Acadian Miche

Adapted by StarChefs.com
January 2016
Yield: One 5-pound loaf
New Orleans is a confluence. The terms Creole, Patois, and diaspora have a deep, deep identity of truth when it comes to this place—literally, emotionally, and metaphorically. Our Acadian Miche represents all those experiences. My grandmother’s family in Dilsen, Belgium baked something similar to this bread every single Friday in the wood-burning oven behind the Cemetery. It was meant to sustain a family for a week, until the next firing of the oven, when more bread could be baked. Because it’s a country bread, it contained only locally available whole grains milled in the village’s stone mill. The French brought this tradition to North America. The climate of New Orleans is not conducive to French-style masonry ovens or to growing wheat. Instead, the climate dictated open-hearth cooking for large households with ovens being concentrated in bakeries. But, in rural Louisiana, the tradition of the Miche and communal ovens continued. In that spirit, we bake our Miche with local grains that are entirely stone-milled in our bakery. It’s a five-pound loaf made of wheat, rye, organic Louisiana rice flour, and organic corn grits. Water, Avery Island salt, and stone milled grains … There is an intimacy to this bread—its flavor, its format, its weight—which draw lines to the history of this place we call home. Like Jazz, it too grabs notes and sounds that work, regardless of their origin. Yet, paradoxically, it’s rooted in its own genesis, which we spend our lives interpreting through our personal exegesis and narratives.

INGREDIENTS:

Formula
1.159 kilograms whole wheat flour
145 grams rye flour
72 grams corn flour
145 grams levain
29 grams salt
1.377 kilograms water

METHOD:

Hand Mix Method

Autolyse: 1 hour        
DDT: 78ºF        
Folds: 4 to 5        
Timing for Folds: 12 minutes        
Divide Weight: 1.5 kilograms        
Preshape: tight boule        
Resting Time: 30 minutes        
Final Shape: boule        
Retard: in baskets, overnight        
Total Bake: as desired, with heavy steam        
Oven Temperature: 500ºF