baking a miche

Big round and very tasty breads

If you look up the word “miche (bread)” in wikipedia, you end up in the “pain de campagne” french country bread page. A miche is a big round (boule) sourdough bread – and with big, we mean 2kg or more.

The bakery “Poilâne” in Paris, France made miche breads extremely popular (within the breadnut circle that is). A miche is normally made using sifted wholewheat flour at 90% – this is called high extraction flour. You can buy this in speciality stores but easily sift out a part of the brans yourself, as I did (sometimes). Variation is again the key: you can bake every kind of bread “miche style” – it just refers to a big round, relatively low profile bread.

This is for example a miche I baked using the “light rye” recipe from Mr. Hamelman’s “BREAD” book:

light rye miche

A wholewheat miche

Sifting out some bran from wholewheat flour (10% will give you 90% extraction flour) may not be needed at all. I even forgot to do this, as I bought some flour labeled “light wheat flour”. Do notice the word “whole” is not present. So, I wrongfully assumed it has already been sifted. It just meant finely ground flour, so it was still 100% wholewheat.

As you can see, it’s quite dense and has a very low profile:

A low profile 100% wholewheat miche loaf (2kg!)

That doesn’t make it less tasty of course. Even better, a full wholewheat bread will give you more nutrients and fill your belly faster with less bread (meaning less sugars injected into your blood stream, making you less prone to aging problems! Wow.)

The dough was very sticky – even a bit after baking for an hour at 250°C. This kind of bread usually tastes better after a few days, and it’s even recommended to leave it wrapped in a cloth for 24 hours before cutting. I was not that patient, however. It tasted great out of the oven, but indeed even better the next day!
(Amazing with fresh goat cheese, as pictured below)

The mildly sour taste pairs up well with fresh goat cheese.

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