretty well what you do, except for using a glass container. Guess it's all about dough feel and getting it right every time. I'm still not quite there!


Interesting and doubtless sensible tip from the SFBI instructor on allowing larger loaves to warm an hour after a fridge retardation. I generally stick to 1kg loaves, but have that tip noted for future reference.


On loaf sizes, I've been suspecting that the flavour might be enhanced with larger loaves, and therefore seized on your observations re this. Which leads me to another question...


How do you find freezing affects your bread? I've always been very reluctant to freeze mine for fear of detracting from the quality, but with very large loaves there is probably not much choice in the case of two-person households. Do you find your frozen bread as good as fresh, or do you mostly use it for toasting?


Cheers!
Ross

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have not found any bread that is improved by freezing. That said, I think breads that are made with higher hydration doughs and some enriched doughs are better than lean breads made with low-hydration doughs.


That's my impression. YMMV.


I would expect this miche to be very good after freezing. In fact, I cut it in quarters and froze 2 quarters. Anticipating the next question, I double wrap bread in heavy duty plastic wrap and place it in a food-safe sealable plastic bag before freezing.


David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello David, I gave your formula a try. I experienced the same as you; the loaf I thought was verging on overproofed acted like it was underproofed while baking (right hand loaf)!


We love everything about this bread...the crust, the crumb (light, moist, so flavorful).
Thanks so much for sharing this formula!
from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

More gorgeous scoring on your boules.


I am glad you are enjoying this bread. I think it's amazingly delicious.


David

breadsong's picture
breadsong

for sharing this formula here on TFL. This is one of my most favorite breads ever. :^)
Glad you liked the scoring (thanks). The diamond scoring did provide a flatter loaf profile; it was interesting to see the difference.
from breadsong

LeeYong's picture
LeeYong

Hi David!


Beautiful looking miche! When you refer your starter to liquid starter - is it 100% hydration? Thanks!


Happy baking!


LeeYong

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This miche makes delicious garlic-rubbed croutons. 



French Onion Soup with croutons brushed with olive oil and rubbed with garlic



Ribollita with crouton stealthed



Ribollita - second bowl with crouton exposed


David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

to post those tempting French onion soup and Ribollita photos - comfort food in this endless snowing... I just came back from Mexico (no great bread, but good tortillas) from balmy t-shirt weather back to freeeeezing temperatures and snow shoveling.


I never made such a big loaf, not because of my oven's capacity, but I'm afraid it dries out too fast, if cut in quarters. Back in Germany I sometimes used to buy a quarter of such a large miche (it was wonderful bread), but with those two cut sides it dried out faster than we could eat it (I didn't want to lose the crustiness in a plastic bag).


I often freeze half of my cooled down loaves, wrapped in plastic foil and then in a ziploc bag. I don't find the taste altered, but those thawed loaves do dry out faster, too.


Karin

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm confident you are capable of producing your own comfort foods.


We don't have your snow issues, but we always look forward to weather that's cold enough for soups like these ... You know, like today, in the mid-50's. Brrrrrrr


As I said, there's no bread I know that's improved by freezing, but breads like this miche are quite good when thawed at room temperature. I have found that breads with a wonderful, thick, crunchy crust never are as good after freezing, especially the crust, for sure. I've not tried sprinkling the crust with water, re-heating wrapped in foil, then letting them dry at room temperature. I've seen this recommended and should give it a try.


David

Brotfan's picture
Brotfan

that I had to bake my own 2kg Miche. I followed your procedure but added some whole wheat and spelt flour. It's delicious - and very impressive. We're avid bread eaters (being German) but I will have to freeze some of it. Thanks David for getting me back into Miche-baking!


Kirsten




dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I love your scoring.


David

loydb's picture
loydb

A few days ago this became the first successful bake in my new oven. I still haven't found my camera from the move, sadly. 

I milled a bunch (but not enough, ended up having to add 3/4 cup of KA bread flour) of hard red wheat, then sifted it through a #30 seive, which gives me 85% extraction. I toasted 3 oz of the bran/germ that I sifted out and added it as per your notes -- I like the flavor it added, a nice nuttiness. I used my KA NE sourdough starter to make the levain. Because my mixing bowl is in a box (probably with the camera) I hand kneaded it. The initial proof was at 78 degrees for 9 hours, then into the fridge overnight. The next day I let it warm up for 3 hours @ 78, shaped it, stuck it in a banneton and let it proof for 5 hours (still at 78), then back into the fridge overnight. Three hours of warmup the next morning, then baked!

Great flavor, and my wife is really happy to have "real" bread back in the house, thanks for the recipe.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David