The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finally time to uncloak

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dschal's picture
dschal

Finally time to uncloak

Hello from Western Massachusetts.  I am finally joining the forum after lurking for months and benefitting from the vast wealth of information from, and experience of, the members here.  Thank you so much for making this such a useful site!

I've been baking bread since last December.  It all started innocently enough.  I just wanted to bake something better than the breads that are available locally.  Then the obsession gripped me....  I kept stopping at KA Flour in Norwich on my frequent trips to New Hampshire.  My wife gave me an DLX/Assistent mixer for my birthday.  You know the rest.

I've settled on several of the breads in Hamelman"s book, especially the Vt. Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, as our daily breads.  I have worked these out quite well at this point.  But of course, it can't stop there.  So I am venturing into the deeper waters of higher hydration doughs.  Today I baked my first successful Miche, from dmsnyder's formula "Miche from SFBI Artisn II -2kg."  It just came out of the oven, and I am going to wait 24 hours to slice it, but it looks pretty good to me.  It's one big honking loaf.

Thanks again for providing this wonderful community!

Dave

evonlim's picture
evonlim

hello Dave, what a beautiful miche for a newbie. welcome look forward for a crumb shot!!

evon

dschal's picture
dschal

Thanks Evon!  I'm giving away this loaf, but I'll try to take a crumb shot and post it when I get back from the weekend.  I will be interested to see it too!

Dave

evonlim's picture
evonlim

of course, i will wait !!

evon

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Once in, never out. Glad to see that you've switched the cloaking mechanism to "off". Beautiful miche but now you owe us a crumb shot and a taste description...,

Wild-Yeast

dschal's picture
dschal

I will post the crumb shots when I get back home, but I am very pleased.  I should say that the taste is wonderful, but also more sour than I had expected.  One deviation I made in the formula was that I converted a firm starter into a liquid starter to make up the levain build.  This was because my firm starter had been the one most recently refreshed and was ready to go.  So perhaps the assertive sour is due to that, as well as the 24 hour cooling period, with the loaf wrapped in linen, before slicing.  Next time I will try beginning with my 100% usual starter, and see what difference that makes in the taste.

Dave

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

For what it's worth, I find very little, if any difference in acid levels between liquid and firm starters.  In fact, I find it easier to get lower acidity from a firm starter because it ferments a little more slowly than a liquid one.  If you would like to reduce acid, try slowing fermentation, in the starter and/or in the bulk fermentation.  

For the starter, you could try using a young starter- that means taking some from your culture before it has completed a full fermentation cycle.  For instance, feed it enough to last 24 hours at room temp before needing another feed, but then take out the seed for your levain after 12-18 hours.  The starter should be rising but not yet peaked.  Let your culture finish its fermentation and fully mature before feeding it.   

For the bulk fermentation, get less fermentation and acid by shortening the time and/or lowering the temp.  Doubling in volume is a nice place to start- allowing it to go longer will produce more acid.

I'm also in Western MA, nice to hear there are more bread hobbyists around our neck of the woods! 

dschal's picture
dschal

Thanks FlourChild!  Interestingly, on second tasting, the miche was not so sour.  I sliced it into quarters, then wrapped each quarter in plastic wrap and gave them away.  When I had some that evening there was much less sour.  I just baked a couple of loaves of VT Sourdough with Increased whole Grain, and I think I'm done until the heat wave breaks.  The next time I try the miche I am going to add a bit of whole grain, and a touch more water, but basically try to repeat what I did.

Stay cool,

Dave

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It all does start so innocently, doesn't it?  The next thing you know, you're lusting for a steam injected oven and obsessing over the optimum number of laminations for croissants.

The cool thing is that you get to make a bunch of wonderful breads (like this one!) that you might never see in your local stores, or quail at the price if you did find one.

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

like that I would say you are hooked no matter What the crumb looks like.  Very well done, welcome and happy baking.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

What a fine looking miche!  KAF makes a tasty one, too, sold at their WHQ bakery.  

dschal's picture
dschal

Thank you for all your nice comments.  I know we will never have a steam injected oven in our small kitchen, but we have plenty of room in the yard for a WFO!  Just kidding.  A man's got to know his limitations.  Probably the same goes for laminated pastries.  I managed to get out of King Arthur today with only 20 pounds of flour.  Unfortunately they did not offer the miche at the bakery today; if only I'd stopped in on Friday....  But my frequent flier KA card got me $10 off, and a free cup of coffee!  I took a long look at a 50lb bag of Artisan Flour, but not this time.  The 5 lb bags are much easier to store, and in all the humidity we have this summer, it doesn't make sense to bulk up.

Sorry for the rudimentary crumb shot, but I wasn't home and was rushed.

Thanks again,

Dave