Miche – the magic of aleurone
Recently I re-read the Flour Treatise. On the third chapter entitled The Milling of Flour, there is a very interesting section about wheat extraction in relation to endosperm, aleurone and bran. It says that wheat contains on average 85% of endosperm; however, 100 pounds of wheat yields 72 pounds of flour and 28 pounds of feed material. The article also says that the reason why it is not possible to extract all of the endosperm as flour, “even with advanced milling methods” is because “the peripheral zones of the endosperm adhere so firmly to the aleurone and bran layers that complete separation is not practical….”
When I read this, my initial thought was: Hmmm, animals eat better than we do because, not just that the aleurone and bran layers contain a lot of nutrients, but also that the aleurone layer is known to have a lot of flavour compounds.
The second thought I had was that no wonder many people say Miche has better flavour than normal bread because a lot of Miches are made of high extraction flours.
I read David’s and Glenn’s posts about how they like Keith Giusto’s Type 85 malted flour. I rang the company and found that the flour is 90% extraction. I felt that the flour would be great for my Miche experiment, so I got hold of the flour.
The weather has turned quite cool lately with day time temperature 20 to 22C, dropping to 14 to 15C overnight. I figured if I mixed a dough around dinner time, I could leave it to ferment overnight on my kitchen counter and bake it first thing in the morning. But I was not going to leave it to chances so I used a low pre-fermented flour ratio of 11% and I didn’t go for a high hydration dough. Below was a 1.6 kg dough at 76% overall hydration with a flour combination of 75% Type 85/25% white.
My Type 85 Miche Formula
- 200 g liquid white starter (has just domed, but not fully matured)
- 675 g Central Milling’s organic type 85 malted flour
- 125 g bread flour
- 584 g lukewarm water (I mixed my dough to 24C)
- 18 g salt
I loved it. It has been a long while since I felt excited at my own bread. The crumb was translucent and that tells me the flour was very well fermented. The crumb smelled sweet to me.
I cut the Miche in half to give it to my neighbor. My neighbor’s boyfriend is making me 4 beautiful baguette bread boards, one for me and the others for each of my three sisters. We went to a local timber merchant last week to select the wood I like. I selected a natural dark color, hard timber from an Australian native gum tree. For my half of the Miche, I sliced it for freezer (because I have another bread coming):
It was a beautiful clear day; my kitchen was full of light, and I was able to catch these beautiful shots (see how the difference of a split second made in the shade of color) :
I went to visit an organic mill, Kialla Foods, 150 km west from where I live. I wrote up about it HERE. I brought back a few small bags of their organic wholemeal flour mix and was dying to try it. The following sourdough was 800 grams, half the weight of the previous Miche, and had 75% of the wholemeal flour mix and 25% white flour. It also had an overall hydration of 76%.
Apart from the flours, all that I added were my sourdough starter, water and salt. The flavour was quite good actually.
I have to admit that I am very happy with this baking test. I previously had problems using Kialla’s stoneground organic wholemeal flour but this wholemeal flour mix is very easy to work with. I know why. Look at the ingredient list: organic white unbleached plain flour, organic wheat bran, gluten, organic sunflower oil, organic sugar, organic soy flour, lecithin powder, malt flour and non-coated ascorbic acid, allergen gluten and soy!!
Outstanding management of fermentation. Gorgeous.
louie brown, thank you.
I am very glad to know about aleurone layer that sounds very tasty and healthy. we call it " 糠" NUKA in Japanese. I understood when I translated the word in Japanese.
When I am afford to buy some organic flour that is freshly milled, I will enjoy to try that. :)
Thank you for sharing your experiment that would be helpful to me in the future. It sounds more fun to hear that you and your neighbor's boyfriend sharing your precious bread each other. That made me smile. :)
Dear Akiko, Is that so that aleurone is 糠 in Japanese? That is interesting. That particular character in Mandarin means food scraps, and is sometimes used to describe old wives!
Yes, It means also " food scraps" in Japanese. In other way, we call it 糊粉層（アリューロン層 ). When I looked up aleurone layer in goo dictionary, it describes it as 糠 ( aleurone) 層 ( layer) that is easy to remember for me. That ( Old wives) is funny.. Shiao-Ping!
Gorgeous breads, as usual. Magnificent crumb structure on both breads.
I'm thrilled you got the CM Type-85 flour and like it.
How about this for coincidence? I have a 1.25 kg miche made with half CM T-85 and half CM AP flour retarding to bake today.
Hi David, I would love to see your 1.25 kg miche with 50% type 85 flour and I will keep a look out. Thanks. Shiao-Ping
See SFBI Miche - another variation - and a SFBI Sourdough
I think I actually used more like 1/3 Type-85 and 2/3 AP flour for this bake. In any case, I think I do like the mixture of these flours better than either one alone. However, I seem to regard which every one I've made most recently as my "favorite."
I am the same with my coffee. I drink coffee infrequently and very particular about it, and when I do make coffee, I seem to regard whichever cup I've made most recently as better than the previous one. Thanks for the link. Shiao-Ping
What mouthwatering photos and nicely written as always!
Hi Sylvia, thank you. Shiao-Ping
I love reading about where your baking is taking you now that you are posting here again. What fun to pick out the wood you want for your bread boards and that your neighbor will make them for you....Like how things used to be done.....an even trade of goods based on different but complementary skills :-)
I am sure you have read about this book here but I am going to mention it again since you are into the realm of whole grains now. It is Peter Reinhart's 'Whole Grain Breads'. His technique of 2 pre ferments really made a huge difference in the results I get with my whole grains. His method can be used on any recipe just by using his percentages to adapt other recipes.
Using whole grains won't give you the open crumb people get using bread flour and AP flour but the flavor speaks for itself....
Just more fun stuff to experiment with on this bread 'journey'. One never quite knows where it will lead :-).
Thank you for posting and your pictures are amazing as usual....What kind of camera DO you use?
Thank you Janet. It's interesting you mentioned Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. You know what - I read that book FROM COVER TO COVER one Chinese New Years's holiday when I was in Taiwan (not this last one, but the one before). I have not baked anything from the book yet, I should try.
The camera that I use is Canon SX210 is.
Thank you for the camera info....My old Canon died. It was one that used film....remember those days? :-) and now I have a digital Fuji....still can't get used to the new format. I am not a speedy learner when it comes to electronics :-)
If you try a Reinhart recipe - try his mash bread. I think all of the recipes can be made with SD in place of a biga. It is a dense loaf compared to the loaves you usually post here but I am told the flavor is GREAT due to the mash.
Janet, you have motivated me to do a Peter Reinhart Whole Wheat Mash Bread. Even though I have read his book cover to cover, I had never made any bread from his book up until now. Below is my version of a whole wheat mash bread baked this morning:
My formula for Whole Wheat Mash Sourdough with Multigrains (makes 1.3 kg dough):
It is a very nice bread. My hydration is why above suggested by Reinhart, but I like it this way. I might have over-fermented my sourdough, but the flavour is very good and the crust is amazing. We are not afraid to blow our own trumpet, are we. Thank you, Janet, for the nudge to bake from Reinhart's book. And, by the way, I like your new picture.
Good Afternoon Shiao-Ping,
Thanks for posting the picture of your loaf and your 'version' of the recipe.
What a beautiful crust color!
I will have to try your formula now and see what my kids think of it. :-) I like your idea of adding the seeds and I am surprised by how open your crumb is. All the extra water really made a difference. My mash loaves are usually a lot denser.
Was the crumb still moist despite it's airiness?
Did you find a difference in flavor due to using essentially 2 pre-ferments? I only bake with whole grains so I have no comparisons on which to draw as to how his method impacts flavor and gluten development. His whole ' theory' being that by using a biga/starter and a soaker the grains release more flavor and they soften up as well as giving the dough a 'jump start' on gluten development hence requiring much less mixing time. (Please note that I have taken GREAT liberty in describing his method here..... since you have read the book, you know how it works....)
I had to get my driver's license renewed and decided if I posing for a new picture there - why not one for here.....so now I have an updated driver's license and a copy of my face here too. :-) The amazing thing being that I actually figured out how to do it with the written help of Sally...only glitch being that when I send messages the photo that pops up there is huge in comparison to the one here.....both loaded at the same time.....oh well.
Thanks again for posting your PR loaf!
Oh yeah I have seen that too - that the logo photo shows up much bigger when you send messages.
The crumb is exceedingly moist. I think you can cut down the hot water for soaking the whole wheat mash by 20 g; ie. a ratio of 1 to 1 is enough. Just make sure your starter is strong, then the bread actually makes itself - I mean, you don't need much mixing or even stretch-and-folds because the acidity in the starter helps develop the strength in the dough.
What I did was I mixed the starter with the mash and the extra 100 g WW flour until just combined, autolyse for 45 minutes, THEN, I added the seeds soaker and salt (very light mixing because with the seeds the dough is delicate). In the many hours when it sat on my kitchen bench fermenting, I did only 2 sets of S&F's (I was going to do more, but the dough just didn't look extended out enough to be needing more).
Wonderful looking bread and I so enjoyed the discussion of your flours. Just looking at the pictures, I want to just slather it in butter and take a big bite.
Just beautiful loaves Shiao-Ping. I also enjoy the CM-T85 flour. Please do show us the Baguette board when you get it.
Hi Eric, it was a last minute thing to mention about the baguette board; at the time I had the sneaky feeling that TFLers would be as interested in a bread board as they would sourdoughs. You know why - TFLers are all creative craftsmen, love making things with their hands.
Fantastic breads, Shiao-Ping. Great to see you have your bread mojo back and working, and that you have resumed going one step beyond in quest of baking excellence. I look forward to receiving more reports from the cutting edge!
Ross, Great to have you visit here too. I was going to tell a lie about how I got the Type 85 flour because I was feeling really embarrassed about how I got it – creating so much “carbon footprint,” and so much about my talk about using locally grown flour, bla bla bla. I was seriously going to tell a white lie. If Central Milling people are reading this comment, they may laugh…. Anyway, I have only got 10 pounds in total. If anyone who lives in Brisbane would like to try this flour, I am very happy to give away some. I am serious. And, Ross, thanks for your comment. Shiao-Ping
Lovely breads, Shiao Ping and interesting information about aleurone. I had never heard of it before. Your comment about the animals eating better than we do made me laugh, but it is true. We have all been too obsessed with texture and colour in the past (soft white wonderbread) and in the process forgot about flavour. Breads without some form of wholewheat in them seem to lack that 'wheaty' flavour.
I always look forward to your posts.
Your posts to this forum are among some of the ones I always look forward to reading, not only for the well crafted breads you make, but for bringing all of us along in your quest for more flavourful bread and how to achieve it. Thank you for sharing your insight, thoughts, and photos.
I enjoyed reading your The Last Loaf of 2010. I love small towns that have a character like Cowichan Bay that you wrote about. What is that interesting logo/picture next to your user name? One day we should have a vote on the best user logo/picture on TFL just for fun. The one that I love the most is ein who has Einstein riding a bicycle in a sort of black and white picture. I haven't seen him around, but I haven't been around myself. Shiao-Ping
Thanks, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post on my visit to Cowichan Bay.
Vancouver Island has a number of small towns and villages of a similar character, but CowBay (as it's known locally) and Mill Bay are the only ones that have a True Grain Bakery in them, which makes these towns extra special for me. Regarding the logo: It is a wood print of St. Honore, patron Saint of bakers and pastry chefs, that I found on the web when I was setting up my account. I'm sure you've heard of him but in case not the link below has a bit of background on how bakers came to have their very own Saint.
Thank you for the information of St. Honore, patron saint of bakers. It is interesting reading too. I guess in ancient times there were many of these patron saints who are revered and treated as protectors.
Had to jump in here as I have not seen or heard the word 'Cowichan' for many, many years.....The sweater my father lived in when not at work was a Cowichan sweater. Large bears knitted into the pattern. It was bought from the Cowichan Indians on one of his trips to Canada.
When I was about 19 years old I drove up to Vancouver to visit friends and ended up buying wool and a Cowichan sweater pattern....came home and knit myself my own C. sweater but it couldn't have been authentic as it was knit by me.....roots in the US.
Had forgotten all about that but your comment brought back fond memories.....Thanks :-)
Shiao-Ping, those are beautiful miches! and thank you for the link to the Flour Treatise.
Thanks for asking the question about Franko's logo. I'd wondered too, but never asked.
Franko's link to Wikipedia shows May 16 as Feast Day for Saint Honoratus - what timing for your question!
Oh but today is not a Feast Day for me, not by a long shot!
Thanks for your comment. Shiao-Ping
The crumb structure of both loaves is remarkable! They look delicious.
I'm so happy when others enjoy the Central Milling flours. I was at their warehouse Friday and picked up 40 pounds for myself and a certain brother of mine: more of their Organic Artisan Bakers Craft white flour and more of their Organic Hi-Protein Fine whole wheat flour.
I wish it were easier for more distant bakers to get the CM flour.
Thank you, Glenn. You go through flours very fast. Isn't it nice to drive to your favourite miller to pick up your favourite flours. I wouldn't mind it myself. It would be a luxury.
I have been going through the CM's Artisan Bakers Craft pretty quickly. I use it in place of other "all-purpose" flours in a variety of uses. It costs about the same as King Arthur AP, so why not support a local business (especially one that is so deserving of support).
As to the luxury of going to Central Milling's warehouse, I have to admit it is fun to go to the source of flours used by so many great artisan bakeries. I'm tempted to try as many of their flours as I can, but I need to work on reproducibility of my favorite loaves more than I need to broaden my repertoire.
Glad you like "our" flour, but remember Petaluma is just the location of their warehouse. The mill is in Utah and the wheat fields are all over the Northern Plains.
Thank you, Glenn, for letting me know. I didn't know the Petaluma office is just their warehouse. How lucky you are.
I phoned Nicky Giusto of Central Milling where I got my Type 85 flour for the bread in this post. I am sure if I dig hard enough at the data bank on The Fresh Loaf I would get the answers to my queries but I am impatient. To talk to the people in the know seems to be a quicker way.
I have two key questions to ask. The first is when we say that a flour is 90% extraction rate (which is the case of the Type 85 flour that I used), do we mean:
or, do we mean:
bearing in mind in a wheat kernel, the composition is roughly
The answer is the latter. It has to do with how the high extraction flour is made. Nicky said that after they peel off the flakes of the wheat kernel, ie. the outer layer/ the bran, they then mill the softer inner layer together with the germ. The process is done manually.
The second question that I have is how a home baker simulate high extraction flour at home. I asked if Hamelman’s suggestion of using a blend of 85 – 90% wholewheat flour and 10 -15% white bread flour a good simulation (see Hamelman’s Bread, page 165 under Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere). To my surprise, Nicky said NOT AT ALL. He said a good place to start would be 75% bread flour and 25% wholewheat flour, or 70% bread flour and 30% wholewheat flour. He said the bread flour has to be a good hard red winter wheat ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR and the wholewheat flour has to be a good hard red winter wheat 100% WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, not some of the reconstituted so-called whole wheat flour where only the brans are added back in and no germ.
I asked him about hard white winter wheat (common in Australia) and he said the ones they tested lacked a flavour dimension and performance dimension that they like.
Nicky knows his stuff! A family of flour geeks who are great bakers.
I note that the SFBI Miche formula calls for all-purpose flour plus wheat germ. No bran.
Thanks for sharing the results of your research. I've been avoiding making anything that calls for High Extraction flour because I didn't really understand it, and can't find it locally. -Varda
I decided that I would like to add some colors to the pale looking crumbs in this post, so I made a walnut & current sourdough using the Type 85 malted flour that I have and a rye starter. My formula is very simple and straight forward but, for me, it is a winning combination that brings together the most flavors for a simple fruit and nut sourdough.
My Formula for Type 85 Walnut & Current Sourdough with a Rye Sour
This 1.1 kg dough has an overall hydration of 80% (not taking into account the water for rinsing the currents). It is essential to soak/rinse the currents; more sweetness will be released for the dough. I don't find any spice or any other ingredient is needed for this bread. It is a beautiful bread to have.
It looks wonderful, Shiao-Ping! Your scoring is very beautiful as well. I really like the crumb, Shiao-Ping.
Thank you, Akiko.
We have recently developed together with a client an aleurone recovery machine which recovers flour stuck on the bran layer.We would like to hear from you experts in flour and baking, if you have used this type of flour before and the potential benefits in the resulting flour. Its colour is almost like white flour, (can´t tell the difference from 2 feet away) with a sweet taste and smell and an the flavour is nothing like normal flour. I find it quite unique. In labs it showed 15.8% protein content and 0.96 % ash. His standard flour is 10.8% protein and 0.5% ash.Our client is mixing this flour with standard white flour as a premium flour as a more nutritive flour with more protein and other benefits.The baking is pretty good as they make baking test daily.They are processing 50% HRW and 50% CWRS What are your thoughts about this?What are the potential uses of this flour for non specialty breads? Look forward to heraring from you all. Alfonso