The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole grain miche

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Regicollis's picture
Regicollis

Whole grain miche

I baked this miche using 25% sifted flour and 75% whole grain flour. I used 30% spelt, 65% wheat and 5% rye. The dydration was 66%.

First I mixed 25% of the dough (including a 100% sourdough starter made of half rye and half wheat) and let the dough proof for 12 hours. I then mixed the rest of the dough and kneaded the "old" dough into it. The dough was set to proof on the counter for 2 hours. I stretched and folded it every 30 minutes. After that the loaf was shaped and put in the fridge for 12 hours. Finally the loaf was proofed for four hours at room temperature before I scored and baked it.

The loaf was put in a 275 °C oven that was turned down to 220 °C and baked for 30 minutes. The first 10 minutes I had a pan with water in the bottom to give steam.

The bread tastes really great but I would love to get some tips on how to improve it.

There are two things I'm not satisfied with. Firstly the crumb is a little soggy in the middle. Can I improve the crumb by baking the loaf for a longer time?

Secondly the crumb is a little dense. I know this is a whole grain bread and I don't expect huge bubbles. I just wonder if I can somehow improve the crumb.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Regicollis,

From what I see in the crumbshot photograph, the loaf is significantly under-baked.   It would be useful if you posted the weight the dough piece was scaled at.   However, half an hour at 220*C is unlikely to be sufficient time for a loaf such as this, and not hot enough either...even though you set the bread in the oven at 275*C.

A loaf scaled near the kilo mark is going to take 40 -50 minutes to bake properly in a home oven.   Do you bake on a stone?   Do you generously pre-heat your oven before baking....I mean for around an hour here, not 15 minutes?   These techniques really help when baking this style of bread.

Because the crumb structure is so delicate from insufficient baking, it is almost impossible to achieve a lighter crumb.   If you concentrate on getting the baking right first, then you may achieve a lighter crumb.   If not, that can be addressed later; the correct oven profile is the first thing to get right.

Best wishes

Andy

Regicollis's picture
Regicollis

Thank you for the suggestions. I think you are right about the baking time being too short. I will try 40-45 minutes next time. I don't have a baking stone and I had preheated the oven to 275 for about half an hour. What temperature would you suggest I use?

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Regicollis,

Anything I write here would have to be for guidance only; different ovens perform in different ways...some better than others.

Pre-heating the oven is essential to build up some stored "solid" heat in your oven.   However an oven constructed from low-grade thin metal will hold little heat compared to one made with better quality materials.   Hence why I asked about the oven stone.   Frankly, the BEST piece of advice I can offer is that you buy an oven stone.   This measure alone will have the greatest impact on your baking!

So you can pre-heat for an age, but if your oven is flimsy, then you will lose too much heat when you open the door and set the bread.   Additionally, the loaf will burn on the surface, while remaining under-baked in the middle and on the bottom.   If you have a stone, then pre-heating your oven is bound to have significant impact.

I don't know if your oven is gas or electric, whether it uses a convection fan or not, or whether it is any good in terms of its baking power.   So I don't have much to go on.   And you still haven't told us how much your dough piece weighed.   I think I'll have to ask for more information before committing to further advice on oven profiles.

Best wishes

Andy

Regicollis's picture
Regicollis

I used 700g of flour so with a hydration of 66% and 2% salt the total weight must have been somewhere in the vicinity of 1176g.

My oven is a standard electrical stove oven with a convection fan. Whether it's any good I don't really know. I think it is on the cheap side of the ordinary price range. The thermostat goes to 250C with an extra option for 275C for the broiling programme. When I bake I turn the fan off during the first third of the time when I have a pan with boiling water in the oven. I turn the fan back on when I remove the pan.

I'm a little woried about baking for extended times at 'high' temperatures. I don't want my loaves to be scorched on the surface.

Everybody talks about how great an oven stone is. I gues I'll have to look out for a cheap one that will fit my budget.

ananda's picture
ananda

Minimum bake time of 45 minutes for that weight and style of bread.

Oven thermometers are very cheap and will help you determine the accuracy of your oven thermostat.

Try to think and read about baking in the oven.   It is not so simple as a thermostatic readpoint.

Andy

twcinnh's picture
twcinnh

"Everybody talks about how great an oven stone is. I gues I'll have to look out for a cheap one that will fit my budget."

There was a recent thread where people were discussing oven stones.  I use unglazed quarry tiles, about $1.00 each here in the US.  I use 6.

Regards,

Tom

 

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Crust looks much too pale . Not baked long enough is the right diagnosis. 

Bake in a sufficiently large dutch oven, which would be the best of all possible solutions or on a stone with a large clay cover.

I was also under the impresion, not having direct experience,  that one baked a miche at slightly lower temps for a longer time. No?

Paul

Paul

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi pjkobulnicky,

Yes, ordinarily a Miche would require longer baking at lower temperature.   This is because hydration is usually well in excess of 70%.   However, the one showcased here has a lower hydration, so it does not require the longer bake in that respect.   But it still needs to be baked longer/hotter than the profile used by the OP.   As stated, it's difficult to really know what's going on unless we know the wseight of the dough piece.

A Dutch Oven is a good idea too.

Best wishes

Andy

Mirko's picture
Mirko

Hi Regicollis,

here my Miche (based on Hamelmans Pointe a Calliere Miche):

85% Whole wheat flour(Rogers 100% whole wheat flour)

15% Bread flour

82% Hydration

baked for 55 min.(15 min. at 450 F° / 40 min. at 420°F)

930g / loaf

30 min is too short!

 

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nice looking miche Mirko!  Looks like something I would like to attempt.

John

Mirko's picture
Mirko

We like this bread, great taste and very long shelf life.

Hamelmans formula calls for high-extraction flour, I used

blend (85/15): whole wheat (Rogers WW flour) and bread flour.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

there are 2 other things that can help until you get one.  Put 2 of your thickest rimmed jelly roll pans togethert and overturn them in the oven and bake the bread on them by sliding the bread on them with a parchment covered peel.  No peel then use a thin cutting board or even ticker card board as a peel.  If you have a cast iron griddle or even a steel plate those too can be used for a heavy metal baking surface.  Once the bread is on the surface you can cloche it with SS mixing bowl or oven proof pot or DO bottom for the steaming portion too.  Getting a temperature probe, or instant read thermometer and baking the inside to 205 F also ensures the bread is well baked.

Happy  Baking