Monday, September 26, 2011

BBA #33: Poilane-Style Miche

The thirty-third bread of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is a poilane-style miche. This bread is a version of the most famous bread baker in the world- Lionel Poilane's miche. I was awed reading the account of Poilane's apprentices who not only mix and bake their bread but also stack their own firewood, stoke their own fires and bake without a thermostat on the oven. He teaches them to bake by feel.
This bread is too large for the mixer using 7 cups of whole wheat flour in addition to the 3 cups of starter. It was an interesting experience to try and mix it all by hand. This was the first bread I've baked by hand kneading the whole thing myself.
Boy is that a work out! Y'know I had been blaming my intense yoga class for my sore arms this week but may is was the bread kneading.
I was tempted to form and score the bread as instructed and take a picture akin to the cover of the book. (See Phyl's pic.) But, it was the start of football season and I was preparing a massive loaf!
Yes, a football. That's appropriate. Oh, how much I'd love a lame in my stocking this Christmas. (hint, hint!!)
Poilane thinks the bread is best on day two or three. Reinhart likes the bread 3 hours after baking. I have to agree with Reinhart. I love soft warm bread right out of the oven. This bread is hearty and dense with a delicious full flavor. It would be perfect with a hearty winter soup for dinner.

Sadly, we could not get to the whole loaf. Be sure to have all your friends and neighbors over when you bake this bread! It's massive!


  1. Wow, a football shape! That is so great and so clever of you to do it that way. Love the look of it. I agree, even the smaller version I made was large was good, though! You are moving right along with all of this.

  2. Ha! I love the football shape! And I love the process's so much fun to see what others' kitchens look like. :)

  3. Good for you for actually making the whole loaf--I cut it in half so I could do it in a mixer. Football shape, how cool!


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