MICHE: MULTIGRAIN SOURDOUGH BOULE
extract from the workshop by Sandeep Gyawali | MicheBread.com | Instagram: MicheBreadAustin
Miehe is traditionally a large round loaf (“miche” is French slang for a butt cheek). It’s the bread that used to be baked in communal ovens and fed a family for a week. The bread precedes modem milling methods and commercial yeast. It was made from a sourdough culture and used a mix of different grain flours (usually wheat and rye) which were somewhere between white flour and whole grain flour.
Our modern definition of miche is vague at best. It usually means that a sourdough culture is used and there is some proportion of various whole grain flours. Below is a home oven sized simplified miche, which is meant to give you the confidence to use more and various whole grain flours. It uses ~50% whole grain flour and has a good amount of flavor. It also has the option of adding a little bit of commercial yeast in addition to the sourdough, so that there is a greater chance of success as you become familiar with your sourdough culture. As you increase the amount of whole grain flour, you’ll usually also need also to increase the amount of water (whole grains are thirsty) and maybe do a few more folds to develop the gluten. 100% whole grain doughs can need equal parts water to flour, or more.
This recipe is for a ~900g (2 lb) dough. Total flour is 500g (not counting the flour in the sourdough to simplify math). Make 2-4 loaves at a time if you can to experiment with proofing, scoring, etc.
Whole grain flour mix
Bread flour or strong AP
Sourdough culture (any hydration)
Instant yeast (1/3 tsp= 1.2g), optional
*The desired final dough temperature is 70 °F to 76 °F. Adjust the water temperature depending on ambient temperature. Use ice to chill the water.
The total hydration for this dough is ~75%. It makes a relatively wet dough that is easy to fold. As you get more comfortable with handling the wet dough, you can increase the hydration gradually. Fresh-milled flours usually need more water than older flour. A wetter dough will give a thinner crust with larger air pockets in the crumb. It will also be more difficult to handle and shape properly and requires more mixing/folds to develop enough strength to stand up.
- Mix everything together in a mixing bowl by hand until well incorporated. Cover.
- Do a series of stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for 2 hours. If you choose to omit the instant yeast, you need to give about 3 to 4 hours of this ”bulk fermentation”, folding every 30-60 the minutes. You’ll need 4-6 folds usually to develop enough strength, depending on your flour mix. Perform the windowpane test to judge sufficient gluten development.
- Once you start to see signs of fermentation, such as bubbles and the dough getting larger, place the dough in the fridge for 8-24 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. If it has risen at least 50%, divide it into individual loaves if needed, and preshape it gently into a round. If it hasn’t risen much, leave it out at room temperature until it rises noticeably.
- Let relax for 1-2 hours. Keep the dough covered to prevent it from drying out.
Lyukum Cooking Lab Loaves
TAM 105 is a hard red wheat variety developed by Texas A&M in 1976, now widely considered open-pollinated. A good performing wheat that makes great bread, pizza, muffins, and cookies, with a relatively neutral flavor that makes it suitable to mix with other high-value wheats. Grown by Ralph Hoelscher (a certified organic farmer since 1993) in Miles, Texas. 12.31% protein, 382 falling number.
Rouge de Bordeaux
This 19th century bread flour was the favorite of French bakers for generations. Breads from Rouge de Bordeaux are noted for their nutty, sweet, rich flavor and exquisite aroma. The whole berries exhibit strong aromas of cinnamon and baking spice! Grown organically (but not certified) by Timothy Leppert, near Valley City, ND. Our 2018 crop will be from New Braunfels and Tokio, TX. 15.25% protein, 492 falling number.