Monday, February 24, 2014

Sidebar Sunday: Happy Accident 100% Sprouted Rye

Hi. Yes. I am aware that it's Monday. I will get my Sidebar Sunday to actually land on Sunday. Eventually. And just a quick note. My last two posts here have been breads of my own design, so, in these instances, this is not really a 'Tartine Bread' experiment, I am aware. Those of you who know me know that I experiment a lot with my own thing so you are going to see a lot more of it (I had actually considered changing the name of the blog and completely going down my own bread path with it, but then the new book came out and I could not resist). I love where my own experiments take me, and the only thing better than developing new breads and new techniques is sharing them with all of you. When I was a kid, I would always ask my dad, 'but what if?' And so this blog is more about the 'what if?' for me, right, what if I did things my way instead?

One thing you should know is that when I put up a post, I have experimented with the bread that you see, some of them many times over. Some of them work straight away because I try to build upon what I have already accomplished in calculations for my next idea. While I love Chad's book, I'm also no different than Chad, or any other serious baker for that matter, in that I want to find my own expression with bread. And the only way to do that is to step off of the path and seek it on my own. One of my strongest interests is to work with completely whole grain breads, and I am experimenting with ways to do that so we don't end up with brick-like loaves at the end of a bake. I think that this post along with my last post proves that it can be done, and I am on a mission to keep working with 100% whole grain breads that achieve excellent oven spring and great taste/texture.

Happy Accident 100% Sprouted Rye

I will probably never own a bakery (my friend Joe will fulfill that dream for us both some day very soon), but I can promise you that because I invent things in an environment similar to your own, you will probably have good luck with the things that I post. So far, knock on wood, I have not received one email or comment with a complaint that one of my breads did not work. My worst nightmare is posting something that will turn out to be a flop for you.

Speaking of accidents, let's get on to this happy accident rye.

So, you know what they say. If it looks like a chicken and talks(?) like a chicken, it must be a chicken, right. Well, here's what happened to me a bit ago: I was generously gifted two bags of grains from one of my favorite millers, 'To Your Health', right, a bag of sprouted rye and a bag of sprouted spelt. I decided to work with the bag of spelt about two weeks ago, and when I really inspected it, it looked suspiciously like rye. Now, I have been working with grains long enough to know the difference between them, alas, I took the label for its word. Perhaps it was some sort of special blue-grey spelt that looked like rye and smelled like rye and talked like rye. After all, To Your Health makes some damn-near holy flours, I would not be surprised if they were peddling some almost extinct strain of spelt that no one else in the world was in possession of.

Onward.

Thank goodness I decided to make a rye levain for the spelt bread that I had in mind before I went to bed. The next day I milled the damn-near holy, blue-grey, extinct spelt. Of course, it looked uncannily like rye flour, concrete gray flecked with gunmetal.



When I added it to my levain/water mixture all doubt was removed: This was rye. Of course it was rye! I knew it all along. Ah, but here's me making lemonade:

So, instead of pitching what was sure to be a thirsty, unruly beast (250g freshly milled, and 250g freshly milled and hand-bolted RYE), I decided to forge on without a safety net. At this point my hands were plunged wrist deep in it, so I could not reach for Reinhart or Hamelman, and I didn't have a free hand to text my friend Joe to bail me out (again), so I decided to do what I do best. Experiment. Why not. It was 5 a.m. and I had nothing better to do. Well, OK, sleep. Sleep would be something better. But enough grousing. The call of bread and all that.

I decided to see what would happen if I did a bulk ferment as I usually do (obviously no turns were going to be happening here), skip the bench, and shorten my final. I did all that. And man. Oh man! The results were fantastic!



The final bread was not overly acidic. It was just acidic enough (I really have good luck with low-acid, or rather, 'adequately acidic' loaves). The flavor of the grain was pulled out at max level, that is to say that it was all earth and mineral and sweet hay. The texture was moist but not dense. I will say that you are supposed to wait for 24 hours before slicing breads with a high percentage of rye. I didn't experience any of the 'gumminess' that can come from breads that are not given ample time to cool and redistribute moisture throughout. I waited about 8 hours and I suggest you wait at least this long before slicing to avoid the unpleasant textural issues one faces with ryes whose crumb is not fully set during an adequate cooling period.



The crust was crisp but tender, not even an echo of toughness. And I finished a quarter of the loaf both plain and with some cured salmon, cucumber, red onion, fennel and a drizzle of homemade creme fraiche. I also achieved more oven spring than anyone could hope for with a 100% whole rye loaf.


As you can imagine, I had visions of rye possibilities dancing in my head after this so I schemed up another loaf. This time I had a little more time to think through some sensible design rather than wing it with my hands swallowed up by the quicksand that made for such a lovely loaf. This time I milled up my rye, 250g freshly milled, 180g freshly milled and bolted with the #50 screen, 120g freshly milled and bolted with the #30 screen for a complexity of textures. I toasted up some sunflower and pumpkin seeds, plumped up some sultana raisins and added them to the dough. I long-fermented the levain, 9 hours, because it was uber stiff, shortened the autolyse to 30 minutes and the bulk to 3 hours, and my final fermentation was 7.5 hours.


Intentional Sprouted Rye with Seeds & Sultanas

The crust was great. A teensy bit stronger than the first loaf but only because of the raisins, which happens with fruited breads. The sugars create sort of a 'caramel' that hardens when it cools in the spots with fruit, even with white flour breads, alas, I think that we all know this. The crumb was really moist and evenly textured. Truly a lovely bread that hit the spot because I had a sweet tooth this afternoon after I baked it. Lovely with tea, and I can't wait to have it with butter tomorrow morning. I have some exciting experiments in mind for this loaf that I will pass on when I come back around to it



The thing is, I have always been told that 100% rye loaves are tricky. They don't work. They make crusts like tree bark. The formula to arrive at any worthy one is long and tedious and even then it may turn out to be something to build a house with rather than eat. And none of that was true for my loaves this week.

About the grains. So, I have waxed poetic over and again about To Your Health flours, well, the rye that I used for these loaves of bread have proven that their grains are as fantastic as their flours. They sell online, though you can find it at Whole Foods, which I never do, because they mill their flour to order and I would rather have it fresh. When I opened the bag of rye the heady aroma of sweet hay and freshly-cut grass and lovely quince came rushing forth. What a fabulous nose! The flavor translation in bread, while obviously delicious, is definitively earthy, clean and sweet, herbaceous and spicy all at once. I have baked with rye flour that has tasted really strong, almost dirty, and bitter, but not To Your Health. Neither their rye berries nor their flour have these unpleasant flavor profiles. So, I forgive them for mislabeling my little bag. It allowed these two new breads to be born.



After having the intentional rye, here is what Christina, one of my dearest friends, said about it: 'This is the best bread I have ever eaten. Seriously'.

Seriously. Here are the formulae for your two new ryes, one accidental, one intentional, both the start of a rye journey that I have been dying to travel down. The wheels are turning bread friends. And we have only just begun.

Have a look.




Happy Accident Rye

The night before dough night, make your levain:

10g 100% rye starter
75g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
75g h2o

Mix together the above until you arrive at a very stiff paste. This is a stiff levain, so it will need to ferment longer than your more liquid levains. Mine fermented for 9 hours.



DOUGH DAY

250g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
250g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #50 screen
330g h2o
12g kosher salt, I use Diamond

After the levain has fermented adequately, dissolve it in the water, add the flours and vigorously mix by hand, raking and squeezing the dough with your hand shaped like a claw for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Autolyse for 30 minutes. After the autolyse, squish the salt into the dough and repeat the vigorous 3 to 4 minute claw-handed mixing. Now it's time for the 4-hour bulk fermentation. Leave it be for 4 hours. The dough will expand just a bit. It will get a little 'puffy' looking rather than getting that intense and obvious expansion that you see with higher gluten flours.

When bulk fermentation is accomplished, turn the dough out onto a workspace dusted with some of the 'chaff' that you saved from bolting your flour. With wet hands, lightly pat and shape into a round, then pop into a banneton or a bowl lined with linen that you have dusted with your leftover chaff.





Pop in the fridge and ferment. Mine fermented for 9 hours.

BAKE DAY

Preheat the oven to 500 with a dutch oven and baking stone inside.

The dough will have expanded a bit, but will not have increased enormously in volume. It will feel firm but alive. Rye is as serious grain with almost zero gluten development capability, so you are going to get a modest amount of expansion during final fermentation. Expect that. If you have done things successfully, you will still achieve lovely oven spring. Just keep moving forward with it. This is the nature of rye. Once it is baked, you will see the magic happen. I promise!

Unearth the dough by placing a sheet of parchment over the mouth of the dough bowl, then place a peel over this and quickly invert the bowl so that the dough ends up sitting on the paper and the peel.

Slide it into the shallow half of the hot dutchie. Cover with the fat half, slide it into the oven, and steam for 15 minutes at this temp, then turn the oven down to 475 and steam for another 15 minutes.

After the steam, remove the fat end of the dutchie, then stack the pan over its mouth to create a buffer between the hot stone and the bread. This will help keep the bottom of your bread from blackening.

Toggle the oven between 450 and 475 until the boule is reaches  internal temp of 210 degrees.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 8 but preferably 24 hours before slicing.
.




Intentional Rye with Seeds & Sultanas

The night before dough night, make your levain:

11g 100% rye starter
78g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
78g h2o

Mix together the above until you arrive at a very stiff paste. This is a stiff levain, so it will need to ferment longer than your more liquid levains. Mine fermented for 9 hours.

DOUGH DAY
For the dough, you will need

All of the levain
200g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour
180g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #50 screen
120g hand-milled To Your Health sprouted dark rye flour, bolted with a #30 screen

360g h2o
65g toasted sunflower seeds
65g toasted pumpkin seeds
190g sultana raisins, soaked in hot water for about an hour, then squeezed of excess liquid
11g kosher salt, I use Diamond

After the levain has fermented adequately, dissolve it in the water, add the flours and vigorously mix by hand, raking and squeezing the dough with your hand shaped like a claw for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Autolyse for 30 minutes. After the autolyse, squish the salt into the dough and repeat the vigorous 3 to 4 minute claw-handed mixing. When you are done mixing, incorporate the seeds and sultanas into the dough. Now it's time for the 3-hour bulk fermentation. Leave it be for 3 hours. The dough will expand just a bit. It will get a little 'puffy' looking rather than getting that intense and obvious expansion that you see with higher gluten flours.



When bulk fermentation is accomplished, turn the dough out onto a workspace dusted with some of the 'chaff' that you saved from bolting your flour. With wet hands, lightly pat and shape into a round, then pop into a banneton or a bowl lined with linen that you have dusted with your leftover chaff.

Pop in the fridge and ferment. Mine fermented for 7.5 hours.

BAKE DAY

.
Preheat the oven to 500 with a dutch oven and baking stone inside.

The dough will have expanded a bit, but will not have increased enormously in volume. It will feel firm but alive. Rye is as serious grain with almost zero gluten development capability, so you are going to get a modest amount of expansion during final fermentation. Expect that. If you have done things successfully, you will still achieve lovely oven spring. Just keep moving forward with it. This is the nature of rye. Once it is baked, you will see the magic happen. I promise!

Unearth the dough by placing a sheet of parchment over the mouth of the dough bowl, then place a peel over this and quickly invert the bowl so that the dough ends up sitting on the paper and the peel.


Slide it into the shallow half of the hot dutchie. Cover with the fat half, slide it into the oven, and steam for 15 minutes at this temp, then turn the oven down to 475 and steam for another 15 minutes.

After the steam, remove the fat end of the dutchie, then stack the pan over its mouth to create a buffer between the hot stone and the bread. This will help keep the bottom of your bread from blackening.





Toggle the oven between 450 and 460 until the boule is reaches internal temp of 207 degrees. You must keep this temp on the low side so that the interior thoroughly bakes. If you blast the oven, the loaf will burn and the crumb will remain underbaked. Now is a good time to use your Thermoworks instant read thermometer. Mine took a total of one hour and 10 or 15 minutes to get there.



Cool on a wire rack for at least 8 but preferably for 24 hours before slicing. This is a heavy loaf of bread due to the addition of fruit and nuts, so it needs time to set.

The Accidental Photos


To the staff of life!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sidebar Sunday: Michette

So, we have Flashback Fridays where I revisit oldies and goodies, make amends with breads that I ruined, or say bonjour to those breads I never visited at all (Yikes! Sorry neglected breads!). And now we have Sidebar Sundays where I get to do my own thing sans Chad. I'm sure he won't mind.

Oh, and yes. I am aware that it is Tuesday. Sorry. I'm a little late. But you'll forgive me, I know.

In this post:
  • Green flour: what is it?
  • Freshly milled flour: to age or use fresh?
  • What the chemicals in our store-bought flour mean
  • Bluebird Grain Farms hard white spring wheat
  • Bad news baguettes
  • Introducing Michette, my newest love child

So, baguettes are a tricky thing. They take a lot of experimentation to master them. And this is why you don't see a baguette post today. Actually, I'm a few days behind on a new post because I did attempt the baguette formula (15 baguettes!) but I had trouble with it, so I decided to go back to the drawing board and come round again next week with it.

I think since I have always been less than thrilled about working with commercial yeast, the baguette appeal has been less than lustrous for me. I have admittedly approached them a little half-heartedly, if not with heels staunchly digging in the sand. Not just this week, but generally.

Like most of my baguette attempts (I've only ever had two successful attempts), this last batch was OK. But only just. We ate them, but we were not dazzled by them. The crust was too strong, as was the crumb, they took up too much time and space, and the shaping, oi. I'm not a good baguette shaper. At the end of the baguette day I felt disappointed. Alas, it has been a very long time since I had a bread mishap, so, I let this go as a much needed bread (life) experience, and instead of skirting the baguette issue, I decided to simply dig in from here on out. It is said that that the thing one holds the most aversion to is the thing that shall free him or her. Actually, I think I'm making that up, but it feels instinctual that this should be true. So, okay, I'll dig in... starting next week. In the meantime, I am tickled pink to share my new love child with you.



Michette

So here's me making lemonade: about four weeks ago I set out to create my own 100% whole grain, 100% white wheat bread, that was not flat or hard or gross. I wanted it to be made completely with home-milled grain both whole and hand-bolted (the old-school way of making 'high-extraction' flour; we are going to talk about this later). I wanted it to have a fantastic shattery crust and a really fragrant and exquisitely flavored crumb. What you see above is my first go round, and I must say, the crust was as shattery as a girl could hope for, and the crumb was so lovely and light and moist, I can't even explain the texture. It was gorgeous. And the taste of it, why, my first nibble was delightfully fruity! Alas, my little loaf was flattish. Not flat, mind, flattish.




And you know me, I simply had to get to the bottom of it, so I phoned my friend Joe, a professional bread baker in New York, and gave him my formula from start to finish. The first thing Joe said, because he has a masters in diplomacy, was: 'I love the crumb of your new bread. It is more reminiscent of a French miche, which has a tighter crumb and lower profile.' Thus, my sweet Michette was born.



But then he got down to brass tacks. After reviewing my formula, he said that the culprit could be one or a combination of these things: overfermentation, because freshly milled flour can sometimes ferment faster than flour we get at the store, and green flour.

Wha, who, huh?

Yes. Green flour. I was as much in the dark as you, so I set out to do some serious research, and here is what I found:

Green flour, as it is called, is freshly milled flour. So, the flour that we freshly mill at home, or the flour freshly milled at a flour mill is considered green. The reason why we need to discuss this is because as home-millers, the properties of green flour seriously affect the outcome of our breads. Let me break it down simply.

When grains are freshly milled, the gluten content is immature and will behave poorly in bread baking as it is not strong enough to raise our dough properly. This is evident in poor oven spring, flat loaves, dense crumb and tough crusts. So, we must oxidize (age) our flour before its use (there is one loophole to aging, which you will discover as you read on). Oxidation of flour occurs like this: the thiol groups and sulfide bonds are proteins in flour. When flour is oxidized, meaning, when oxygen penetrates it, these two groups strategize and create disulfide bonds. It is this disulfide bonding that strengthens gluten bonds in the flour itself, which later allows gluten strands to develop favorably, thereby strengthening the dough. When flour is not properly oxidized, the disulfide bonding remains fractional, thus the gluten will not be properly developed when the dough is mixed, resulting in weak dough structure and the aforementioned issues. Granted, the flatness of my pretty Michette was not what I consider catastrophic, and the crust and crumb were simply splendid. I just knew she had more potential.


So, here's the scoop on the aging process. Commercial milling houses age their flour with various chemicals that oxidize the thiol groups of proteins in flour, namely gaseous chlorine, used primarily for cake flour, which acts as a whitening agent, and 'matures it' swiftly, meaning that it stabilizes the flour so that it behaves more consistently; and benzoyl peroxide which artificially and instantly oxidizes other white flours thus strengthening the gluten bonds and whitening it. Both of these artificial oxidizing processes speed up the disulfide bonding and result in flours that can be used immediately in bread baking so the flour mills don't have to spend money on the most costly and healthful way to age flour: time.

Unfortunately, these bleaching agents adversely affect the flavor of the flour by destroying the carotenoid pigments in it. These pigments are what cause a creamy color in unbleached flour and the smell of bread when it's baking. The more carotenoids in flour, the more flavor and nutrients there are.

Next up is ADA (azodicarbonamide), also known as 'Maturox'. This chemical oxidizes the thiol groups of proteins in flour and strengthens the dough just like the processes above, but it is a swift-acting agent, meaning that it is activated and works in the early part of dough makeup, which can wreak havoc for bakers who use slow fermentation processes, i.e., artisan bakers who use pre-ferments. While it does cause bread to achieve immense oven spring, it is best used in breads that require very short fermentation times, i.e., commercial bread making facilities would benefit from using ADA in their non-artisan breads because they don't slow-ferment their beads. Flour that has been conditioned with ADA  has to be legally be labeled 'bleached'.


Bluebird Grain Farms Hard White Spring Wheat Berries

Another really scary chemical used in baking in the United States is potassium bromide, or 'bromate'. You have seen non-bromated flour and bromated flour on the shelf. Potassium bromate 'conditions' flour and allows bread baked with it to achieve immense oven spring. But it comes at a price: it's carcinogenic. Studies have shown that it creates tumors in lab rats and has consistently demonstrated a link to cancer. Bromates are banned in Canada, Europe and Japan, but as mentioned, can still be used in the United States. However, California's Prop 65 has recognized its carcinogenic properties and requires all baked goods and flours containing bromate to bear a warning on their labels if sold in California, but only if the levels exceed an approved level, meaning flours and baked goods can contain below the approved amount without stating so. In response, most California bakers have switched to bromate-free flours because of the warning label requirements. But frankly, it's alarming that we still allow it at all. America. Big business. What is good for the consumer is often secondary.

Finally, another way to age flour is by the addition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Vitamin C really tautens your dough, seriously hampering extensibility. Evidently it improves oven spring and I have read that bakers can add it to the dough later in the mixing process to this end. It doesn't seem like a positive tradeoff to me, even if it is an innocuous addition. If I have to fight with my dough, it seems like a rather unpleasant option.

OK. If you are now totally freaked out and overwhelmed about aging your flour or disenchanted by home-milling, you shouldn't be! There are two natural and easy ways to circumvent the lack of oven spring, dense crumb and tough crust using home-milled flour. One is time, the other is speed, and this is the focus of today's experiment.

So, onto that.

I set out to do an experiment with Joe's theory, beginning with the green flour issue. My adorable Michette above was used with flour that I milled one morning then used the next day, about 15 hours later. Evidently, if you mill flour and use it after 8 - 12 hours, an enzymatic situation happens which results in the flattish loaves. HOWEVER, if you mill grains and use them straight away, whatever enzymatic situation that occurs after 8 - 12 hours that causes angry loaves does not occur, and your loaves will happily achieve great oven spring.
 Michette, fresh



Alternatively, if you cannot use your flour right away (within the first 8 - 12 hours of milling), you can age it simply by putting it in a paper bag for at least 3 weeks (or you can do what I did and just put it in a jar and cover the mouth of it with cheesecloth so that oxygen can enter). Oxygen will gently penetrate and 'age' your flour, and all of that disulfide bonding will successfully occur, thus resulting in strengthened dough and fabulous oven spring. I had great results by aging my flour for 3 weeks and 2 days in a wide-mouthed jar which I covered with cheesecloth.


Michette, aged






Both of the new Michettes achieved excellent oven spring, as you can see. So, Joe was right about everything, and this is not the only time he has come to my rescue. I am so lucky to have access to a professional bread baker so that when things go awry I can get answers quickly, or be led in the right direction. There is nothing more frightening than having questions without the prospect of answers, or worse, conflicting answers that you have discovered on the internet.

Thank you Joe!

So, to sum things up here is what you want to do when working with freshly milled flour:

1) Mill and use your flour straight away, before the enzymes that wreak havoc on your loaves kick in. So, the sooner the better, but not after 12 hours, and your loaves will achieve fine oven spring (I personally would mill right before I was about to make my dough. Why wait even an hour?)

2) If you cannot use your flour right away, then age it for at least three weeks in a paper bag or a jar covered with a piece of cheese cloth to the same end.

I should also note that the original Michette was fermented for 18 hours, and with the final two, I reduced the final fermentation to 11 hours. A smart move, and Joe was right. My had original Michette overfermented. A note here. This is not true of all breads made from freshly-milled flour, but with white wheat, I have noticed that it ferments very quickly. The timing seems to be much more in the realm of my high-percentage ryes, which I ferment to about 9 hours. I would not push this loaf past an 11-hour fermentation. I have made hard red wheat breads with freshly milled flour and employed long fermentations with fine results. With white wheat, assume that it will (even commercially milled) ferment quickly. I will be experimenting with long fermentations and other grains in upcoming posts so you can have some sort of fermentation gauge for your own loaves using freshly milled grains.

Some of you have been emailing me about your flat loaves. I am hoping that perhaps this post has shed some light on this issue if you are milling your own flour.

Oh, before I get on with the formula, I wanted to talk about the wheat that I used.





For all of these loaves of bread I used 100% Bluebird Grain Farms hard white spring wheat whose plump grains smell fabulous and sweet like wet hay. It's very fresh, and you know this because when you mill it, you have to put it on a coarser setting because fresher grains are more hydrated and don't mill as well in the KoMo mill on a fine setting. Even setting it to a coarser grind, however, you end up with a very fine flour. As you can see from all three loaves, it mills up beautifully. The loaves were fantastic - mild, fruity, gorgeous tasting breads, all three with uber brittle crusts and a very moist crumb. I could not have chosen a better white wheat for my Michette. I traditionally bake rye loaves every week as my mainstay breads, and I have to admit, my 100% whole grain Michette is my new weekly bread of choice.

Have a look.



100% Bluebird Grain Farms White Whole Wheat Michette

MAKE YOUR LEVAIN
For the levain, you will need

75g Bluebird Grain Farms home-milled hard white spring wheat
75g h2o
10g 100% hydration, 100% rye starter

Mix together your levain ingredients and ferment. Mine fermented for around 7 hours.




DOUGH DAY
For the dough, you will need

All of the levain
350g - 389g h2o (see note on hydration just below)
206g Bluebird Grain Farms home-milled hard white spring wheat
294g Bluebird Grain Farms home-milled hard white spring wheat, bolted with a fine-meshed sifter
12g kosher salt, I used Diamond

A note on hydration.

So, whenever you review a formula, before just dumping the suggested amount of water into your bowl of flour and levain, approach it with a conservative hand. Depending upon what sort of flour/grain you are using, you will probably need more or less water than any formula calls for. For instance, freshly milled flour is is warmer than flour that has been sitting on a shelf if you use it relatively quick after milling (I swear by my Thermoworks instant read thermometer for taking temps now. It's fast and accurate), and is always a little more thirsty. This is where your extraordinary baking powers come in. I always approach the hydration in any formula mindfully. If Chad calls for 400g of water in a loaf, I always start with 325 or 350 and work up from there. You can always add more water to a formula at the dough makeup stage, or salt stage, but you can't remove it. Speaking of, the salt stage is actually a great place to think about additional water because it helps disperse the salt, and the dough has relaxed enough so that you can really feel if it needs to be further hydrated. I think the biggest mistake people make is adding too much water early on. The dough is a far different creature at dough makeup stage than after the autolyse. It may seem stiff at first, but autolyse really relaxes the dough and gives you a true snapshot of the hydration of it. For instance, in my aged flour and original Michettes, I used 350g of water, but in the Michette where I milled the flour and used it straight away, I needed 369g. And I am making yet another Michette as we speak using flour that I milled and sifted only 15 minutes prior to making the dough, I started with 369g of water, but added another 20g at salt stage because the dough was a little too elastic for my taste. Be flexible when it comes to hydration!

About bolting your flour:  The old-school way of making 'high-extraction' flour.

Your flour will mill up from your grains gram for gram. So, for the 206g of home-milled flour, you will need 206g of grains. But for the bolted flour, you will need about 60% more whole grains than called. To bolt, you simply need to grind the grains on a wee bit coarser setting than you would your flour. Set a drum fitted with a fine-mesh screen (I used a #50 here) over a bowl large enough to hold the drum. Now using your hand, swiftly sweep it back and forth and in circular motion over the flour, applying some pressure to encourage it through the mesh. The fine flour will fall into the bowl. Keep going until you can no longer coax any flour from the chaff.  After bolting, you will arrive at 42% - 47% of flour, what remains is this gorgeous 'chaff' that you can use later to dust your loaves with.

 freshly milled

 sifting screens

 winnowing

bolted flour

chaff

Back to the formula.

When your levain is properly fermented, dissolve it in the water and mix it together with the flours and the h2o until you reach a shaggy mass. It will look like this.



Autolyse for two hours. After the autolyse, squish the salt into the dough until it's fully incorporated work the dough into a smooth mass. Now it's time for the 4-hour bulk fermentation. Here you will perform a series of turns every half-hour throughout the entire bulk fermentation, taking care not to deflate the dough as you near the end of bulk. If the dough puffs up and you find it too difficult to perform the turns without deflating the dough, then you can let it finish its fermentation untouched. It will be fine.


When bulk fermentation is accomplished, turn the dough out onto a workspace dusted with some of the 'chaff' that you saved from bolting your flour.





Shape into a loose round. Let it rest. Drape with a damp paper towel to keep it from forming a skin. Mine rested for 10 minutes.





After the bench, shape the dough into a taut boule and pop into a banneton or a bowl lined with linen that you have dusted with your leftover chaff.

Pop in the fridge and ferment. Mine fermented for 11 hours.

BAKE DAY


Preheat the oven to 500 with a dutch oven and baking stone inside.

Unearth the dough by placing a sheet of parchment over the mouth of the dough bowl, then place a peel over this and quickly invert the bowl so that the dough ends up sitting on the paper and the peel, seam side down.

Slash or snip the thing in some divine manner, then slide it into the shallow half of the hot dutchie. Cover with the fat half, slide it into the oven, and steam for 15 minutes at this temp, then turn the oven down to 475 and steam for another 15 minutes.



After the steam, remove the fat end of the dutchie, then stack the pan over its mouth to create a buffer between the hot stone and the bread. This will help keep the bottom of your bread from blackening.

Toggle the oven between 460 and 475 until the boule is baked to desired darkness. With white wheat, a golden blush is lovely. I bake mine to an internal temp of 210 degrees.

Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

MIGNON MICHETTE


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Michette - 10 hour Final Fermentation, Fresh-Milled Flour, 389g water at dough makeup:

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