The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Miche Point a Calliere from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread"

Franko's picture
Franko

Miche Point a Calliere from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread"

 

Late in 2010 I posted on a bake of James MacGuire's Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere from Jefferey Hamelman's "Bread" *here* This is a bread I've been meaning to do a re-bake of for some time now, but for one reason or another hadn't gotten around to it until yesterday. Varda's recent post of her lovely high hydration Miche *here*, and that my flour stock includes some Central Milling Organic Type 85 Malted high extraction flour gave me the inspiration to finally have another go at this wonderful bread. The CM high extraction flour came to me because of breadsong's generosity in sharing some of what she picked up last year while in the Bay Area. Thanks again breadsong!

A miche size loaf isn't a terribly practical bread for me to make considering I'm the only one in our house other than our dog who eats wheat, and anything over a 1.2K loaf size is more than I can reasonably eat over a 7-10 day period. Practical or not, I decided to make it in the size it was intended to be and give enough away to friends and relatives that none of it would be wasted. Now that I've had a chance to taste it I'm seriously reconsidering that strategy. 

Having made this bread previously with good results I didn't see any reason to alter any of the formula percentages or procedures other than a minor change to the initial oven setting of 440F by increasing it to 460F in order to compensate for the temperature recovery time of a domestic oven ( or at least our particular oven) with a large dough like this. The dough was scaled to yield 2K, which by the time it went for bulk proofing was just around 70 grams less than that due to waste from stickage. At 82 % hydration this is indeed a sticky one at first, but it does become quite manageable after it's 1st of 3 stretch and folds, and as the author mentions, liberal dusting flour is needed during this part of the procedure. By the time it was ready for final molding the dough was soft and supple but with enough strength to easily shape it into a boule for it's final rise in a floured banneton. Because I'd managed to keep the DDT, bulk and final fermentation temps within 1 degree +/- of the recommended 76F, the final proof was almost bang on at the prescribed 2 hours, always a good sign.

The last time I baked this bread I used Sylvia's wet towel method for steaming, but this time I was concerned that too much steam with this very soft dough might hinder good crust development. The dough was quite a bit slacker than I recall the previous one being, and after a brief debate with myself I decided I'd be better off just spraying the oven before and after loading and let the moisture of the dough do the rest. Whether my thinking was entirely correct on this or not I can't say for sure, since the loaf did in the end develop a satisfactory crust, however I do think it's time I invested in a second stone to put in the rack above the loaf for more even top heat.

The low profile shape of the loaf is fairly close to the one pictured in "Bread", but the crumb doesn't have the "large interior air holes" Hamelman refers to in his side notes, at least I haven't encountered any yet. The crumb is moist and chewy with a pleasantly mild wheat flavour and just a trace of sour at this point. I'd be quite happy with the flavour if it remained the way it is, but I know from the last loaf that it will become stronger over the next few days, which is fine with me as well so long as it remains fairly moist.

A very tasty lunch today of home made country pate, sharp cheddar, pickles, with Maui onion mustard and thick slices of the miche.

Cheers,

Franko

Comments

Syd's picture
Syd

That's a beauty Franko!  Haven't had time to fully read your post as I am off to work right now, but I have to tell you the scoring and the crumb on that loaf look excellent. Enjoy!

Best,

Syd

Franko's picture
Franko

Many thanks Syd!

Always a pleasure to hear from you. 

Cheers,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

Franko,   And what a perfect complement to your delicious lunch.   Homemade country pate indeed.   I just read over Hamelman's formula and instructions.   Just his usual short mix and a couple stretch and folds.  Interesting.   -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

First of all thank you for your compliments on the loaf and as well for inspiring me to finally do a second bake of the miche. The pate is just my baby steps into the craft of charcuterie, but the learning curve has been fairly easy compared to that of baking...so far. The bread itself is just a basic country style loaf but with a high hydration, very much like your own miche. Have you noticed the flavours intensifying since you baked yours?

Best Wishes,

Franko

varda's picture
varda

Hi Franko,   I'm not sure about flavor intensifying.   There were a few wheat eating people around and so it disappeared quickly.   But I have a question for you.   Since I worked so hard with developing the dough with a long mix and three stretch and folds, I was taken aback by the fact you got such fabulous dough development following Hamelman's instructions.    The biggest difference other than flour is that I used a 100% starter.    It seems that mine would have been soup had I just done a short mix and a few stretch and folds.   Any thoughts on this?  -Varda 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Varda,

I had to go back and have a look at your formula and procedure to see what I could figure out. The formula looks fine but the mixing times and duration between S&F's seems pretty long. Now I did mix initially for about twice as long(5 minutes) than JH's procedure because my little Bosch Compact wont develop a dough as quickly as a commercial mixer, which JH"s procedure is based on, but to the point that it was "quite loose" as he describes. Even at that point I felt it needed a few minutes of slap & fold to build a bit of strength in it. Until I did the 1st S&F at 40 minutes the dough was almost pourable, maybe like the "loose ball" you describe in your post, but just barely. By the next S&F the dough was what I'd call a workable dough, still slack but easy to stretch out and have a windowpane. Do you recall what your DDT and BF temps were during the mix, as this has lot to do with how well the dough develops? I think with a wet dough like this it's a matter of coaxing the dough in the right direction and then allowing nature to do the majority of development with the right environmental conditions in place.

Franko

varda's picture
varda

Hi Franko,  Thanks so much for the detailed answer.   I have had some awful failures with high hydration dough and even with not so high, where I didn't get good dough development, so perhaps I've gone too far to the other extreme with mixing.   It's good to see the alternative.    As for temperatures,  dough was probably more or less at room temp (around 72F) as I didn't take any special steps to warm it.  I wasn't aware that affected development, just thought it would take longer to ferment as it gets colder.   -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Nice bake Franco!  Your crust looks pretty good to me.  

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks for both your comments Ian, much appreciated.

The crust turned out better than expected considering the size of the loaf and baking it in a domestic oven. This is bread meant to be baked in a proper deck oven or WFO with lots of bottom and top heat, but our Kenmore did a reasonable job of it I think. The crust has a bit of shattering and a good chew, so I can't ask for too much more than that.

All the best,

Franko

isand66's picture
isand66

Great scoring as well.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Then I realized it's that the bread is 16".

Amazing.

Beautiful loaf and, even at that size, a respectable crumb.

What are the dimensions? I'm curious. Also, is that a huge "miche" banneton in the background? If so, I need to buy one of those.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks for bringing this up Thomas, since I did take measurements but forgot to include them in the post. The loaf is just shy of 11" in diameter and 4" high at the peak. The peel is 12" across, but a 1/2" on either side is beveled down, so just 11" of flat surface. Pushing the limits a bit on this one but it worked out OK in the end. The big banneton is I think the largest one they had for sale at TMB and I use it for all size doughs. With almost 2K of dough in it there was still room to spare, so it's a handy piece of kit to have.

Thanks for your comments,

Franko

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Oh my!  Franko, that is a great looking miche.  This is one I’ve had my eye on for ages, but just don’t feel like I would do it justice without the high-extraction flour.  Based on this I’m thinking it may be time to invest in some!

Interesting take on steaming – it makes a lot of sense and sure looks like it worked out well.  Crust and crumb both look terrific.  This looks like the kind loaf that would disappear in a hurry, even if it is just you and the pup!

Marcus

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Marcus, 

Good to hear from as always and thanks so much for your comments! If you can pick up some high-X locally or without having to pay an arm and leg for shipping then absolutely, but if not, your favourite WW flour and a little sifting should get you a decent approximation. The first loaf I baked was done without true high- X and it tasted fine. The Central Milling flour used in this one is a winter wheat-12.5-13% protein, unbleached,organic WW with wheat germ and bran middlings. I don't know what %'s those are to the flour, but the flour looks like a white WW...if that's of any help. The bread is being consumed rather quickly, and with no help from the little beast so far. :^)

Thanks Marcus,

Franko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Your miche looks beautifully scored and has an all around evenly browned crust!   Most of all I love the crumb!  You have picked a very remarkable slice from the center of the miche!  

A spritz of water and considering the moisture coming from a miche that size,  looks like you had plenty of steam in your oven. 

I can only imagine the delicious flavor's you enjoyed with your lovely plaited meal.  Sounds like you'll be freezing some next time 

pity the neighbors : )  If they were to venture a trip to CA they could always offer to bring back some CM flour in exchange :)

Sylvia

      

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Sylvia,

You know, I'm so used to using your steaming method for most of my breads I just automatically set the whole thing going about 30 minutes before baking. As soon as I made the first cut though I realized I needed to rethink the steaming since the dough was so soft. By the time I'd removed the pan from the oven and turned off the micro that was heating the towel, the first cut had opened up much more than I would have liked. At that point I didn't put a lot of effort into the slashing, trying to do it as quickly as possible and get it in the oven. Your's and others comments about the scoring is really nice to hear considering what a rush job it was. Thanks so much for your very kind comments on the loaf Sylvia!

All the best,

Franko

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

with size being one!  It must must go well with a fine homemade pate for lunch.    Pate and bread were made for each other.

Bake On Franko  

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks dabrownman,

The pate has similar spicing in it to a Tourtiere, a traditional dish of Quebec, recipe here in case your not familiar with the dish. The Miche Point-a- Calliere is from La Belle Provence as well, so a natural match in my view. Your comments are much appreciated d-man, thanks!

Franko

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for the pate recipe.  I was going to ask for it but  was too timid.  The other day my wife was asking 'what are you going to do with ham, liver, eggs, herbs ......and I told her I was going to make pate in the classic French way like Jacques Pepin would do.   She said she wouldn't eat it because of the cholesterol, fat etc.  Sad really, but way more for moi - No?  Nice to pair the bread with the pate.  Now for the wine and beer.....

Thanks again. 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I love miches, both for the fun of making them and for their eating quality. We don't have a dog - wheat eating or otherwise - and my wife enjoys bread but doesn't eat a lot. I slice miches in quarters, keep one quarter to eat fresh and freeze the others, double wrapped in Freeze-Tite and placed in a food grade plastic bag.

It's not quite as good thawed, but pretty darn good. This bread freezes well.

David

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you David,

I agree, making a big loaf like these is fun. Why I find it more satisfying than making a smaller loaf I'm not exactly sure. Maybe it has to do with making something that's the size of a small hubcap, and delicious as well that does it for me. All I know is that I enjoyed this bake more than others in recent memory.

If I can avoid freezing a lean bread I will, in fact I'd rather give it to someone who'll appreciate it while it's at it's best than go with freezing. It does loose some flavour, but for me it's more about how freezing effects the crumb texture than anything else. I was given a good bagger/sealer this Christmas, and it does help, but not enough to fully preserve that fresh texture I enjoy so much.

Always a pleasure David,

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko :^)
I'm so glad you liked using the CM flour for Mr. MacGuire's miche - your bake is lovely!
The crumb shot, where you've cut the wedge from the loaf, is a real beauty.
It's always such a pleasure to see your bread, and charcuterie.
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi breadsong :^)

I've had that CM High-X flour earmarked for the Point-a Calliere since the day it arrived in the mail from you, I just wish I'd gotten around to using it sooner. It's a lovely flour to work with, and even with the high hydration of Mr. MacGuire's miche it handles like a dream once it's had a fold. I might just have to make a road-trip this summer and pay a visit to CM and pick up some more for the both of us. Very pleased that you like the loaf, and happy that I had a chance to use this flour, thanks to you.

Gratefully,

Franko

lumos's picture
lumos

Beautiful miche, Franko.  I have tried the same formula from Hamelman's some time ago, but I had to use the mix of WW and bread flour because I didn't have high extraction flour and also I scaled it down a lot, so that I can bake it in my regular Pyrex, which was only about 700g dough.  It tasted good but I suppose baking it in the intended size makes a difference in the flavour.  I must try it one day as I just found out I could get high extraction flour from a mill not too far away from me......  Did you find this one tasted better than the smaller one you baked before?

Does you dog get to eat your bread?  Hope he knows he's the luckiest dog in the world! :D

 

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you Lumos!

I can't say that this loaf tasted "better" than the smaller loaf I made before, just different, a bit milder perhaps. The previous loaf used Red Fife 75% sifted, blended with a small portion of WW to try and simulate a high-x flour, so the grist is more of a factor I believe than dough size regarding that bake . The Red Fife I've been using has a slightly stronger wheat flavour than the Central Milling High-X, and with different handling characteristics than CM's because of the higher protein content. It's a little thirstier as well, something I've learned over time to take into account when I'm using it my own or someone elses formula. The diameter of this loaf across the base was roughly 11"/28cm with the height being around 4"/10cm. With a wide, relatively flat profile dough like that, I would think the dough is going to bake much more evenly, assuming the hydration is high enough, to allow for better overall flavour, but just my best guess at this point. Looking forward to seeing your own bake of the miche from locally sourced flour.  

Our Wire-Haired Dachshund Morgen doesn't get bread too often, but now and again she and I will have lunch together. A small piece of bread, a slice of cheese or meat and she's a happy pooch. Unfortunately she's well into her middle ages now, and like many of us, enjoys a little afternoon siesta in the easy chair after a meal.

Best Wishes,

Franko

isand66's picture
isand66

Looks like she may have enjoyed a few sips of your wine as well!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Very Nice Miche, Franko! good thinking of you to place a stone on top to simulate a brick oven, the crust looks lovely, and crumb too.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Khalid!

I'm hoping that a top stone will help with a more even bake. If I remember correctly...didn't you do the same thing with your oven? I'd be interested to hear your impressions if that's the case.

All the best,

Franko

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Lovely looking miche, and I can just imagine how well it went down with those simple, quality accompaniments. Nothing better than that sort of lunch.

Cheers!
Ross

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Ross! 

The low profile of the bread isn't the best shape for making closed sandwiches but it's great for this type of plate. Sounds like you had a nice vacation, good to see you back.

Cheers,

Franko 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Oh my goodness, I really love the crumb! You certainly made another exclusive bread! 

Thank you for sharing ,Franko!!

Akiko

Franko's picture
Franko

Thank you Akiko!

Franko

louie brown's picture
louie brown

I do the same as David, cut the loaf in quarters and freeze three of them. It's just my wife and me. Our dog would certainly love some miche, but he's ill, so just us two customers. Nice work. I love the pate as well. I'm sure I'd be comfortable having lunch at your table.

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks Louie!

I did eventually send a good size piece of the loaf to some of my wife's colleagues, and at the rate it's being consumed I don't think I'll need to consider freezing it. A pleasure to hear from you as always, but sorry to hear your pooch isn't feeling well.

Franko

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Beautiful!

I like miches, too. Seems like they have better flavor and keeping properties than smaller loaves. Like David I divide mine and freeze (wrapped) with good results. 

Bravo!
Jay 

Franko's picture
Franko

Many thanks Jay!

The loaf is holding it's moisture quite well on day 5 and I'm quite happy with the keeping qualities so far. As I noted in my reply to Lumos, I think the low shape has something to do with more even flavour distribution, but just a theory.

Best Wishes,

Franko

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

and a super-cute daschund!  I think your scoring is beautiful, was surprised to hear you were having issues.  I've never baked a miche, as it takes us 3-4 days to work through a little 1 lb boule, but you all just about have me convinced :)  Should be easy to find a family or two to share with.

Is the flavor evolving after a few days?

Julie

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Julie,

Yes, Morgen is pretty cute alright and still has a lot of 'puppy' in her even at 11 years.

Thanks about the scoring! I think if I had pulled it from the proofer any later than I did I would have had some serious issues with it, but it worked out OK in the end. The flavour of this one isn't changing as much as the previous bake that used Red Fife in the grist, still the flavour is very good.

Franko

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Beautiful miche franko,

Morgen is super cute!! There is something really satisfying baking a loaf of bread that size. Sounds like you had some great flour to use. Very Inspiring.

Cheers,
Phil 

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Phil and thanks so much!

Can't remember baking a loaf this large at home in the past, but it's had me going through my books recently looking for more large loaves or appropriate recipes to use for another bake of this type. The flour is superb, no two ways about it, putting it high on my re-supply list. 

Best wishes,

Franko

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I did do that a couple of times. I often forget the significance this setup has on hearth loaves. I have to have a reminder.

THanks!