BBA Challenge #33: Poilâne-Style Miche

Oh, I REALLY procrastinated the next bread of the BBA Challenge – the famous Poilâne Style Miche everybody was raving about. I don’t really know why I procrastinated it, it must have been some kind of anticipation…

First of all, I decided to make only a half recipe because I couldn’t imagine I would be able to handle this huge loaf of 4 pounds. I took my well-behaving barm out of the fridge and mixed it with freshly homeground sifted medium-grind whole-wheat flour and water. Then I set it aside for some fermentation and put it back in the refrigerator after some hours. The next day, I removed the starter from the refrigerator, let it rest a little to take off the chill and made the dough by mixing it with homeground sifted medium-grind whole-wheat flour, salt and water. Another fermentation for about 4 hours… It rose well, doubled without any problems, that is. So I formed it into a bâtard, placed it into my  14,5” oval brotform (I don’t own a round one but am still thinking about getting one) and put it back in the fridge. It was too late that day for another 3-hour proofing and baking. Besides, I prefer to eat bread that was baked the same day…

OK, so next day, the brotform came out of the refrigerator approximately 4 hours before I planned to bake it. It rose really well. I started to prepare the oven for hearth baking and got ready to transfer the dough from the brotform to the peel. And then it happened. The dough teared apart  – the upper half was on the peel, and the bottom half was sticking in the brotform. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH. So I kneaded everything back together and this time put it in a loaf pan. I thought I’d give it some time to rise again, but after 4 hours there was barely any rise noticeable. So I stuck it in the oven and baked it anyway. Oh well….  It didn’t really look nice – it was flat and dense. Taste-wise, the kids didn’t like it because it was too sour. It really was on the sour side, but I didn’t think it was TOO sour. Later on I read that when you retard sourdough bread a lot (which I definitely did: overnight in the fridge and the unexpected rise after it had teared apart), it gets more sour, so I guess that would be the explanation. As the kids didn’t really like the bread and it was too much for hubby and myself, I used the left-over as bread crumbs for the pumpernickel bread which is rising right now…

To sum it up, I DO want to try this bread again to understand why everyone is soooo fascinated about this bread, but before that I’ll go and buy the real one so I know how it’s supposed to be. YES, you CAN buy the real Poilâne Miche in Berlin (thanks to Daniel, he let me know the time and place).


9 responses to “BBA Challenge #33: Poilâne-Style Miche

  1. I think that everyone has at least one recipe from the book that doesn’t work for them. I divided my loaf in four, it was huge. We were walking the dog this morning and I was telling my husband about your sidebar, I wish I had done that, kept a running list of what to try again.

  2. Too bad it didn’t work out. But you should try it again. And I would recommend going for the whole, 4-pound monster: it is so impressive. And the bread keeps a long time, so you can eat it all week.

  3. The bread is sour but not too sour that’s why I like it.
    I wish I could taste the real thing without ordering it straight from France. The nearest store from my city that sells it is in Boston, too far to drive just for a quarter of a loaf.:)

  4. Wow, once you try the real thing, you’ll have to post about how it tastes in comparison! =) I’m sorry about the bread tearing in two . . . it’s so hard when you’ve put so much time into a bread and then something like that happens!

  5. I’m already looking forward to round two! Thanks for sharing your experience…I haven’t made this one yet.

  6. I saw the “real” store in Paris but never got any bread there. They also sold it in London I think at Fortnum and Mason’s but that place was so overpriced I never bought any. I was with some other friends who were frankly not that interested in yet another boulangerie. And really, I couldn’t justify buying a huge loaf like that.

    I’m looking forward to round two!

  7. Oh my! How heartbreaking. I would love to hear how round 2 goes so don’t forget to post about it.

  8. Pingback: BBA Challenge #32: Poilane Style Miche « Three Clever Sisters

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