The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oven Spring Possible with a Miche?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Oven Spring Possible with a Miche?

I don’t remember ever seeing a miche that exhibited oven spring. When I think of a super large bread, I think wide, spread out, and low - with a fairly dense crumb. 

To get a consensus of a multitude of well baked miche, copy this text (without the quotation marks)
“Site:thefreshloaf.com miche” and then paste it into the Google browser’s address bar. Once the page pulls up, click on the tab called IMAGES.

I would like to bake large (2000+ gram dough) breads to give to large groups of people. Are all heavy loaves destined to lack oven spring and moderately open crumb?

This is my favorite girl and my best attempt at a miche.
    

Thanks in Advance,
Danny

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I've been using my 3.2 qt cast iron combo cooker as a "crutch" somewhat, to prevent sideways spread, and coax the loaf to expand up more than out.

I use an 8" inner diameter or 9" inner diameter banneton, and match the loaf to either the 8" I.D. deep pot, or the 9" I.D. lid/skillet (measured at bottom-inside of the the pan, not the outer or upper edge). 

Biggest so far has been a 1630 g whole grain loaf, 88% hydration (bake #3 on my blog)  baked on the lid/skillet, and i think I got some upward rise, enough to expand the score lines.

If you look at the Poillane loaves, and others, such as the cover of Reinhart's BBA, and back inside fly of Beard on Bread, miches are not known as tall loaves anyway.

Another thing to keep in mind is bake-time, a big _and_ tall loaf is going to need to be cooked slower so the center bakes/gelatinizes and water cooks off before the crust gets too hard.  Like with a big turkey that's bigger in all three dimensions -- it takes longer for the heat to get to the center.

--

Pans to use in the future include the

Lodge 14" nominal pizza pan with shallow lip, 13.75" diameter at inside bottom.

Lodge 15" nominal skillet, which is 13.25" I.D. at the bottom.

Lodge 12" nominal skillet, which is 10" I.D. at the bottom.

I guess I need to buy more bannetons now. ;-)

--

Baking can be as bad as a fishing, or hunting, or ammo-reloading hobby.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Danny, that miche your favorite girl is displaying looks pretty fine to me.  Yes, the battle against gravity gets fierce when you venture into the 2 kg and above range more than below it.  But that's a fabulously risen loaf and I would not complain, especially if it has a respectable portion of whole grain.  I (and my neighbor/barter 'customers') am very satisfied with the loft we get with our weekly 2 kg 60% whole wheat miches. Your crumb there might be a bit tighter but I bet it's soft and (a telling attribute) hard to slice when freshly cooled even with the sharpest of bread knives (very collapsible).

You know all the tricks for an open crumb.  Just implement them and watch and feel the dough.  I'd be surprised to see a 2 kg miche with truly crystal honeycombed open crumb, but satisfyingly open is certainly achievable.

Happy Miche Baking,

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, if you remember, the bread pictured was baked around the time we discussed the miche and bannetons for the giant loaves. On your suggestion I ordered large (12” caned and lined) bannetons from SFBI. By the way, those bannetons (12, 10, and 8”) are super special to me! Note - for those that may be interested in a jbanneton for large miche. The SFBI 12” basket is a beast. The 10” will easily handle a 2500g dough that has 20-30% WW. If a dough that size was mostly white flour, the 12” would be better.SFBI Wicker Baskets. The miche pictured above was was using Maurizio’s Oat Porridge SD.The formula called for 31% whole wheat and 23% home rolled oat groats. It was very soft and had a wonderful, sweet taste that lasted well. It would make a perfect bread for gifting to large groups. See “Bake #4” on this link. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59966/community-bake-maurizios-oat-porridge-sourdough I was very fortunate to produce such a nice loaf. Total Dough Weight was 2500g (5lb 10oz).

Dave, I have been able to make the miche without any side support, but your pot constriction may be a great idea if the need arises. You may be interested in this link. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/56432/tip-weak-doughs-don%E2%80%99t-have-bake-pancakes 

Even though the miche above beat gravity, it didn’t get the huge bloom that would have been exciting. As I think about the characteristics of small versus large doughs, I guess size matters. many are not aware, but most Instagram loaves are between 500 and 650 grams. I learned that trick some time ago. If you want a “show loaf” keep the total dough weigh light. KendalM, aka Geremy taught me that when he instructed me to bake a 100g loaf. See think link to see the result of that tiny dough. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/56166/photogenic-bread

   

 

Danny

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Is that before or after baking?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Danni, by my estimation 500-650g would be the total dough weight before baking. From my experience, the cell structure of the crumb decreases proportionately as the dough increases in weight.

I also was told and understand that lighting plays a part when photographing the “Instagram Breads”.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

My loaves by comparison are from 750 to 875 g before baking depending on add ins. Total flour is usually ~1100 g. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Danni, next batch try a 550g dough. Shape the dough using Kristen’s method as seen in  THIS VIDEO. The shaping section starts at 12:40.

If you do decide to do that, please post your results. You are in for a shock!

Danny

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

TFLers are honest. Bake a loaf, cut it open, take a pic.

Instagramers: bake 10 loaves, and keep slicing each loaf, slice by slice, until you get the perfect shot.

Reference:  "Instagram Husband" -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFzKi-o4rHw

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Hilarious! 😂

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

fwiw Danny, my ideal outcome for miche baking has long been Pips's (Phil Agnew's) high-extraction Tarlee miche, immortalized in this shot below taken from his post from eight years ago.

Phil must have had one sharp knife to make such a perfect wedge.  And his photography (esp. the lighting) was always the best. 

Funny, I used to think PiPs was superhuman to bake a miche with a crumb like that, with such a perfectly balanced distribution of large and small alveoli.  But looking back on it now, it doesn't seem all that special.  I'm not sure whether the profusion of instaworthy crumbshots has dulled my view or my own miches are now pretty routinely like that.  A bit of both probably.

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks for the link, Tom. I also mill with a KoMo, but I’m not sure I understand Phil’s instructions.

” In the past my method for producing high extraction flour was a single pass through my Komo mill on its finest setting then sift through a 20 mesh sieve (I think) and remill the caught material. This was sifted again with the caught material set aside. This would usually only remove 10% of the total weight of flour i.e. 90% extraction. And while this was delicious flour it wasn’t producing the crumb colour that I had in mind. I needed to purchase a finer sieve and I settled upon a 50 mesh Keene classifier and changed my method to a more labour intensive multiple pass milling method.

Method is a loose term though─I started by cracking the grains and sifting the coarsest pieces. This was continued with gradually finer settings on the mill and sifting through finer sieves. Any flour that passed through the 50 mesh was set aside until the end when it was combined with a small amount of the finest milled middlings to build the quantity to the correct weight for an 80% extraction flour.”

Have you used his method of cracking the grain? If so please elaborate the procedure so I can fully understand it. By the way, I have a 20 and 50 mesh classifier. Those are the only two I own.

By cracking the grain, is he setting the stones fairly open?

He mentions “...and sifting through finer sieves”. Is he using different mesh?

I really want to get this right. It seems that this bread is very particular about the specific flour’s grind and extraction. More so than most other breads.

Thanks
Danny

OH! That crumb is super nice, IMO.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

No kidding, "Method is a loose term".  Not the clearest protocol.  Certainly different from serially running grain through at a fine setting and sifting/re-milling the retentate.  That's all I've ever done for high extraction.  But I've never had crumb color as an objective.  Oy, I can hear it now, "Calibrate your monitors loafers, time for a Pantone PMS 7507 C crumb community bake!" 
Lord save us.

My best guess:

  1. Start with stones far enough apart to just crack the grain. 
  2. Sieve product through fine (50#) sieve and keep (the miniscule amount of) pass-through
  3. Return retentate to hopper, reduce stone spacing a click, mill and sieve @ 50# between each round.
  4. Repeat for several rounds (5,10, 15, 20...?)

This would treat the grain very gently and damage starch minimally, gradually chipping 50#-passable bits, a precious few at a time, from each grain somewhat from the outside in.  Clever.  It would bias the product's distribution of grain layers, favoring the outermost (thereby affecting flour color).  And it wouldn't heat up the product much at all.  But clear your calendar Danny as this would be very slow and painstaking.  An hour or more to yield enough for one miche.  Hell, maybe all day.  But if you've got the time and curiosity, I could think of worse things to do. 

Deciphering Phil's "method" now has me intrigued.  Haven't used my tamis much lately...🤔

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ok Tom, I bite the bait.

I decided to try Phil’s method, and it is a bear. But, being an innovative sort, I used my chiropractic vibrator to help me out. The berries were milled in 5 steps. I may do a post on the vibrator, it works really well.

I will do a write up on PIPs method once I’m done. BTW - the resulting flour is the best I’ve ever milled. Not sure I hit the Panetone specs though :-)

From left to right - Flour, 50 mesh middlings, 20 mesh bran.

I am going to contact Danni and ask about her KoMo sifting attachment.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

To be clear: You followed my interpretation of PiPs's method, but used 20# and 50# sieves.  Did you use the 20# just at the very end, to separate the final #20 retentate into those middling (pass through ) and coarse (retained) fractions?  So what was the grams/minute spec on each of those products?  I got pretty efficient at sieving back when I did it regularly, but yours was definitely a heroic exercise in determination.  How much grain did you start with and how much ended up in each of those fractions?  That rightmost fraction looks like commercial roller-milled bran.  Impressive.  And the middle fraction looks like wheat germ, although I'm sure it's hardly just that.

fwiw, a simple trick for displaying comparative flour textures is to spread them as you did, but press something hard and flat (credit card, deck of cards, side of a chef's knife) onto the surface of each batch.  Then photograph.

Great exercise (in both senses of the word).  Keep us posted!

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, I stepped the stones down 5 times. Each time the grain was sifted through both a 20 & 50 mesh simultaneously. I find it much more efficient to to capture the bran in the 20 so that it doesn’t clog the 50 mesh. My vibrator really helped, but it was still a job. IF the bread show noticeable improvements, I will look into a dedicated shaker/sieve. Got with Danni on the KoMo sieve but her experience, although not terrible, was not good enough to warrant the purchase. If I do go with ashaker, it will be something on this order, I think. The ad says it is 220V. I am corresponding with the distributor.

I went with a whooping 1500g. Wanted to make sure I had enough for a large miche. It probably took 1-1.5 hr. Tomorrow I plan to make a single fine pass and then sift. After the 5 step will be compared to the single pass. I can also re-shoot the flour images as you suggested.

Tom, one benefit of the multiple pass could lead to some oxidation of the flour, which may serve to age it. What do you think?

Please explain starch damage. I’m not sure I fully understand that.

The short stats now, a more complete post soon.
Started with 1500g Turkey Red
Ended up with
1149g super fine flour, more fine than ever before
298g middlings
32g bran

Total milled flour weight 1479g. The remaining 21g filled the kitchen :D

 

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

To be clear, when you say “ Each time the grain was sifted through both a 20 & 50 mesh simultaneously.”, am I correct in interpreting that both retained fractions were then returned to the mill’s hopper?

Thanks Danny

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

That’s correct, Tom.

I learned during the operation that it was beneficial to vibrate both screens together (20 on top, 50 bottom) until only the bran remained on top. This took about 1-2 minutes. Then remove the 20 screen and continue with the 50. The process went faster this way.

I don’t remember the last time (if ever) that I aged the flour. I’ll give this flour a few days. Question - What do think think about a small percentage of Ascorbic Acid to 100% home milled wheat? I have had good results in the past.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

When I used to do the Tamis Boogie weekly, serially 50#-sifting out and re-milling the retained fraction out of and back though my KA-KGM, I would set the tamis in a stainless steel mixing/salad bowl with about a 1.5" greater diameter than the tamis, dump in the flour, cover the tamis with a disposable shower cap, grab tamis and bowl and shake the two together as one.  I found that the heavier, retained bits helped clean the fines through the screen as they were shaken back and forth.  Separating out the larger bits with your #20 above would rob one of this effect.  Those bigger bits were welcome helpers in pushing the fines through.

I have never aged flour nor messed with ascorbic acid.  So I can't be much help there from first hand experience.  I always mill flour just before mixing up a formula.

Tom

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

You asked about starch damage, Danny.  I never answered.

Here's a pretty accessible review - better than I could explain.  Starch damage is an inevitable consequence of milling grain into flour.   A little starch damage is good for the bugs and thus for your loaf's flavor, but too much accelerates fermentation and disserves crumb structure.  Emily Beuhler surely has something to say about it but I'm several time zones away from my books just now.

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, I have the book, Bread Science (Kindle version), but can’t find information on starch damage. If you or someone else can tell me where it is located, I’d like to read.

I found something very interesting HERE, The article states, “Dough can become excessively sticky and gassy (too much food to ferment). The water that was absorbed and held by the damaged starch could be released into the dough once the polymer is broken down by enzymes (this increases use of dusting flour during makeup and makes dough handling more difficult).”

The above may account for my experience working with the 5 pass flour I just milled. It was extremely wet when mixed to the formula’s hydration. It calls for 90% hydration and utilizes 100% whole grain. The dough was sloppy, wet. Jiggly, even after machine mixing and 300 slap & folds. I know the dough was not  over mixed. NOTE - I made a second bake with the 5 pass flour,  but this time the water was added on an as need basis. According to my feel, the dough felt appropriate at 77% hydration. So my only thought at that time was that Turkey Red Grain was not able to absorb as much water as other grain that I am familiar with. I intended to call Eric or Galen @ Breadtopia and inquire. BUT, after reading the above, the 5 pass milling experiment may have damaged the starch, more not less, than normal milling. The first bake was not nly super slack, the dough was grossly over fermented.

I am beginning to wonder if the 5 pass experiment wasn’t a great example of starch damage.

Thoughts and/or Opinions?

Danny

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

If you followed my interpretation of PiPs's method, then I cannot imagine how your flour would have more starch damage that it would have had from single pass milling.  Just the opposite.  But perhaps the damaged starch symptoms in your flour and dough arose for completely different reasons.  Hard to imagine the variable would be the wheat variety.  But [almost] anything is possible.

Nothing that passed through your #50 classifier ever re-entered the mill, right?  A mystery then.

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, that is correct. Once the flour passed the 50 mesh it was put aside and not re-milled. I hear what you are saying about the 5 pass milling being more gentle on the starch, but if you experienced what I do you would probably re-think that. Today I baked to more loaves with 5 pass Turkey Red. This time the hydration came to 73%. The dough was a little more dry than what I would expect from a typical 90% hydration and 100% whole wheat, but I like the way it handles. I did 300 bench kneads on each dough. The baked up very nice.

   Notice the spread on the loaf at the bottom right in the left image. It was 90% hydration and a wet levain.

I did follow your interpretation of PIPs method exactly.

I’m low on Turkey Red, but a new bake with a single or double pass would confirm my thinking. And I’m pretty sure it would.

Dan

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"The above may account for my experience working with the 5 pass flour I just milled. It was extremely wet when mixed to the formula’s hydration. It calls for 90% hydration and utilizes 100% whole grain. The dough was sloppy, wet. Jiggly, even after machine mixing and 300 slap & folds. I know the dough was not  over mixed."

I'm confused.  It sounds like you _remixed_ the bran/middlings/fines to get 100% whole wheat, and then added 90% water. Is that right?

So, what was the purposes of sifting into three parts?  I thought it was to get the fines, add in most, but not all, of the middlings, and little to none of the retentate in the coarse sieve.  In other words, to get a medium-extration flour, not 100% whole grain.

If you added 90% water to the fines only, or fines+middlings only, no wonder it was slack, as it was basically white flour, or high extration, but not 100%.

I'm sure I'm missing something, so please help me follow along.  This intrigues me.  I have a 6"x3" 20 mesh sieve, and have been thinking of getting a 30#.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dave, yes clarification is needed. I think of 100% whole grain as 100% of the flour was derived from wholegrain @ 100% extraction. 

The 5 pass milling was a test to see if it would produce better bread. The intention was not to eliminate any part of the berry.

IMO, stepping from a #20 to a 30 is not a large enough difference, unless you intend to do away with the 20. At this time my perfect 2 screens would be a 30 & 50. The 30 rather than the 20 because it would increase the % of bran and at the same time decrease the % of middlings. I am considering a dedicated shaker - jury still out...

Dan

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Yes, I would do away with the tiny 20# screen.  It came with my Shule grain crusher.

In the last milling session, I used it to get out the larger "sand grains" after processing the flour in my Vitamix blender.

Just FYI, for those following me, my first pass is running the raw berries through a hand-crank Shule grain crusher.  It has 3 tempered and knurled steel rollers.  I do that 8 ounces (weight) at a time, and put the resulting cracked grain, in 8 oz batches, in quart size storage bags and refrigerate them to cool down for the second step.  Second step is running the 8 oz cracked grain in the Vitamix, 10 seconds on Variable Speed #10 (out of 10), and 20 seconds on "High" (max).   The Vitamix heats it up, so that's why I  pre-chill.  (Putting the whole berries in the Vitamix, takes more than 30 seconds, adds too much heat, and the hard berries scratch the plastic container.) It's home model VM0103, Item # 059724, regular 2 qt container, not the dry grains container.

The Vitamix leaves a varying grain size.  You can feel some sand-like grains even after passing through the 20# seive.  Therefore, I leave the batches in the 8 oz bags and use them up one by one.  if I combined them, the larger grains would float/migrate to the surface, and the flour would not be consistent loaf to loaf.  I have to set-up, take-down, and clean the Shule and Vitamix, and clean the counter top of all the dust and ejecta from the Shule, so it's not practical for me to mill only as needed.  So I do 4.5 to 5.5 pounds at a time, which lasts several weeks.

I have a Wondermill Jr. Deluxe, but it takes too much effort to make flour in one pass.  I am going to try it again.  First, just cracking the grain in the Wondermill, and then doing a fine flour pass.  And another test, doing the cracking phase in the good ol' Shule, and then doing the fine-flour pass in the Wondermill. 

I've probably put 200 to 250 pounds of flour through that Shule and Vitamix over the past four years or so.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dave, I also have a Wondermill Jr Deluxe. I thought it would be great for peanut butter, but it is a bear to operate. It would require a huge amount of persistence and a lot of strength to mill flour on a regular basis. Have you thought about getting the fly wheel and running it off an electric motor? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I just came upon a technical article dealing with sifting. I hope you take a look and let me know what you think. My particual interest at this time is starch damage.

Here is the link, 
https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/pubag/downloadPDF.xhtml?id=55382&content=PDF

 

Here is an excerpt.
“In cereal science, the subject of flour particle size has intrigued many investigators, mostly for its effect on flour quality [9]. Flour is a blend of particles. Flours of different particle sizes differ in physical properties and chemical composition [10,11]. These properties in turn affect flour performance in final products [11,12]. Although flour particle size can be reduced by regrinding a sample, further reduction of flour particle size by grinding is accompanied by an increased level of starch damage, which negatively affects flour performance in many final products [13]. An alternative method is to separate flours according to particle size through sieving or air classification. The fractioned flours are characterized by not only the difference in chemical composition and physical properties [10,11,14] but also minimal starch damage [12]. However, fractionating flour by sieving, although relatively simple, is limited by sieve blinding.

Do you think that the 5 pass milling damaged the starch to the point I experienced when the bread was backed from that particular flour? If you recall the bread baked after the 5 pass millings was ridiculously sloppy and unruly. Something I’ve not experienced before.

Dan

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Elsevier publishes some prestigious journals, but damned if I've ever heard of Powder Technology

I'm not sure how relevant this article is to the issues you're interested in.  Yes, the author confirms in the intro that regrinding flour damages starch.  But his objectives were to compare parallel ("stacked")  versus serial ("reverse") sieving, plus some other variables such as "tapping" (which he fails to define very well -- some feature of his sieve shaker apparently) and flour moisture.  Note that his sieving took a long time: 60 minutes either way.  Yikes.

I still do not understand how your "5 pass" method could have damaged starch significantly.  You never re-milled any flour that had passed through your sieve, correct?  You just took the retained fraction and subjected it to re-milling with the stones one click closer to one another than in the previous pass, correct?

Here are a few alternative interpretations of your "sloppy" dough:  (1) The 'outside in' mode by which the grains were reduced to powder may have biased your output in favor of the outermost layers -- the bran.  Obviously an excess of that doesn't do you any rheological favors, or, (2) The starch granules on the surfaces of the grain particles in your retained fractions were surface-grazed in the previous pass and suffered a second insult (read: damage) on the subsequent pass when their contents were freed from the particle, or, (3) I'm over-simplifying my visualization of the grain's progress through your procedure.  I'm imagining bits being knocked off the surface of otherwise intact grains with each pass.  But maybe the grains are cracked into smaller and smaller, but still reasonably large, particles with each pass, thus exposing more surface area and more almost flour sized particles to be retained and hammered again by the stones on the next pass.  Considered in that light, your multi-pass method (= my interpretation of PiPs's "method") might be a recipe for beaucoup starch damage.

Make sense?  Your experiment warrants repeating.  When I have some time...

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, thanks for bearing with me.

” I still do not understand how your "5 pass" method could have damaged starch significantly.  You never re-milled any flour that had passed through your sieve, correct?  You just took the retained fraction and subjected it to re-milling with the stones one click closer to one another than in the previous pass, correct?”

Yes, the only thing that was re-milled were the particles that did not pass through the mesh.

Yes, Tom. If I understand you I’m thinking that possibly the starch particles were “shaved” or “broken/crushed” with each additional pass through the mill. Something definitely went wrong with the resulting dough. I have never experienced a dough like that before.

By the way, I read where some bakers claim they can sift 500 grams of wheat through a 50 mesh in a couple of minutes. I must be missing something. It takes me much more time than that. In my experience a 50 mesh is a bear to do by hand. What is your experience with that?

Here is my thoughts and goal for whole wheat bread. I welcome any comments. I want to run the milled grain through stacked 30 & 50 mesh. Some breads will be baked with the 50 mesh flour for loft, nutrition, and openness of crumb. Although these breads will not be as nutritious as 100% extraction, I anticipate they will be much more healthy than breads made with commercial white flour. But, for ultimate nutrition, I hope to use everything that passes through the 30 & 50 mesh in the dough AND the bran that doesn’t pass the 30 mesh will either be soaked for a long time and mixed into the dough or that bran will be used as a topping (similar to seeds) on the breads. This way all of the grain is consumed in the breads. What do you think? Pros and conss?

Thanks,
Danny

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Most of the sieving I've done was intended to produce usable flour from my KA-KGM mill, before my Komo days.  I'd run 660 grams through the mill right onto my 50# tamis, cover with a dispo shower cap, shake it through, then re-mill the retained fraction serially until the retained fraction was about 20% of the total.  Then I'd combine them and use that for 60% of the flour in our ~2kg weekly miche.  I don't recall the sieving taking all that much time.  I do recall that having the retained particles on the sieve would help push the finer particles through.  Like having a bunch of ball bearings on there rolling back and forth.  It would take a few minutes, but not an excessive amount of time.  Yet enough to motivate me to buy a Komo Fidibus XL because it has a high milling rate.  Life is short:  Freeze your grain and mill fast and hot!

Regarding how to deploy your milled grain in breads -- it's all taste and preference.  My bakes of 100% whole grain breads, achieved by various methods similar to your plans, always produced very satisfying loaves fresh from the oven of course.  But the shelf life of 100% wholegrain breads is frustratingly short.  They dry out faster than loaves with lower proportions of whole grains.  I've often wondered what the physical basis is for that and have mostly assumed that they evaporate water just as fast as breads with lower proportions of whole grains, but we feel and taste the consequences more readily and strongly in 100% whole grain breads.  We were happy with 40% whole grain for a long while but when my skills advanced to consistently baking cakey spongy soft miches of 60% whole grain (all wheat -- we were never that keen on ancient grains), we settled there for the duration.

Here's today's.  2+kg, 60% whole wheat fresh milled (30% hard white, 30% hard red).

No porridge addition this time.  Wonderful bread, as always.

Happy Baking Danny,

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Here are a few of the flour closeups with Davids suggestion to press the flour mounds with the tip of a knife blade for better viewing.

The results of the test are almost complete and will be posted to a separate post topic soon. I will post the link on this thread for those interested.

The gist of the multiple vs single milling past show me that multiple passes have very little improvement over a single pass, and in some cases I think less.

The 2 images below were unprofessionally shot using a 10X loop and an iPad.

     

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Tom, I cracked PIPs sharp Edges! Slice the miche in half, then place the flat sliced portion of one half on the cutting board. Now slice downward to cut the half into quarters. I think the secret is cutting the bread in such a way as to have the open crumb supported on the board.

Now, if I can only learn to cut straight down :-)

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I was going to get one of the lined wicker baskets until I realized the liners were sewn in.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Yea, I wished the liners weren’t stitched in. But so far they have worked very well. If a problem should arise the future to unstitch them, add elastic and convert to removable. 

Because they are made of wicker, I don’t think they would work without a lining. Maybe an interesting effect with drier does? The wicker should allow better drying of the dough, though.

They are that nice, IMO.

Dan

albacore's picture
albacore

Danny, have a look at Andy's miches (TFL member Ananda). I think there is good loft and the crumb looks pleasantly open, especially given that the Gilchester's flour is not the strongest.

In this post Andy suggests that a 2 hour autolyse and a stiff leaven help. I think his overall formula is available in one of his other posts.

Lance

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Nice looking miche, Lance. The crumb is the most open I’ve seen. Wonder how large the miche pictured on his site is? I would image it is his 1200g version. But I hope it is much larger. If so, it instills hope...

Thanks,
Danny

UPDATE -Here is a link to Andy, aka “ananda” baking 1.6k miche. The image below shows a 1600g miche with super nice crumb.

I’ll need to work on this one.

Danny

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Miche for short.  

I can imagine a 2kg Miche loaf would be perfectly round baked in a space station oven.  Any available?

Where else can one deny gravity?  Boiled partly submerged in a big pot of hot water?  Like a dumpling?  Allowed to dry and browned in an oven.   Do those airplanes that train for zero gravity have an oven on board?   How about baking in a hot air ballon or at a mountain telescope site?  Would a higher elevation help? 

Water being about the heaviest ingredient in dough, how about bubbly gassed water?  How can one make water lighter without reducing its ability to hydrate flour?  Angelfood cake.  What about beating egg whites and folding them into the hydrated dough?   Chia makes a gelatin.  Hmmmm.   Ah yes...Tangzhong.  Anyone ever put Tangzhong gel under pressure?

If a Miche baked out tall or round, would it still be called a Miche?  Is the shape part of the definition?  Does  changing the shape change the name?  If I made a hot dog bun round, would it still be a hot dog bun?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mini, I can’t begin to image what thoughts might be swirling around in your brain at any given time. 

Have you ever done stand up comedy or thought about the possibility?

I love you!
Dan

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

Dan, I've been experimenting with miches of this size using variations of FWSY recipes and as long as I manage the hydration carefully I'm getting pretty impressive oven spring in very large cast iron pots (currently using what I thought was 11qts but turns out to be 9, larger than this are available). 12 inch banneton. The crumb is open.

hardest challenge is moving the dough into the pot with this kind of hydration - i've had to chill the dough to accomplish this with just my hands. you can make a sling with parchment as well but I don't like how the paper crumples and crowds the base of the bread.

The chilling makes it more difficult to get the crust coloration that I want, still trying to figure out the optimal combination.

TBH I'd probably prefer to use a baking stone and accept less oven spring, but I can't steam well in my small oven when I use a stone large enough to accommodate the bread.

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Have you tried crumpling up the parchment paper before using it? Once it is crumpled and then flattened out again, it will conform to any shape. Give it a try...

what about putting the miche on your preheated stone and then covering that with bottom of the preheated cast iron pot?

...a couple of thoughts

What is the weight of your raw dough?

Would you post crumb shots?

Dan

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

Great suggestion about the parchment, although I should add that with these weights, even the parchment sling can be hard to manage - need to learn a bit of origami to get it to hold the dough from edge to edge. I've also considered flipping the pot and will eventually do it, but it means removing a permanently installed wire bail and I'm wary of that much metal when it's 500 degrees. 

Plus without a guide, if drop it incorrectly on the dough, there goes about 36 hours of work ... ;)

I did recently see an even larger dutch oven on amazon that had some of the characteristics of a combo cooker so this might work.

Raw dough weight: 2.7kg. I don't think an extra 300g would make much of a difference here. This particular loaf is not as well risen as some, but to be honest I'm more concerned about limiting the oven spring with this set up. I think allowing the rising dough to split naturally helps to maintain tension long enough to keep it vertical, but when it's a miche of this size the ears can look downright scary.

I use mostly AP flour, but higher protein flour would result in even more spring. I can't recall what it does with the crumb but overall I prefer the crust and crumb of lower protein flours. The overnight country brown recipe is easier to manage, I think partly because the WW flour soaks up more moisture.

My challenge now is nailing the precise combination of temperatures -from retardation through baking - to get a crust which is much darker than this without too much burning. People really rave about the flavor of this when it's baked dark. It lasts - I kid you not - for up to 10 days.

 

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mike, a tip for placing the dough on a hot stone and then placing the hot cover without harming the shape of the dough. See this link.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/56763/tip-exact-positioning-roaster-cover-over-bread

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

It’s a good idea, I actually thought I might try some food grade silicone. But If the dough starts expanding and I’m not moving fast enough, could still be messy. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ve used pencil and also black marker pens. It is a great way to know where the dough is in relationship to the cover. If you put the dough on parchment paper it can be easily moved over the marks on the stone  if you miss the target.

Dan

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

that combo with parchment might be the ticket, I’ll try it!

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

While a miche with the same proportions as a boule definitely looks cool, it’s also harder to use in things like sandwiches because it’s a large (and especially tall) cross section of bread. So a question of form v function.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Or draw the circle on the  parchment.

MiKe:  I dunno if the Lodge 10 qt camp D.O. will fit in your oven.  You might have to let the tripod legs dangle through the rack.  But it's the same diameter, and cheaper, as the Lodge "Cook It All" if you were lookng at that.

Also, check out the TFL  threads on "Graniteware".  Some people affirm they are just as good as a cast iron dutch oven, heat up just fine, and are a lot handier and cheaper.  They come pretty big, but I don't know the maximum size in round shape. Amazon has them.

One of my things is a round stainless steel mixing bowl as a cover, placed over the boule on a stone.  Even cheaper than Graniteware.

Check the max recommended temp of any baking silicone that you buy.  Ones I've seen are 425-450 F maximum.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mike, see link for a comparison between Cast Iron and light weight Graniteware.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/56822/cast-iron-cooker-vs-graniteware-thermal-data

A stainless steel mixing bowl should be comparable to Graniteware.

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

Dave, I already have the DO and it would fit ... and it turns out to be precisely the size of my baking stone, measured edge to edge (15"), so conceivably i could align them ok - but again that weight and heat!  No course correcting possible once it starts to drop .... 

Dan, great to know without having to do the work myself that much thinner metal will get me the same result. ideally i find some - any - 15"*15" steel box. That would be killer. 

A week ago i picked up a 2/3 size steam table pan, but it's a touch short at 13" on the long side. I'll swap it for a bowl and see where this leaves me.

Out of curiosity, how does the bowl fare after all this? I'd use one from our mixing sets but don't want to be accountable for ruining something good.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Mike, which DO did you get?  The Lodge 10 qt camp style, or the "Cook It All" ?

How does the steel bowl fare?  Well, my small one came out of my countertop toaster oven okay.   And I might have used it in my electric kitchen oven, too.  But I can't vouch for your bowls or your oven, which might have hot spots, or if it gets too close to the flames or heating elements.

If you have a good SS bowl that you'd get in trouble for discoloring or scorching, then maybe pick up something cheap at Big Lots, or Goodwill, or an Asian grocery store, or Indian (Indo-Pak) grocery store.   India seems to produce inexpensive but nice stainless steel kitchen/dining items.

Dan: thanks for that link. That was the one I was thinking of.  You, and Mini Oven, are tech-nerds after my own heart.

mikewasinnyc's picture
mikewasinnyc

It measures 15" across at its widest point, so it's pretty much perfect for my oven. It looks similar to the  4qt one, ie no legs. Amazon was pretty reasonable for this when I got it.

What I find in my oven is that if I use my 15X15 steel it tends to prevent heat from circulating, so it's possible that the dutch oven will remain my best option until we move. Still definitely worth trying the bowls though. Wednesday's bake ....

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The question was posed in the initial post, “Can a miche obtain a large oven spring. The answer is definitely, YES!

Plans are to write up and document the latest 2 bakes of 2.5k Miche once they are cut. Possibly tomorrow. Thus far, I have been very fortunate to turn out 2 beauties. Here is preview.

Both of the miche baked up well. The PR Poilane contained 30% whole grain and the larger one was the SFBI and contained only ~4% whole grain. The SFBI sprung up from a pancake to a monster. I have the time lapse video. Believe it or not they were both 2.5K TDW. The strange thing is the 30% whole grain lost 33% of TDW and the other only lost 11%.  I did have slight fracture cracks (allowing evaporation?) on the crust of the 30%, but I was under the impression that the cracks occurred during the cooling process. Any ideas? 
Dan
Benito's picture
Benito

Congratulations on your quest to get major oven spring on a Miche, well done.  Can't wait to read more and see crumb photos.

Benny

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...a little tongue & cheek & chew there.  :)

There will be updates as this gets eaten for sure!  i love the bigger loaves.

"Cut and quarter, slice and freeze."   

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I'm impressed.  Now try it with 90% home-milled whole-wheat.  Please, please, pretty-please.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dave, I imagine you’ve already seen this, but posted the link in case you did’t.
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/61367/whole-grain-sourdough-match-made-heaven

Now going from 650g to 2500g is another thing all together. I chickened out on Reinhart’s Poilane Style Miche that instructed 100% whole grain. Call it cowardice, I couldn’t bring myself to go 100% on that beast :D If memory serves me well, his hydration is only ~62-64%. And with high extraction flour...

NOTE - the last PR Miche used 30% whole grain (100% extraction) with a hydration of 64%. I don’t understand why, but the dough felt much wetter. I did slap & folds. 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

"The strange thing is the 30% whole grain lost 33% of TDW and the other only lost 11%.  I did have slight fracture cracks (allowing evaporation?) on the crust of the 30%, but I was under the impression that the cracks occurred during the cooling process. Any ideas? "

If both were 2500 g, then the 30% WW loaf had more water (and less flour), right?  (Since WW is thirstier than white flour.)   If so. it just had more water to lose.   Was it baked any longer than the other loaf?

Did you weigh loaves right out of the oven, or after a cooling period?

I assume loaves shed water through evaporation during cooling, and even after reaching room temp. I usually cool a loaf for two hours, then seal in llastic bag.  Water still condenses inside the bag, even before cutting.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The lower hydration weighed less after the bake. The 30% WW was 64% hydration and the other was about 75 if I remember correctly. Both had identical TDW. I weight right out of the oven and then again after is cooled down some. I was surprised to see that the weight difference was slight.

I’m starting think the weights were off. I can’t explain the large difference. Unless maybe there was a huge amount of evaporation through the fractures in the crust. But I think not.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if I set two identical pots on the stove at the same temp to boil.  One contains 640g water and the othe 750g.  Which one will have boiled off the most water in 20 minutes?  Why?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I missed this post Mini. I’ve noticed from time to time that notifications new replies to post I’ve participated in are not sent to my email. Has anyone else experienced that. 

I think the pot with less water. Because it would be easier to bring a smaller amount of water to the boiling point than the larger amount.

So teach, are you thinking that because the smaller loaf was of a lower hydration (less water) that explains the greater weight lose of the baked bread?

Am I on the right track?

Thanks for causing me to think...

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The larger miche was baked using the SFBI formula from David Snyder’s Post and the smaller one was Peter Reinhart’s Poilane Style Miche. The only change made on either dough was a reduction to 30% WW for the Poilane Style.

   
       

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I am late following this thread, but those are amazing!

Leslie

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have baked a few of the low flat variety and thought that was just the style of the recipe. I did it mostly to save time by not dividing a dough and having to bake them separately. They seemed to taste better and keep better than smaller loaves. Hammelman has a couple of miche recipes with a stiff starter that might be fun to try in a future Community Bake.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I'm old enough to know that reference.  But I'd have to say I love miches to pieces.