Tuesday, May 12, 2009

about that miche....

posting a little later today, everyone is still a little lethargic after the weekend we had here at the bakery. that and the blackhawks playing western canadian teams in the playoffs has me up late. we are still busy filling the pipeline. we use a very "artisan style" approach to our baking here at bennison's. it takes a few days of preparation to get our goods ready to sell. i will explain it more as time passes, but as an example, our croissants. we mix the dough on monday, laminate on tuesday, bake on wednesday. we mix on tuesday, laminate on wednesday, bake on thursday. it goes on and on. so much happens to the structure and flavour of the product over that time period. the other choice would be to add fermentation enhancing chemicals to the dough. not happening here.

leads me up to our miche. our miche is a very unusual loaf. it is made from 100% organic flour, water and salt. the flour we use is a high extraction, red winter wheat. high extraction means greater yield per bushel of flour. typical extraction from a bushel of wheat yields about 76% white flour, 24% being germ and bran. the flour in our miche is around 85%. so the flour has a greater percentage of the organic compounds, germ and bran. supporting the whole "know your bread, know your baker", i visited the mill where the flour comes from (that will be tomorrow's story). it is milled on a small stone burr mill in lacrosse, wisconsin. the high extraction thing creates the unique colored crumb of our miche. you won't see any bran particles, or germ pieces, they have been milled too fine. our miche involves a sourdough "levain". a piece of the "chef" is mixed with flour and water. the levain is mixed around 8 am, it rests until just after lunch when we add more flour, salt and water. mix again to create the final dough. it rests for 2 more hours, and the dough is divided into 5 pound pieces. it is rounded into a ball, and turned upside down to "proof", or give the dough it's final rise. it is proofed on french linen that has been dusted with flour. it is placed into a refrigerator overnite. around 5 am, it is pulled out and allowed to set at room temperature until it reaches the proper volume. then it is scored, with a "b", and placed into our hearth oven under high pressure steam. it bakes for an hour.

very important, you always need to save a little piece of the levain, to feed the next days batch.

seems like a real hassle? our customers are worth it.......


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