2 New Breads

Posted on Mon, 07/17/2017 - 8:13am

Introducing Miss Kim’s Baguette and Country Miche

by Frank Carollo, Bakehouse co-owner

This spring we we’ve perfected two new loaves at the Bakehouse, Miss Kim’s Baguette and Country Miche. They are both full flavored, crusty, moist and using interesting grains and method for production.

We began working on the Miss Kim Baguette in January. We wanted to improve the baguette that we made a few years ago for Ji Hye (Managing partner of Miss Kim) She used to run a monthly special Banh Mi sandwich at the Delicatessen. While that bread was good and contained a bit of rice flour, we had the opportunity to make it even more special.

We started with Anson Mills Carolina Gold rice flour (an organic and heritage rice) and used our original recipe. While we liked it a lot, but we still wanted feature the rice flour more. So we decided to continue to refine the recipe.The original recipe called for a mush by cooking rice flour and water. We then decided to add rice flour to the poolish in the recipe. The poolish is preferment usually consisting of equal weights of flour and water with a tiny amount of yeast and allowed to ferment for 12 hours. While this modification made the baguette a bit tastier, we still felt like we hadn’t hit a bullseye. Toasting some rice flour and adding it to the poolish was a pièce de résistance!

Our mush made of Carolina Gold rice flour and the poolish made of rice flour and toasted rice flour, created a dough that bakes into a moist, slightly sweet, and aromatic baguette. It’s best baked with some color to compliment the moist and tasty crumb.

You can try our rice baguette at Miss Kim (our really great Korean restaurant). Order a Banh Mi for lunch and see for yourself how full flavored it is. Or come to our Bakeshop for lunch on Monday and Tuesday to taste the baguette on a Big Bob’s Kentucky Ham Slam. Or just pick one up from the Bakeshop at the Bakehouse or the Bread Box at the Delicatessen and serve it with some of your favorite cheese from Zingerman’s Creamery. You’ve got options!
Miss Kim baguettes are available daily now at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Delicatessen, or Miss Kim.

Our next project of the spring was to pay tribute to old style country breads that use a combination of grains. Our Country Miche features True North flour from the Leelanau peninsula in northern Michigan. We love this bread because it has a hearty amount of rye flour, a bit of whole spelt and a bit of whole buckwheat. It’s turning out to be my favorite new bread of the past 15 years.

Country Miche is a sour dough bread but the sour dough isn’t the dominant flavor that you taste. You can taste a delicious combination of grains and it has a deep caramel like finish due to baking with a super dark crust. We’ve been baking them in 2 kilo loaves as they would have been baked a couple of centuries ago. Even with the dark bake, they remain moist and flavorful for far more than a week.

Here’s the story of how it’s made: It has it’s own unique starter which is fed and allowed to ferment for 12 hours or so. We autolyse the rest of the flours and water (it’s an 83% hydration bread which means it’s really wet) for two hours. Then add the starter and salt a bit more water and gently mix it for 2 minutes. We fold it three times at 30-minute intervals; allow it to ferment for an additional 2 ½ hours before dividing it. After a preshaping it rests for 30 minutes or so, gets a gentle final shaping and then into the large baskets where it is allowed to get it’s final fermentation before baking. It’s bake for a bit more than an hour at about 450º. Then it needs to cool for a couple of hours or ideally overnight. Then slice it and enjoy!

Country Miche is available (whole, ½ or ¼ loaf) in August at Zingerman’s Bakehouse or Delicatessen.

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Sourcing our ingredients locally has many benefits, not least of which is literal field trips to visit our future ingredients as they grow. To this end, one June morning a contingent of the bakehouse grain commission headed west to Living Earth Farm in Sawyer, Michigan where rye is being grown for us this season. I think rye is delicious and I know our customers agree, many using our rye breads as staples in their diet each week and famously enjoying it on sandwiches at Zingerman’s Delicatessen. However, this ancient grain took a major back seat to wheat in the 1900’s when very fluffy and sweet breads became more popular. Now, though relatively easy to grow, particularly good for the soil, and hearty under a variety of weather conditions, rye is used primarily as a cover crop to improve the soil in between main crop seasons and is typically not harvested for food in the United States. Because it is no longer widespread in our state, it is necessary to work directly with farmers to access these grains whole, fresh, and from Michigan. The rye growing at Living Earth Farm is a special departure from today’s typical baking and farming and I’ve been looking forward to seeing its progress for months.

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