The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Eugenio Pol - Micca di Montagna review and comparison

JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

Eugenio Pol - Micca di Montagna review and comparison

Da un pò di tempo volevo provare il pane di Eugenio Pol di cui ho più volte sentito parlare bene: usa farine biologiche macinate a pietra (Molino Sobrino), acqua di montagna, lievito madre ... chimico di studi, lascia Milano per la montagna.

It's a while I want to try the bread baked by Eugenio Pol, a baker I had some good feedback around: he uses organic stone grounded flour (Molino Sobrino), mountain water, sourdough ... he studied chemistry, he left Milano for the mountain.

Dato che non si trova troppo distante (circa 120km) avevo anche programmato di andare a vedere sul posto, Eugenio vive e lavora a Fobello (Valsesia) ed il suo laboratorio si chiama Vulaiga (http://www.fobello.com/public/vulaiga.htm). Avevo lasciato un messaggio in segreteria ... ma non ho ricevuto risposta. Quindi per non fare un viaggio a vuoto ho cercato qualcuno a Milano che importa il suo pane. L'ho trovato.

Since he is not so far (about 120km) I planned a trip to get a look in place, Eugenio lives and works in Fobello (Valsesia) and his lab is named Vulaiga (http://www.fobello.com/public/vulaiga.htm). I left a message to the answering machine ... but I didn't receive a reply. So, to avoid a trip with no assurance to get the bread, I searched for someone that import Eugenio's bread in Milano. I found him.

Tempo una settimana ed il mio ordine è arrivato. Ho preso la bici e sono andato a ritirare la mia pagnotta. Ho scelto la micca più "semplice" e vicina ai mie gusti, la miglior base da sottoporre ad analisi: la Micca di Montagna. Caricata la pagnotta (da 2 kg) nel mio zaino questo è quanto ho portato a casa:

In a week my order arrived. I ride my bike and I went to take my miche. I chose the "simplest" miche close to my taste, a good base for a tasting test: Mountain Miche. With the miche in my bag (2kg) this is what I brought back home:

Mountain Miche - Ingredients: type"2" wheat flour, type"2" farro flour, type"2" monococcum wheat flour (all stone grounded), extra vergin olive oil, pure water, sea salt, no added yeast, fermented only with mother dough.

Ecco le mie (strettamente personali) osservazioni, i gusti sono soggettivi. La micca aveva almeno un giorno, la crosta aveva perso la croccantezza, ma ciò non importa. La mollica morbida, ma poco umida e troppo "panosa", senza elasticità residua  setosità e lucentezza, alveoli piccoli ben distribuiti, colore tipico con una leggera tonalità grigia. L'aroma in linea con la media dei pani a lievitazione naturale ... purtroppo ho ancora memoria dell'aroma provato in un panificio a Lione. Al gusto emerge la "dolcezza" del farro, nessuna acidità sufficientemente esplicita, la crosta ben caramellizzata. Prezzo (2011 a Milano): 12 €/kg.

Here my (strictly personal) observations, each one has its taste preferences. The miche was at least one day old, so the crust lost its crispiness, but that's not so important. The crumb is soft, but too dry, not yielding silky and translucent, well distributed small alveolage, typic color with a light tone of gray. The Aroma is aligned with the average of other sourdough bread ... unfortunately still the memories of the bread I taste in Lyon. The taste, I feel the "sweetness" from farro, no explicit acidity, the crust is well caramelized. Price (2011 in Milano): 12 €/kg.

Il tutto a confronto con il mio ultimo Paesano (il sacco è finito) su cui ho sperimentato un differente processo, una criptica sintesi: farina 100% buratto, idratazione finale 73%, lievito naturale al 70% di idratazione (salato allo 0.5%), puntata 3h a 27-28°C (circa sino al raddoppio), impastamento durante la prima ora in 4 fasi con maggior sviluppo del glutine, formatura più strutturata, appretto a 4°C per 20h, cottura con vapore come al solito.

And this compared with my last Paesano (the bag is empty) with a different process, a criptical synthesis: 100% buratto flour, 73% final hydration, 70% hydration sourdough (salted at 0.5%), 3h bulk rise at 27-28°C (almost double), mixed in the first hour in 4 phases with more gluten development, more structured shaping, proof 20h at 4°C, baked as usual with steam.

Ad anche qui ecco le mie (strettamente personali) osservazioni. La mollica è umida, morbida ma elastica e setosa, alveoli medi ben distribuiti, color crema. Aroma tipico. Al gusto dolce nella mollica con finale leggermente acidulo (lattico), crosta caramellosa e liquorosa. Difetto di formatura! Prezzo (2011): 2.5-3 €/kg.

And also here my (strictly personal) observations. The crumb is moistly, soft but yielding and silk, medium sized well distributed aleolage, cream color. Typical aroma. The taste, sweet crumb with final aftertaste lightly sour (lactic), crust caramelized and liqueurs. Shaping defect! Price (2011): 2.5-3 €/kg.

Qui un tentativo (mal riuscito) di confronto tra due mezze fette.

A (not so good) tentative of comparison between two half slices.

Comments

varda's picture
varda

So do I understand that the picture of the person walking along with the basket is Eugenio Pol?  What a great picture.   I wonder how much your lack of enthusiasm for his bread had to do with how old it was by the time you got it.   Too bad Mr. Pol didn't get back to you.   I enjoyed your post and photos.   -Varda

JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

So do I understand that the picture of the person walking along with the basket is Eugenio Pol?

Yes, he is. Lovely picture!

I wonder how much your lack of enthusiasm for his bread had to do with how old it was by the time you got it.

I think this is not related to the age of the loaf. It's a characteristic of the bread achieved through the process (the type of flour, the fermentation, ecc.). I didn't what to say this is bad, these are just MY subjective opinions and I would love to see more and more bakers like Pol in Italy. I know people that like the profile of Pol's miche but I like my sourdough very moistly and when I got this, it is so even after two or three days at room temperature (sure less and less over the time but you can feel this). I remember a miche in Lyon that had this moistness for over a week.

Sometime I have the sensation (should I say I'm convinced) that people is not alway ready (maybe they lost over the time) to some of the characteristics of my favorite sourdough country miche:

  1. Acidity. I mean the good one, you know. I use to compare this to the one you get from a white yoghurt with a little addition of sugar. Lots of people lost this.
  2. Bold bake. This is really important, it completes and balance the taste profile of the bread. To many times I've to reply - it's not burn, it well caramelized, damn!
  3. Moistness. Even in this case people are used to the dry cottony crumb of nowadays bread.
Giovanni
pmccool's picture
pmccool

I would eat your bread any day!  Well put.

Paul

louie brown's picture
louie brown

And again a chance to pick up some Italian. Thanks, Joe.

I agree with your three characteristics. The bold bake is something that is too often overlooked.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I'am with paul.. Your Loaf looks more appealing, and cheaper :) Well done, Giovanni! You certainly have a charm when it comes to Miches..