The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

High Extraction Miche (with Spelt)

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

High Extraction Miche (with Spelt)

Finding a satsifying recipe for a high-extraction miche has been an ongoing quest over the last few months. I've tried numerous recipes including Peter Reinhart's BBA recipe and Hamelman's Pointe à Callière  with varying success. This, my most recent attempt is one of the best so far. The hydration is at 73% and the dough contains roughly 26% whole spelt flour. Sourwise, it's mild, much like the Poilâne miche from which I've drawn a lot of inspiration. For those who like it uber-sour, you can always extend the bulk ferment (refrigerated overnight perhaps?) and reduce the amount of first build in the final mix. For me though, this has the balance that I like - sweet, sour, savoury and nutty which should get even better overnight. 

First Build

67g Sifted Whole Wheat Bread Flour
50g Whole Spelt
50g Bread Flour
83g White Starter
83g Whole Wheat Starter
167g Water

Final Dough

200g Sifted Whole Wheat Bread Flour
150g Whole Spelt
150g Bread Flour
300g Water
500g First Build
15g Salt 

Mix all the ingredients for the first build and leave to ferment for 4 to 5 hours until it reaches peak activity.

For the final dough, mix all of the mature first build, flour and water and leave to autolyse for 20 to 30 minutes.

After autolyse, sprinkle the salt on the dough and incorporate by mixing for about 1 minute.

Knead the dough briefly until it just starts to feel smooth and elastic (no more than 5 minutes)

Bulk ferment the dough at room temperature for 2 hours with 3 stretch-and-folds at half hour intervals.

Turn out the dough and shape into a large boule.

Proof the dough in a well floured/lined circular container (eg banneton) for 45 minutes in a warm place

Turn out the proofed dough and score as desired.

Bake in a preheated oven with steam at 500F for 10 minutes followed by a further 30 to 40 minutes at 375F until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 200F.

Allow to cool completely before slicing. 

 

Enjoy!

FP 

tadmitchell's picture
tadmitchell

Looks like you've done a wonderful job. I do a similar one with whole wheat. It's such a delicious bread.

After reading BBA, I was curious enough about Poilaine that I stopped at his first bakery on a layover in Paris. His primary product is bread like this sold by the pound. The work area is tiny, 9' X 12'. The inside of the wood fired oven is probably bigger. There is a mixer, a small counter, a container that rolls under the counter where the dough ferments. They stack the baskets 5 feet high on a dolly to ferment. Extra dough was left in the mixer awaiting the mixing of the next batch. A two man team produces 400 2 kilo loafs a day.

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Wow that must have been fantastic to see the Poilâne bakers at work.  I hope to make the trip to Paris one day.

Cheers

FP 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, FP.

I'm struck by your times for the 1st build fermentation, bulking fermentation and proofing. They all seem remarkably short to me. Your starters must be extraordinarily active.


David

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Hi David,

You're right, the fermentation times are quite short for sourdough. One of the reasons is fairly simple: 100% (baker's percentage) starter innoculation. However that's not the whole story.

What I discovered about a month ago was how to maintain chefs and build levains to maximise the yeast levels.  I maintain the chef in a very different way to the build/levain. Once you have a yeast-rich starter, I use it in a way that doesn't 'reset' the balance of yeast/bacteria...hence the 100% innoculation. I know that sounds horribly unscientific and if I were to try and write an explanation now, I fear it might be tantamount to heresy! :) I'm still experimenting (some experiments take a whole week)...I'll try and post in my blog sometime about it but it's been a revelation to me that I can make bread in 4 or 5 hours, start to finish (including bake time!).

Cheers,

FP

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, FP.

If your chef-keeping routine maximizes yeast vigor, is it at the cost of less bacterial activity and, thus, less sourness? I'd guess warm and wet conditions.

Look forward to your posting on this subject.


David

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

The sourness (and bacterial activity) can be controlled using an intermediate build/levain as well as a lower innoculation...much as you would normally do with a 'typical' sourdough recipe. 

FP

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I understand.

My favorite sourdough uses an intermediate build plus cold retarding the formed loaves. However, each stage takes a lot more time than you describe.


David

Kuret's picture
Kuret

I don´t find these temperatures to strange based on my own baking, essentialy 40% intermidiate build fermenting for 8-12h then bulk 2-2½h and proof 1½h. quite quick for sourdough I guess, but I also do not get any sour flavor at all most of the times.

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

I wouldn't say there is no sour at all in this recipe.  Far from it. It develops in the bread as you leave it (overnight) It's not 'mouth-puckering' sour, just a mild note which is in keeping with the sort of bread this is styled after.  You get the complex sourdough flavours without the uber-acidic taste that can otherwise dominate a high extraction bread.

Of course your mileage may vary depending on the flour, starter and temperature. If you want a sourer result,  I'd suggest overnight refrigeration after 1 hour of bulk ferment followed by a 1-2 hour 'thaw' before shaping the next day.

Hope that helps.

FP 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

FP,

Thanks for sharing the recipe and for the interesting general explanation of how you do it.  Look forward to your post after your experimentation.

 Howard

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Thanks howard.  I'm working on a small test today, exploring whether I can use a lower innoculation in combination with a soaker...to see if 'sugar profile' (not the right word but it has to do with amylase) affects the yeast/bacteria balance.

Cheers

 

FP 

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Wow FP that looks stunning indeed. I have a question for you however. In your directions you say knead the dough for no more than 5 minutes. My question is how do you knead the dough at 73% hydration? Is it not essentially at a pancake batter consistency? Bertinet is the only method that I can think of but thought I'd ask.

Rudy

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Hi Rudy

You don't have to worry about kneading at 73% hydration for this recipe. The high extraction flour absorbs more moisture than your average white flour.  It's not a stiff dough by any stretch of the imagination but neither is it pancake batter.

The 5 minutes was an over generous estimate.  I only took 3, using the french fold method. Most of the dough strength should be built up using the strech and folds during the bulk fermentation. 

Cheers

 

FP 

holds99's picture
holds99

Thanks for posting your recipe and the instructions.  This is really great bread.  My crumb didn't turn out as open as yours but I'll keep working at it.  I did a 2 day build on my starter prior to making the bread. which made the starter very active, and my risng times were very close to yours.  I mixed it by hand, using 3 stretch and folds at 20 minute intervals during bulk frementation.  I may try retarding it overnight next go round and see if that increases the sourness a bit.  It's the first time I have used spelt flour and it produces a very nice light loaf with great flavor and texture---and, as you said, with just a hint of sourness.  I doubled your recipe and made 2 boules and it worked fine.  It's a winner! Thanks again.

 FP's High Extraction Miche with Spelt

FP's High Extraction Miche with Spelt

 

 FP's High Extration Miche with Spelt

High Extraction Miche with Spelt: FP's High Extration Miche with Spelt

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Those look great Howard!

I'm so glad the recipe worked for you.

Cheers,

FP 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I missed this one! Nice looking loaf FP. I like your design.

Maybe a stupid question, but what difference does it make using two types of starter? Why not do an initial build making a firm (or soft) starter from a liquid white using half white, half whole wheat flour?

Jane 

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Not a stupid question at all.  I used two starters simply because I could (since I keep a white, WW and rye chefs refreshed daily).  There's absolutely no reason not to make an initial starter using half white/half whole wheat...you could even throw some spelt in if you like!

If you're doing this..then I recommend letting the white/WW 'pre-build' (not to be confused with the first levain in the recipe) mature at least 4 hours past the point of 'peak volume'...ie let it reach maximum height in the container, collapse and wait at least 4 hours before using the prebuild to make the levain as outlined in the above recipe.  This way you should get more active results when it comes to making the first build/levain. I know it sounds crazy - but it works (at least for me)!

FP

 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

OK, I've copied the recipe. I'll give it a try. I'll let you know how I fair.

I also had my nose in Hamelman's Bread today because I now would like to learn more about rye bread. (David just makes us want to try with all his creations!)

Jane 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

This may be a dumb question. I've seen the term high extraction a few times, what does it refer to?

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Not a dumb question at all. High extraction refers to the amount of the wheat grain that has been extracted through the milling and sifting processes.  Whole wheat would be 100%, obviously.  High extraction typically refers to a flour of 85-90% extraction...which is to say that most but not all of the bran is included.

Since I cannot get easily get hold of flour which is specifically milled and sifted to that specification, I approximate high extraction by sifting whole wheat flour. I use a whole wheat flour that has fairly coarse bran. Roughly 85% gets sifted through, leaving 15% coarse bran (great for bran muffins/cookies).

If the bran is too fine in your whole grain flour for sifting, then you can approximate high extraction by adding equal quantities of white flour (usually about 70% extraction) and whole grain.  This is what I did with the whole spelt flour in the above recipe. Technically I should have blended white spelt and whole spelt flour but I only had white bread (wheat) flour available.

Hope that makes some sense.

Cheers, 

FP 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

In addition to FP's excellent explanation, here's a link to Wild Yeast, which may be of help.

http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/10/01/high-extraction-miche/

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

So many times I tend to gloss over terms without really thinking about their meaning. This looks like it would be great with hearty fare,  like a Hunter's Stew.