Sunday, October 28, 2007

Making Country Miche Boules

Here I am showing some of the steps involved in making the High Extraction Flour Country Miche Boules we baked in the Wheat to Eat class at Johnson & Wales. After making the dough and letting it rise for its first rise, the dough is formed into the boule (round loaf) shape and is placed in a highly floured banneton (a basket made of willow), where it rises a final time.

Above we have flipped four of the boules out of their bannetons onto a floured peel (wooden board). The reason for placing them on the peel is that it makes it easy to slide them into the oven. Before going into the oven, the tops of the loaves are scored. Note, due to the time limitations of the class, we couldn't wait for them to rise to their prime. They would have benefited from about fifteen more minutes of rising time. But they still turned out plenty beautifully.

Here we have placed several dozen loaves of bread into the oven. During the first five minutes, steam is produced by the special ovens. On the racks in front are loaves (shaped into batards) that are ready to enter the ovens. They are not waiting on peels, but rather on parchment lined sheet pans, an alternative. Chef Reinhart gave us tips on how to adapt the baking methods to home ovens.

The boules are shown baking in the oven above. They have risen slightly more in the oven, and the score marks have become quite expanded. I like how the flour from the bannetons leaves pretty white flour stripes on the top of the bread.


J-fer Rose said...

Wow! Are you home already? Looks like it was a FANTASTIC class!

Bonnie said...

Every so often, I feel sad about my wheat intolerance. Reading your luscious post is one of these times.
If I look at it as art rather than food, it really helps though. And you have found a way to meld the two--art and food!

Amy said...

That's so awesome! Did you love the class??

bev said...

Kathleen, I have been looking all over the internet for bennatons or proofing baskets and I cannot find them. Do you know where I might find them? Your bread looks fantastic--very inspiring. Thanks, Bev

Kathleen said...

Thanks! Bev, I bought a plastic proofing basket in a small housewares specialty store in Kansas City when I was there visiting. I haven't seen them in any other store. When I brought it to the cashier, she had no idea what it was, they had just got them in, so that was interesting. But, the brand I found was made in Germany, Thermo Hauser. So maybe an internet search for that brand might help. For plastic bannetons, prepare them by first coating them well w/oil (either spray them with oil spray or brush it on) and then flour it very well.

But, another idea for proofing baskets is buying wicker baskets that have a removable cloth lining. I have found both round and oval lined-baskets at World Market, for between 5 and 10 dollars each. Just flour the cloth lining very very well. You can launder the lining in the washing machine when done.

the willow wood specialty bannetons are very expensive, they can cost 40 dolllars or more each.
MATFER BOURGEAT is a brand name for willow proofing baskets. Maybe that will help.

Good luck! Kathleen