The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

After not baking bread for weeks – The Houston Miche

dabrownman's picture

After not baking bread for weeks – The Houston Miche

After not baking bread for weeks – The Houston Miche

This one is a big boy.  It went into the oven at 1,871 g and came out at 1,675 g losing 10.5% of its water weight as it baked.  It turned out with the 3 B’s but we won’t cut into it till Thursday or Friday to see if it is OSM.  We baked it to 208 F, 20 minutes under Mega Lava Steam at 450 F and 36 minutes at 425 F convection.

It smelled terrific as it baked.  This was one of our typical SFSD style breads with a 100% hydration levain made up of 8% pre-fermented flour, all of it whole grains, made up of 2% each rye, white and red Wheat plus oat – all home milled.  We got the levain going with 1% NMNF rye starter and 1% NMNF Wild and Forbidden Black Rice starter. It tripled in 8 hours after a single stage and had started to collapse.

We autolysed the dough flour, half Lafma AP and half KA bread flour at 66 % hydration for 1 hour with the 2% PH Sea Salt sprinkled on top with 2% water sprinkled over the salt.  The overall hydration ended up at 75% - wet but not crazy wet.

Once the salt was mixed in with a spoon and the levain added in and also mixed in with a spoon, we did 150 slap and folds to get everythong, (everything spelled in a sexier way), mixed and gluten development started in earnest.  After 20 minutes we did another 100 slap and folds. By then the dough was really starting to come together nicely.

Something we hardly ever make - Poblano Chili Rellenos

Then, on 30 minute intervals, we did 3 sets of Sleeping Ferret Folds and then put it into a plastic covered and oiled SS mixing bowl for a 13 hour bulk retard.  It really puffed itself up during its cold time out but since the gluten was strong it went up over the rim by and inch but didn’t spill over the side.  We thought this might happen so we oiled the plastic wrap so it didn’t stick – that’s one shout out to Lucy.

We eat grilled chicken of some kind twice week.  This was Baja spiced with lots of peppers and hot sauces

After sitting on the counter the next morning for an hour to warm up slightly, we did a pre-shape and final shape 10 minutes later before plopping it into our favorite rice floured basket that we never get to use because it so huge – but this one fit perfectly.  It went in seam side up.  I thought about doing a Chacon for a special occasion and it was a give to my brother and SIL in Houston but changed my mind at the last minute.

Turf and Surf Kabobs

We let it proof for 1 hour and 45 minutes, probably 15 minutes too long, before upending it onto parchment on a peel to slash it hopscotch style and get it slid onto the bottom stone.  It sort of stuck to the little used basket so it was somewhat mangled coming out.  It immediately deflated and flattened out, spreading before we could score it.


Smoked ribs, chicken and hot chicken Italian sausage

But it puffed itself right up in the oven again under steam so no harm no foul.  If the oven would have been at 500 F 15 minutes earlier it would have worked out to a 92.5% proof instead of a 97.5% one😊 The levain combo and dough was very fast at every step along the way.  Tomorrow, it’s off to Houston we go – yea!

Lots of Lucy Salads of course  the kitchen sink with Honeydew, carrot, cucumber, grape tomato, red pepper and Romaine

Parmesan, Kale and Romaine with the rest of fixin's

Kale, pepitas, grape tomato, cucumber, mushroom and panella 

It was just a lovely bread.  Not all that open but OSM for sure.  We got in ;at and rather than try to find a place to eat we just went o my brothers place cut the bread into quarters and  then smaller pieces with some summer salami, cheeses and olives and some fine wine and justd noshed away for a couple of hours chit chatting to catch up and getting to know their new rescue dog Daisy a Lab/ greyhound mix who is a sweetie they are training for a family in New York for Joshua Rescue.

My niece makes yeast poolish so she got some some bread to take home to her house.  It's been all about food, wine sand chit chat since we got here and both have been just great.  


not.a.crumb.left's picture

and I never should look at your posts when hungry!!!!

It is interesting what you say about the loss of weight during baking as I wanted to get a bit more consistent in 'delivering' loaves at certain weight consistently and I was intrigued how this relates to the actual dough weight before the final shaping....and then after baking...10% less after baking seems to be a good average to work with...

Happy eating!  :D Kat

isand66's picture

Can't wait to see the crumb shot.  I made a similar size bread last week for the Jewish New Year.  I'm sure this one is going to taste terrific.  The other food torture shots look amazing as always.

Have a good time in Houston 👩🏼‍🚀🚀🛰

kendalm's picture

croissants to compliment a challah (this was for Rosh Hashanah)


isand66's picture

Nuce job.  I'm sure your guests must have been happy 😊 

Skibum's picture

come and have dinner at your place sometime. Your food always look great!


Danni3ll3's picture

where you had gotten to! That is a beautiful loaf! Can’t wait to see the crumb on that monster!

alfanso's picture

Just come over to my place and cook.  I haven't had a House Boy in a few years now and miss it.

A lovely large beast of a bread!

dabrownman's picture

The crumb shots are up.  When you are in Phoenix you are all welcome to come over for whatever we are eating and don't forget about Cinco De Mayo next year.

We are enjoying Houston and only have a couple of days of rain to go - we like the rain being from the desert.... but 3 inches of rain yesterday was a bit too much!  Now it's off to HEB, one of my favorite places in the world for grocery shopping!

Happy baking 



Elsie_iu's picture

they are what I'd use to describe your food. There can't be anything that ramps up the flavor of food as much as smoke and spices! Btw, this is the amount of aromatics I put in the biryani with just 150 g raw basmati rice!

Your bread looks great and I'm sure you family enjoyed it!

dabrownman's picture

up pretty well.  Being raised in the Kansas City area where smoking meat is king and living in the Phoenix area for the past 30 odd years.  Your spice and aromatic mix for Biryani looks grand.  We love chicken biryani and b'stella!  It is nice to run into another recovering closet chef:-)  Glad you liked the bread and 

Happy baking Elsie!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just too hungry!  Supper time!   Everything looks soooo good!