The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Jumbo Miche

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Jumbo Miche

I have always been taken by the photos of European bakery's that produce large loaves of bread. The Polain Miche is the shining example of bread for the week. After all of the beautiful posts of miche breads here recently, I let my inner drive get the best of me and decided to make as large a bread as I could manage on my stone. I made a mix consisting of about 7% rye and 93% bread flour. The levain contained 10% dark rye and the balance was fresh ground whole rye. I also added some toasted wheat germ. I basically followed David's Miche post except I used rye instead of whole wheat.


The 2300 gram dough was too large for my sfbi large linen basket so I proofed the rather slack dough in a large plastic steep sided bowl with a couche linen cloth lining the bowl. The dough nearly filled the bowl when starting the proof time and it turns out my couche cloth could have been larger. I let the dough proof for just over 1 hour after a 3 hour ferment time that produces a nice aerated and active dough.


I have been happy with my results shaping these higher hydration doughs recently. I dumped the dough out onto a floured counter and pull the dough edges up around the circumference to the center. Much like making a kaiser roll. Then I roll the ball over and let it rest for 20 minutes or so covered with a large bowl. After resting, I leave the ball on the seamed side and tighten by pushing it around the un-floured counter top and drawing the skin ever tighter in the process. Finally, I dust the top of the ball with my rice flour and AP combination, pick up the ball and place it, inverted in the banetton (in this case, my jury rigged bowl). Proofing was done in the microwave following boiling a cup of water to warm it up. It was Zero last night with 40 mph winds so the kitchen was a little cooler than I would have liked for proofing.


The oven was turned on at 500f when the proofing started. I knew this wasn't going to be fully proofed due to the size of the dough in the bowl. After an hour, I inverted the dough onto a sheet of parchment dusted with corn meal and I'm amazed at how well it stood up. Had it pancaked, I would of not been able to keep it on the paper.


Forgive me for attempting to score with breadsong's wonderful looking Miche in mind. Hers is so beautiful I had to try my hand. Trust me it's not as easy as it looks or rather as easy as breadsong makes it look. I ham fistedly made some cuts that (as my artist wife pointed out) were too deep. Lol I'll learn for next time.


Baked for 20 minutes at 450F then another 35 minutes at 430F, I gave it the anti alien treatment (foil cover) for the last 12 minutes when I rotated the browning boule. It sang loud and clear as it cracked and popped during cooling. This is a large loaf of bread. My family is wondering what I was thinking. Cheese Fondue is on the menu this evening.


The flavor has a mild tang but was not retarded. The rye helps bring out the acids that deliver those flavors. Moderately aerated, the cells are nicely gelatinous. A chewy mouth feel and nice aroma from the bold bake can be tasted. I do think the flavor would have benefited from an overnight cold fermenting. So then, here it is. My Jumbo Miche.



It's hard to get a sense of scale here. Note the bread is as wide as the sheet pan.



My stalks of grain look like redwoods lol.



A slice off the end reveals a nicely aerated crumb.

Comments

arlo's picture
arlo

Nicely done handling that much dough!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Arlo.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Wow, that's one big beauty! I find when the dough gets too big for my hands, especially if it's slack, I have trouble flipping it upside down and drop into the proofing basket. Awkward since I can't hold the thing in one hand, do you notice the same thing? Beautiful scoring!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I found that if I get the dough well developed and final shaping is effective, I can pick it up with a plastic scraper and my hands. It stays together pretty well.


Eric

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Another lovely loaf. I have been traveling and won't be able to do a miche until next week. All the miche are killng me!


Soon my turn will come!


Great loaf, Eric
Jay

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This is a fun loaf to do I must say. I'll be watching for yours.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Do we need a new TFL category? Perhaps "Sport-Baking?"


Very impressive loaf, Eric. It looks very good as well as largish.


I'd like to hear your assessment of the flavor of that miche compared to the smaller one you made and of how the flavor develops over the next few days.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It is a big loaf. After 3 people snacking at it today, it still takes two hands to move it around the board, lol. It doesn't have the depth of flavor that the one I made with WW from your first Miche post had. This was 5.7 Lbs after cooling and the largest bread I've made. The aroma and flavor are good but not like the original. Must be the rye switch. I'll let you know if it gets better with maturity.


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but I can't see the loaf for the trees!  What a beautiful loaf! 


Rich color, even crumb and it sung too!  Are you freezing any?  Whopper toast!  


Been following the news of y'all getting a real blizzard!  Stay warm and cozy.   My favorite part of winter is getting snowed in and everyone helping each other get dug out!  Don't forget to shovel off the roof! 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Mini,


A slice cut in half, sticks out of the big toaster we have. I made my favorite low brow lunch today ( peanut butter toast and hot coco) and enjoyed the experience. I felt like I was rushed when scoring. I kept expecting it to sag and pancake all over my parchment, making an easy job a panic.


We really got blasted by the storm. I think they said we got over 24 inches of snow in 36 hours and winds of 40-60 mph at the end. The roof is clean however. Wish I could say the same for the drive. Got plenty of firewood:>)


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What ever you did, I like it!  :)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Ok ladies. It's nice of you to say sweet things about my ham fisted scoring. That's part of the process of spreading encouraging energy. It isn't too bad for a mistake lol.


Breadsong, when you did your scoring, were you just scratching the surface when you drew those fine lines? I usually score a little deeper so the crumb has a place to expand to but it isn't an artistic effort really. It's more a functional cut. My dough was probably a little under proofed which exaggerated the stalks into tree trunks.


Eric

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Eric,

When scoring my loaf, I recalled louie brown's beautiful! scoring for his Olive Bread, and Franko's observation regarding louie's "delicate...touch with the knife":
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21325/silverton039s-olive-bread

I tried to keep this in mind, and score the 'grass' on my loaf very gently; 'scratch the surface' would be a good way to describe it.

I scored the four lines for the 'box' first, and scored deeper, hoping this would provide the expansion room the loaf would need.


I unwrapped a new double-edged razor blade, and (very carefully!!! - the blades are super sharp) held the blade and gently scored the 'grass'.  (Next time I try that, though, I may wrap the end of the blade in masking tape for a safer surface to hold on to!) I thought I might have better control of how deep I was scoring holding the blade directly in my hand, and I wanted a straight blade to score these blades of grass (my lame's blade has a curve). The new, sharp blade cut cleanly with no dragging or pulling on the dough (what a relief!).

:^) from breadsong


 



 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Pardon the double entendre, couldn't help myself. :>)


Thank you breadsong for your description of the process. When the blade is sharp it seems to be so much easier to be gentle in application. You obviously skilled at the patience needed to create the fine lines. Very nice. Also the deeper box at the base does give the expanding dough some where to expand to. Good planning on your part. This is a work in progress for me. Thanks again for explaining.


Eric

wally's picture
wally

That's an impressive miche, Eric!  Five pounds of dough, wow; that will take a lot of fondues to consume.  The crumb you have is very open and a testament to your handling and shaping abilities.


It amazes me to consider is that traditional miches weighted as much as 10 - 12 lbs.  That's some arduous hand mixing, and you have to wonder whether they were shaped so much as plopped down into a basket and allowed to proof.


Nice job...now get busy eating!


Larry

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The videos I have seen of 10 Lb Miches and up are indeed impressive, I agree. The stories they tell about how well they remain good to eat are equally impressive. I don't know if they use baskets for that size loaf. I'm going to be on the hunt for a larger basket myself. something that will handle a 5 pounder. This size will make a great hunting cabin loaf for my buddies that are sportsmen.


Eric

Syd's picture
Syd

It stands up so nice and high: proud and round like a freshly laid free-range egg yolk. Lovely crumb, too.


regards,


Syd

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Syd.


 


Eric

Franko's picture
Franko

That's a great loaf of bread Eric in every sense of the word! With a crumb as nice as that it's going to soak up a lot cheese fondue I reckon, so I hope you made plenty.


You know what I've noticed about these big 2k or larger loaves when I've made them, and tell me if you've seen the same thing, for some reason they don't seem to last proportionally all that much longer than a loaf half the size. Somehow it doesn't seem right to cut a thin slice off of one these big breads, so maybe that's the culprit.


You've made a gorgeous loaf Eric, nice baking my friend!


Franko

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Nice color, nice shape.  Looks great altogether.


Some time when I'm expecting a crowd, I'll try a monster miche, too.


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Eric,
What a joy to see this loaf - the loaf looks so tall, it appears the wheat stalks are growing straight up!
I think your scoring is beautiful, and I love the color of that crust.
Thank you so much for all the nice things you said about my miche and I think yours looks wonderful.
:^)  from breadsong

hanseata's picture
hanseata

it's more free form fantasy and less geometical.


So, what is next - a 3 kg loaf?


Karin

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Free form indeed. No I'm afraid this is about all I can do with my little oven. I'm thinking about a Miche I saw once (but can't find now) of a little braided feature that came around the top of the loaf for decoration. I think it may have been a twisted rope thing that was added before baking.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


What you described sounds like the highly decorated loaf Joe Ortiz baked on one of Julia Child's programs. How about this?


http://vsx.onstreammedia.com/vsx/JuliaChild/search/search?pageSize=3&query75=Public&query_field75=clabel_Access&query_op75=must_contain&query_field2=c...


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hi David,


That's not exactly what I remember but along those lines. Thanks for posting that as my memory is faint on this.


I meant to ask you if they used a large proofing basket at sfbi or if you have one at home for the 5 Lb loaves?


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


I have all 3 sizes of the bannetons that SFBI sells. The largest is rated for up to 4 lbs, but I am confident it could handle 5 lbs, since there was still plenty of room for expansion after my 2 kg miche was fully proofed.


At SFBI, we used the middle-sized banneton, but the students were scaling our miches to 1500 gms, I think. 


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I was thinking that my baskets were 12 inches with out actually measuring. In preparing my reply, I thought I better measure so as not to waste your time. I discovered that my baskets are 10 inches inside diameter. So, I can order the 12 inch baskets and be in good shape. Once the linen gets "seasoned" with flour they work like a charm.


Thanks David.


Oh, by the way, the flavor today has settled down and become more mellow and nutty. I think I like the WW version better. I also like the harder bake and how the crust smells.


Eric

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

to join the light(-er) side sometimes! It's fantastic, Eric.