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?