Mixed-Flour Miche

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Dough Yield: About

    7

    loaves at 5 lb each

Appears in

Bread

By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

This Miche has Some Characteristics Similar to the preceding one—the dough is fairly loose, the loaves are large, the cross section of the sliced loaf is rather flat, the crumb is attractively open, and the keeping quality is excellent. The present bread, like the preceding miche, is similar to the type of large, naturally fermented whole-grain loaves that were common on country tables for centuries throughout many parts of Europe. The flavor is different in the present loaf, due to the inclusion of some whole rye and the exchange of some white flour for part of the high-extraction wheat used in the previous formula. Whole-rye flour is preferred for its full flavor, but if unobtainable, medium rye can be substituted. If high-extraction whole-wheat flour can’t be found, complete whole-wheat flour (that is, 100 percent extraction) can be substituted.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 20%

Ingredients

Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
High-Extraction Wheat Flour 12 lb 6 kg 1 lb, 3.2 oz 60 %
Whole-Rye Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz 20 %
Bread Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz 20 %
Water 16.6 lb 8.3 kg 1 lb, 10.6 oz 83 %
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz 1.8 %
Total Yield 36.96 lb 18.48 kg 3 lb, 11.2 oz 184.8 %

Levain Build

High-Extraction Wheat Flour 2 lb 1 kg 3.2 oz (¾ cup) 50 %
Whole-Rye Flour 2 lb 1 kg 3.2 oz ( cup) 50 %
Water 2.8 lb 1.4 kg 4.5 oz (½ cup) 70 %
Mature Culture (Stiff) .8 lb .4 kg 1.3 oz (3 T) 20 %
Total 7.6 lb 3.8 kg 12.2 oz

Final Dough

High-Extraction Wheat Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb ( cups)
Whole-Rye Flour 2 lb 1 kg 3.2 oz ( cup)
Bread Flour 4 lb 2 kg 6.4 oz ( cups)
Water 13.8 lb 6.9 kg 1 lb, 6.1 oz ( cups)
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz (1 T)
Levain 6.8 lb 3.4 kg 10.9 oz (all less 3 T)
Total 36.96 lb 18.48 kg 3 lb, 11.2 oz

Method

  1. Stiff-Textured Levain: Make the final build approximately 12 hours before the final mix, and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F. During hot weather, or if the levain will ripen for longer than 12 hours, the flour in the levain build can be salted at 1.8 percent to slow its activity.
  2. Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the salt and the levain. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for an autolyse phase of 20 to 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, cut the levain into fist-sized chunks and place them on top of the dough, and finish mixing on second speed for 2 to 2½ minutes. The dough will be wet, and the gluten network should be only moderately developed. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  3. Bulk Fermentation: 2½ hours.
  4. Folding: Fold the dough twice, at 50-minute intervals. If the bread has been mixed in a small stand mixer, a third fold may be necessary to help maximize dough strength. In that case, fold at 40-minute intervals.
  5. Dividing and Shaping: Scale the dough pieces at 5 pounds each. Lightly preshape, allow the dough to relax 5 to 10 minutes, and give it a gentle final rounding. Place the loaves, seams up, on well-floured baker’s linen or proofing baskets. Having the seams up encourages the loaves to have a low profile after the bake, a characteristic of this bread. Protect the bread from air currents either by proofing it on racks fitted with vinyl covers or, for the home baker, by covering the loaf with a large bowl or cardboard box.
  6. Final Fermentation: Approximately 2 to 2½ hours at 76°F. This bread does not favor overnight fermentation.
  7. Baking: With normal steam, 440°F for about 60 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 420°F after 15 minutes. Due to the high water content, this bread requires a long and full bake. Cool thoroughly on racks, wrap in baker’s linen, and resist the (understandable) temptation to cut into the loaf until it has rested for 12 hours, allowing the flavors and the crumb to set.