The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

5 pound Sourdough Miches

mike721's picture

5 pound Sourdough Miches

This is a picture of some really big ( for me at least) 5  pound miches that I baked for my Boy Scout troop's dinner, these were 10%
whole wheat, 90% bread flour,made with 'Mikey's NJ' starter, and a big hit at the dinner.

Not the best photography, but you can see how pretty these were
5 pound sourdough boule

I like using part whole wheat ( or rye) in my sourdough, it makes a bread that is definitely not made with plain white flour, but it is white enough  to use as an everyday bread, rather than being a whole grain type of specialty bread. I have been making these loaves with both my own starter  and with one from Carl's friends, both work well, the 'Carl's Oregon Trail'  starter rises a little faster and makes a less sour bread with a rather pale  but tasty crust, the 'Mikey's NJ ' starter rises slower but makes a more  sour loaf, with a richer golden brown crust that I love.

My procedure is to refresh the culture the day before, then after 14 hours  make the dough. About a 4 or 5 hour bulk fermentation with 2 foldings during  it, then the boules are shaped, risen for an hour, and then retarded  overnight. The next morning I take them out of the fridge ( or  the winter I retard there), give them 3 or 4 hours to warm up and finish  proofing, then into the oven at 550 with steam, reduced to 450 after 5 minutes. These big ones I baked for an hour, then lowered the heat since they were getting dark, and left them at 400F for another 20 minutes to make sure they were done. Internal temp was 205 when I took them out of the oven, the crust was crackly and delicious and actually stayed that way, instead of softening as it cooled. I guess that extra baking time helped.

 Mikey in New Jersey


kanin's picture

Nice pattern... What did you use for proofing?

mike721's picture

I have 2 plastic storage boxes from Walmart that I use for proofing, they are big enough to each hold a standard home size sheet pan ( I guess that's technically a half hseet..about 18 inches X12 or so) and about 12 inches high. I use them upside down, with the sheet pan on the lid and the bottom of the plastic box over it.

bwraith's picture


Here in NJ, too. I think that's an absolutely gorgeous sourdough loaf and a very decent photo, too.


weavershouse's picture

gorgeous loaf of bread.                                              weavershouse

ehanner's picture

First rate effort Mikey. You did a very creative slash pattern and the bread looks like it's perfectly done.


Paddyscake's picture

Wow..they must have been huge. You say many did you bake? If you hand kneaded those, you must work out regularly!! Very Nice job!

mike721's picture

I made 2 of them for the dinner, and I started trying to mix the 5+ pounds for each one in my kitchenaid 6 quart but it wasn't very happy so after the ingredients came together I did knead each one by hand. I made them serperatly though, 11 pounds at once would have been a lot of dough to handle. The only time I ever made that much dough as 1 batch was when I had a pizza party at my house, 12 pounds hand kneaded and that WAS a workout!

Floydm's picture

That is an impressive miche. The photo isn't bad at all.

dmsnyder's picture


I'm trying to imagine fitting a slice of that into a normal toaster. 

I love the scoring pattern, too. 

Thanks for sharing the photo. 


mike721's picture

Thanks!Slicing them was a challenge until I figured out to cut each one in half, then slice the halves the other way. That still yielded nice LARGE slices , but at least my knife was long enough to cut through it.

holds99's picture

That must have been an ovenfull.  You did a terrific job on that loaf and the scoring is most excellent.   

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

jeffbellamy's picture

"Don't tease us.


A little and a little makes a lot"

mike721's picture

I'd love to show the inside, the crumb was great with nice big holes, but all 10 pounds of those loaves are already inside a bunch of people :-) For the record the consensus was that they tasted quite good!

These were baked for a special occasion and I was caught up in a lot of other work involved in the dinner prep ( including 8 pizzas I baked), if my daughter hadn't taken the shot of the bread I wouldn't even have had a picture of those loaves.

JitkaB's picture

How did you bake these two loaves? Did they both fit next to each other in the oven?
Just curious...

Jitka - also in NJ