The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Miche and more …

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

Miche and more …

Saturday

What better reason to bake than catching up with family and friends for lunch. On a hot humid Saturday we drove down to Nat’s parents for a lunch with old family friends from her childhood. In our possession was our contribution to lunch … bread. A bread based on Gérard Rubaud’s formula for Pain au Levain.

It’s a bread at 75% Hydration with 15% of the total flour in a stiff 50% hydration starter. Gérard uses a flour mixture of 70% AP flour, 18% fresh milled wheat, 9% fresh milled spelt and 3% fresh milled rye for both the starter and final dough.

Much has been written about Gérard Rubaud so I will not delve into this further. I will say this though … I love this bread! His story has been an ongoing inspiration for me.


Gérard Rubaud Pain au Levain

I made two of the Pain au Levains at one kilogram each. I left one with our landlord and the other travelled with us to lunch. The friends we met (one of whom is Sicilian) reside in a northern Queensland town with a large Italian community. He was eager to try the bread and soon our conversation turned to pizza and woodfired ovens. His son has a small business running a pizza oven on a trailer at local events … we had lots to talk about and the lunch was lazy, delicious and full of laughter. The bread was very well received. Sorry no crumb shot as the bread disappeared fast.

Sunday

Today I woke early to beat the heat and humidity we have been experiencing. The bake was to be nothing new ... 3 grain country bread with two starters ... Consistency was the aim. The night before I spent milling, sifting and preparing starters. Also on a happy note, I have sourced some rye grains that are performing well compared to the previous batch.

I doubled my usual formula as I was making two x 1kg batards and a 2kg miche.

Slap and folding 4kgs of dough was lively start to my day. The dough came together smoothly and with a little help from some icebricks and a cooler bag I was able to control the temperature through bulk ferment while watching it like a hawk.

I proved the miche for 1 hour 45 mins while the batards went straight into the fridge to wait patiently…

The miche was baked first … slightly underproved … damn.

The batards came next … very pleased. Lovely gringe and a dramatic look … happy.

I sliced open the miche in the afternoon and was greeted with plenty of flavour and aroma that will only improve as the days go on.

The evening is around us now and a quiet night waits. The oven is cool and I need a rest.

All the best,
Phil

 

 

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

Slap & folding 4kg of dough in a hot, humid morining deserves another of my respect, and that's on top of another set of beautifully crafted loaves!

I've been baking Gerard Rubaud-ish bread ever since I read MC's original blog and the subsequent blogs by Shiao-Ping here on TFL, and it's defienitely one of my favourites, too.   I usually use Shiao-Ping's improvised method of mixing all three flours to feed the starter rather than the original method of building three separate sourdoughs.....because I'm lazy. :p  Is that how you make it, too?

 

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Lumos,

Nope, just a single build ... not that dedicated :)

About a year ago during summer I was manically following Gerards feeding and build methods (bar the 5 hour feeds) including using salt ... I liked salting the starter ... works a treat in summer.

I have relaxed somewhat ... mmm ... uh huh, sure, says Nat as she looks at the mill, sieves, containers of grains ... oh, and this blog :)

All the best, Phil

ananda's picture
ananda

Great story Phil,

Love the breads; the batatrds are something special indeed

All good wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Andy,

It has been a really nice weekend ...

Cheers, Phil

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Fine photography, too.

David

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks David,

Your a bit of a pro at the miches :)

Miches of this size are a new occurence for us ... I have always been a bit dubious about how well they would bake in our home oven ... I gave the oven a really solid preheat and baked it with steam with the oven turned off (unable to turn fan off ) for the first 10 mins (last time I did a miche I baked it under a stainless steel bowl). I am well pleased with the result. The oven spring really surprised me ... I had lowered my expectations a little because of the size of it. We had some of the miche toasted (nice big slice) for breakfast ... crust is just right and the crumb lightly chewy as you would expect with the amount of high extraction flour in it. A stronger flavour of wheat this time, maybe the mass effect of a decent amount of dough during bulk ferment.

All the best, Phil

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Great looking loaves Phil.  Your post makes me nostalgic for speedy summer fermentation!

Marcus

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Marcus,

Speedy is the word :) though Sunday was a bit milder thank goodness.

I am lucky that the house we are in is breezy (no air-con) with cooler temperatures in the basement. I find it easier to manage/regulate temperatures in cool conditions. Even with this bake the dough temperature was not quite where I wanted it at the autolyse point (too warm) and it's harder to shift the temperatures in larger masses of dough ... all worked in the end and the proof was nice and quick :)

Cheers, Phil

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Phil,
These breads are stunning - and I love your version of Mr. Rubaud's bread.
:^) from breadsong

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks breadsong,

Gerard's formula was our daily bread for quite some time ... I fell in love with the flour combination and the process of getting to know one formula inside and out.

Have you seen this slideshow at the BurlingtonFreePress about Gerard and his recovery from the stroke?

Cheers, Phil

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Phil,
Thanks for your note - I'm going to reply by PM.
:^) from breadsong