If I were a bakery this La Miche would be my “Hausbrot”. This is the bread that I make very regularly for our family, its easy, nutritious and very versatile in its eating uses. La Miche is a traditional french bread and the name ” la Miche” literally means a large round loaf. This traditional french bread is typically made from dough that is predominantly wholewheat with a mix of other flours in proportions that vary both regionally and from bakery to bakery. In this version here, I use regular organic whole wheat flour with a little white bread flour. The addition of white flour helps to lift the bread and create a nice soft crumb that is not as dense as 100% wholewheat bread.
Recipe for La Miche
Ingredients for one large round loaf
100g wheat sour dough starter (taken directly from the fridge).
575g organic wholewheat flour
200g wheat flour 550
20g fresh yeast
extra ~70g wholewheat flour (caution, add at the end of the mix)
Mix all the ingredients apart from the extra flour on low speed for 6-7 minutes. The dough mix at this stage will be very wet, but thats OK because the wholewheat flour needs to be well hydrated. However, since this dough is going to be baked as a large boule it needs to be able to hold its shape and rise up, and not spread out, so you now need to add more flour to create a robust dough that can be formed into a tight ball. Add the extra 70g of flour and more if the dough is still too wet. Mix well.
Cover the bowl and let rise for 1.5 hours at room temperature. Once doubled in size turn out the dough onto a heavily floured work surface. Kneed in still more flour if the dough is not holding its shape. Flatten the dough and fold it twice, repeat. Take approximately 1/5 of the dough and form a small dough ball. Place this small ball into the centre of your prooving basket. Then form the rest of the dough into a large ball and place it on top of the small ball in the basket. Make sure there is space in your basket for the dough to rise well, the dough should not fill more that 2/3rds of the basket. (if needed remove some of the dough, form into rolls and bake seperately, no need to waste any!).
Leave to rise again at room temperature for 45-60 minutes. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and place a roasting try of water on the floor of the oven, to create steam during the baking. Carefully turn out the dough onto a floured baking sheet and bake hot for 10 mins. Then turn down the oven to 190 degrees and bake for a further 60-70 minutes, until deeply browned.