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City Boy Buys a Hand Crank Grain Mill and Tries To Make Gérard Rubaud's Miche

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

City Boy Buys a Hand Crank Grain Mill and Tries To Make Gérard Rubaud's Miche

Hi All,

Just want to start out by thanking both MC, and Shiao-Ping for their detailed postings and directions on making the Gérard Rubaud Miche.

Also, since so many people have tried out this method, I figured that I'd try it out too...  And my hand crank grain mill arrived a few days ago, and today was a snow day, so no work...

So here is my attempt that came out of the oven earlier today.  I have to say that it is the most amazing bread that I have made so far...  I probably should have let the loaf age for 1 day before cutting, but I was impatient and cut into it when the internal temp almost hit 80F.  I was not disappointed.

Please find the pictures and recipe below.  Also, I didn't really follow MC's or Shiao-Ping's instructions on building the levain, or on mixing, etc...  Lemme know what you think.  Thanks.



Special tools:

Small Iron Grain Mill from Lehman's as described on MC's blog about Gérard Rubaud

2 - 8" linen lined bannetons or brotforms

2 baking stones

Steam tray or method to create steam.


600g AP Flour (60%)

100g Bread Flour (10%)

150g Organic Winter Hard Wheat Berries (15%)

100g Organic Spelt Berries (10%)

50g Organic Rye Berries (5%)

250g Firm Sourdough Starter @ 60-65% hydration (25%) See notes below.

750g Water (75%)

20g Kosher Salt (2%)

Total Dough Weight: Approx 2000g

Yield: 2 x 800g loaves after baking

Evening of Day 1 - Preparing the Firm Sourdough Starter


Ingredients below not included in above recipe.)

- Grind 25g wheat berries, 15g spelt berries, 10g rye berries with a grain mill.

- Take 100g of your firm storage starter from the refrigerator, mix with 150g AP flour, and 50g of the freshly ground wheat/spelt/rye berries, and 130g water.  Cover and let rest on counter for 2-4 hours.  Starter should double...


- Measure out all ingredients.

- Grind the wheat/spelt/rye berries.

Day 2 - Mixing Final Dough and Baking

12:00am (Midnight)

- Put water, and 250g of firm sourdough starter in large mixing bowl, place dry ingredients on top, mix with wooden spoon until all combined into shaggy dough.  Knead dough in bowl using wet hands using the french fold method for 1 minute making sure to squish out any dry bits or lumps.  Do not add any extra flour.  Dough should be pretty smooth.  Put dough into oiled plastic container, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 25 minutes.


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rest 20 minutes.


- Turn dough in plastic container using wet hands, cover, let rise overnight on counter.  Go to bed.


- Check dough to see if it has doubled in size.  Also press dough with we fingertip.  If impression remains, dough is ready to be divided and preshaped into 2 boules approx 1000g each.  Cover with towel and let rest for 15 minutes.


- Final shape into tight boule, then place into lightly floured banneton/brotform seam side up and place into large plastic bag so they don't dry out, and proof for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs.


- Arrange 2 baking stones on racks in oven, one should be the 1st space from the bottom, and the next should be 2nd from the top.  Arrange steam pan.  Preheat 550F with convection.


- Remove proofing baskets from plastic bag, and cover with dish towel.


- Lightly flour the boules before turning them out onto a peel, slash as desired, place directly on baking stone.  Repeat for 2nd loaf.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water to your steam pan, close oven door.  Turn oven down to 450F with covection and bake for 25 minutes.  After the 1st 25 minutes, rotate the loaves between the stones and bake for another 25 minutes with convection at 425F.  Loaves are done when the internal temp reaches 205F to 210F.

11:45am - Take loaves out of oven and cool for 3-4 hours or until internal temp is 80F.  Loaves should weigh approx 800g after baking.

Notes: for the AP flour, I mixed Whole Foods 365 AP, and Gold Medal Unbleached AP.  The bread flour is King Arthur.  The organic whole grains are from Fairway Market in NYC.  The grinder is really cool!  Hard wheat is hard to grind.  Spelt is easy, and rye is about as hard as hard wheat...

 Submitted to Yeastspotting on 2/11/10


proth5's picture


I wouldn't grind flour in that mill on a dare.  Takes me back to my old Corona mill and "hippie whole wheat" days.  C'mon, since you were dipping into that den of temptation, the Lehman's catalog - step up to the Diamant! (Have I mentioned lately that I love mine...)

Seriously - that's a lot of hard work and your bread looks great!

(no oven, no mill) Pat

breadbakingbassplayer's picture


$54.95 vs $1299.00?  $54.95 wins hands down...

Thanks!  It actually wasn't that much hard work.  It took more time for me to measure out the grains than to grind them...

I won't be grinding much quantity though.  Just enough to feed my sourdough starter, and the 30% of whole grains that I want to put in a recipe...  I won't dare grind flour and sift to get white flour...


subfuscpersona's picture

Your bread does look great, but, honestly, I must agree with Proth5 about the grain mill. I wouldn't buy it either. If you intend to mill grain on a regular basis, you would be better served by purchasing a better grain mill.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks!  As for the grain mill...  Again, I will just be grinding enough to feed my sourdough starter for the most part...  I don't intend to be a full time miller...  I promise...  But if you happen to have $1299 that you can spare so I can have the Diamant, I'll gladly take it :o)

Also, I do everything by hand.  I do not own any bread making appliances except for an oven.  I have a large metal mixing bowl, a few wooden spoons, spatulas, scrapers.  That's about it...  I wanted to keep it cheap and simple, which is why I opted for the cheapest one.  Besides, it's the same one that Gerard Rubaud uses to grind for his levain, so how wrong can I go?

proth5's picture

But can you put a price on true love?

I really was just joking around - I just went into flashback when I saw that little grinder.  And I remember how much physical effort it took to use the old Corona. (Or else I am experiencing my second bout of baking withdrawal while adrift here somewhere near the East China Sea...)  Kudos to you for doing it.


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

No, you can't really put a price on true love...   You just pay for it in elbow grease!

SylviaH's picture


breadbakingbassplayer's picture


LindyD's picture

Nice bread, cool mill.

I like that little mill.  Sure beats hauling out my KA grain mill and hooking it up to the mixer just to grind some rye berries for my levain.  Was it expensive?

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

The mill was $54.95 + shipping...  I provided a link at the top to where you can get it...  I'm just going to leave it in my kitchen as in the photo...  I timed myself earlier.  It took me about 6 minutes to grind 300g of flour (hard wheat, spelt, rye mix)...

DonD's picture

Great stuff, Tim! Outstanding miches. The crust and crumb look great. Really impressive!

BTW the mill reminds me of my first sausage stuffer!


breadbakingbassplayer's picture


I am on a mission to do everything by hand, and now grind wheat by hand...

Also, I think there is a meat grinder attachment that you can get for this little thing.  Not sure about the sausage stuffer though, but maybe...  I'll have to read the manual again...


Jeremy's picture


hutchndi's picture

I ordered the family gain mill a few years ago for home milling, it came with the bosch electric motor and the hand crank. I used the hand crank only once, and the electric motor many times since. I love this little mill, and the way it works, it doesn't overheat heat the flour either.

Farine's picture

...I am so glad they turned out so well! Kudos to you for hand-milling your flours. The fresh whole grains truly bring the aromas to a wholly different level.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks Susan!

Shiao-Ping's picture

I'd like to read your method in more detail.  Thanks for posting your Gerard Rubaud procedure.


foolishpoolish's picture