The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Miche from BBA

caryn's picture

Miche from BBA

This weekend I made the sourdough miche recipe from Peter Reinhart's BBA book.  I want to share this experience, since I was surprised how quickly the dough fermented and rose.  I followed the formula much like it was detailed in the book, using half whole wheat flour and half bread flour and the 7 oz. batter-like starter called for.

First of all, when I created the barm for it the night before, the dough more than tripled in just a few hours.  The next day when creating the dough (I mixed the dough by hand and just did standard kneeding.), instead of taking 4 hours for the dough to double, it more than doubled in about an hour and a half to two hours.  So I shaped my dough and let it rise in the banneton, and again I got a very speedy rise- It had doubled and appeared ready for baking in about an hour.

Since I anticipated the quick rise, I had my oven ready for baking early, and just baked it.  So instead of my usual all day rising affair, I had bread ready early in the day. I was a little worried that the bread would have no taste or be too dense, but actually I think it is one of my favorite breads to date. It had a wonderful texture with a nice thick crust, and a really nice whole grain flavor.  This was the first time that I had made a sourdough boule with 50% whole wheat.

Maybe the key to baking is just having a strong starter! I know that temperature can certainly have an effect, and my house was a bit warm at first (abut 79 degrees), but when it was rising in the banneton, we had put on the air conditioning in the house.

Has anyone had a similar experience?

martin's picture

My wife and I have a small bakery here in Malaysia where the temperature is  around 90 to 100 F. When working with sourdough we prepare a starter dough using ice water to mix the dough, let it stand for an about an hour, then we place it in the  fridge (usually overnight). Next day we add the rest of the ingredients and let it sit outside (in the cool morning air  79 F)  for  couple of hours doing a stretch and fold ever 45 minutes. We then  shape and  place the dough in the tin or basket for about two hours to rise. I normally use a wood fired brick oven and will get quite a significant additional rise (Can't think of the correct term at the moment. Must be aging), particularly if I slash the tops of the loaves.


Martin Prior 

caryn's picture

I think it is wonderful that I got a response from someone at the other end of the world from me!!

It is interesting that you deliberately use ice and the refrigerator to slow the process down.  That way you are able to control the timing better, I would guess.  I was very pleased with the outcome of my very fast rising dough, however.  I think what this demonstates is that you can still get great tasting bread even if the dough rises more than what you would assume is optimal.

Has anyone else had an experience similar to mine?