Whole grain miche

2.5-lb Miche

Recipe

Miche from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking by the French Culinary Institute

Process notes

Made one loaf

Day 1

7:00 p.m.: Make levain. Grind hard red wheat and rye flours on medium grind. Cover with plastic and set on stovetop near opened window to keep around 70°.

Day 2

7:00 a.m.: No rise in the levain. Added 75 gm starter and 47 gm water and remixed. Set aside for fermentation.

11:30 a.m.: Mix dough with paddle on low for 2 min. Switch to dough hook on med-low for 1 min. Begin rest and fold cycles: rest, covered, 20 min. then fold 3 times.

1:00 p.m.: Rest, covered, for 90 min.

2:25 p.m.: Bench rest. Shape and place in towel-lined bowl.

2:40 p.m.: Begin final proofing stage.

5:46 p.m.: Bake bread on baking stone. Mist inside of oven 3 times and 1- to 2-min. intervals. After 30 min., reduce heat. Bake another 25 min.

Results

I’m seeing a pattern that when I use very little mother starter, I don’t get enough activity and rise in the levains (starters). Something to note for future adaptations of recipes.

The recommended baking time was too long (or the heat was too high) for my loaf. I baked it for 35 min. less than the recipe instructed and it got very hard and tough on the outside. The inside seemed an OK balance of moisture.

While this was a multi-grain loaf, I think that using freshly-milled flours in a lean dough is resulting in tougher crusts, which I don’t like. I’d like something between these tough crusts and a sandwich loaf.

The flavor is really complex, with the sour starter, rye, hard red wheat, and hard white wheat.

The loaf is extremely dense, not a high-riser, with a tight crumb and very chewy to eat. For all of the work involved, and the fact that I’m not head over heels about the result, I’m not sure I’d make this loaf again.

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