Poilane bakery sells miches topped with decorative dough patterns. You can see an example of what I'm talking about here (in this case a thanksgiving turkey): http://www.poilane.com/rich_editor/images/DecoreTG.bmp
What I'm wondering is has anyone tried this or a similar technique at home? From what I can tell, the dough looks like it's been given some sort of wash to make it shiny. There is also a contrast between the rest of the loaf, which definitely looks like it's been dusted with flour. So this all leaves me with a few questions. Maybe you guys can help me pin down some answers.
1) What kind of dough is used for the decorative pattern? The poilane website says it's "made of leaven tamped with flour". Not too enlightening. I suppose "leaven" means that it does not contain salt (right?), but I'm not sure what "tamped with flour" means.
2) What kind of wash is used for the decorative pattern? Egg wash, melted butter, or something else?
3) How is the pattern attached to the rest of the loaf?
I plan on doing my own experiments, but was wondering if anyone out there might already have some insight.