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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sourdough Miche with Wheat Germs: SFBI recipe - great everyday bread with lots of flavour

I finally got around to make the famous SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institute) Miche the past weekend. I have been wanting to try this recipe for sometimes after reading so much rave reviews from the TFL members.  

The recipe was posted by David (dmsnyder) at The Fresh Loaf (which can be found here). Many of the TFL members have made this Miche and all reported fantastic results (many thanks to David and all TFLers who baked the bread and shared their results).

The bread has a mixture of bread and whole-wheat flour in the starter. It has 74% hydration and contains 2.5% wheat germs, which was toasted before the mixing. I have never baked with wheat germs before, or have any wheat germs for that matter. The aroma of toasted wheat germs was really nice. It has nutty and sweet aroma and give extra nutty and earthy flavour to the bread.

The original recipe yielded one 2-kg Miche. It was suggested not to scale down the recipe (or you’ll be sorry) as the bread was really nice. I didn’t scale down the recipe, but instead, I scaled it up to 3-kg batch for two of 1.5-kg Miches.

Perfect opportunity to use the two round banettons
It was effortless to mix the dough and achieve the appropriate gluten development (this might have something to do with high hydration and mixed flour starter?). After all ingredients were mixed together into a ball, I left the dough to autolyze for about 30 minutes. After the autolyze, the gluten has already formed. I only hand-kneaded for another 5 minutes to get medium gluten development. It also felt like the dough didn’t even need that kneading as the gluten has already developed, and it would be further strengthened by stretch-and-folds (Really, come to think about it, I just did the kneading out of the habit and to get the feel of the dough). I did only three stretch-and-folds at 50 minutes interval, instead of four S&Fs as suggested by the original recipe, as I found the dough was close to being over-developed after three S&Fs and 2.5 hrs fermentation. The dough was soft, silky and a pleasant to work with.

The crumb was open and chewy. My loaves could have been higher if it wasn’t because I used too small a banetton and that the doughs were stick to the banetton. The doughs were little flat and lose their shapes when taken out of banetton.

Doughs stuck to the banetton and they became flat as a result.
Lesson learnt!

The bread required bold bake, i.e. high heat, long bake, to get deep dark caramelised crust. I have never baked the bread to this dark colour before. I thought the bread texture would be dry after such a long bake, but the crumb retained its moisture well.

Deep dark crackling crust

This is one of the tastiest plain sourdough bread I have ever made. I like my sourdough with a tang, chewy and moist crumb and crackling crust, and this bread is all of that, great taste and texture. It is versatile. It is yummy as is. It is nice as bruschetta with tomato and basil. It is superb with olive oil and toast. The flavour is also developing over time as well. It tastes better hours or a day after the bake (the recipe suggested to only cut the bread four hours after the bake for the full flavour development). The bread has a pronounced acidic tone, which I wonder if it has anything to do with whole-wheat flour in the starter. It also has a fantastic aroma, which could be the result of bold bake and wheat germs.

Lovely chewy crumb

I gave some of 3-kg bread to few of our neighbours and S’ mom. All gave sensational reviews and love the bread. Thanks again to David for sharing such a great recipe.

Great with our adaptation of bruschetta

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.


  1. This is looking yummy.And I would love some after today's busy schedule(I'm preparing a 7 course meal for tomorrow night).By the way I still haven't been able to buy ground almonds, but I will make those heart macarons even though it's past Valentine's Day!

  2. Thanks Ceren.

    Wow, 7-course meal...that sounds tiring and fun at the same time. Wish things will turn out well.


  3. Phew, it's done! I will take photos while serving them and post them in my blog. And thanks Sue, according to my taste and view it looks like things will be alright tonight!

  4. Ceren,

    That sounds exciting..will have to check your blog when it's up.