Aussie White Miche

shiao-ping's picture

I smiled when I read Graham said that the only thing that he doesn’t like about his version of Romano-Celery Sourdough was that “it is basically a white dough and can be interpreted as having 'stodgy' mouthfeel by people that enjoy a more textured crumb, like myself.” 

Lately I have noticed that my son has been having less of my sourdough and that it coincided with my experimenting with flour that has higher ash content and higher bran.  Flavour aside, breads made with these types of flour are noticeably more chewy and less soft and spongy – the so-called “more textured crumb.” 

I wanted to give my kids a treat – I am making them an all-white sourdough.  Purists would have a problem that I called my all-white sourdough a Miche.  Miche (and Campagne) are normally made with some rye and some other whole grain flour.  The more whole grain flour there is, the more you lose the soft and sponginess, and the more you gain the “texture” (unless, perhaps, you increase the hydration to very high and add oil, other fat or milk, which I am unwilling to do).  The more there is “texture,” the less it is appealing to kids?         

I am absolutely loving the cooler weather now.  My white starter (for this Miche) which was fed four times flour took 29 hours (!) to mature at room temperature, and how lovely it was so full of bubbles and happy.  In summer, I feed my starter three times flour, so why in winter, I am feeding it four times flour?  I should have dropped the feeding to two times flour.  But No!  The little beasties are enjoying the slower and longer feeding.  And, in return, they are giving me more flavour for my bread!

I am calling my Miche an Aussie Miche because all of my ingredients are Aussie origin.







30 g white starter @ 65% hydration

120 g Laucke’s unbleached bakers flour

78 g water


I refreshed my starter at 4:30 pm and it was ready the next day at 9:30 pm (a 29 hour marathon feeding) at room temperature ranging 15 to 20 C. 

All but 30 g was used for making the dough (30 grams were set aside for perpetuation).  Total weight of my dough was 1360 grams and overall dough hydration was 72.5%.



The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
Flour (Laucke's unbleached bakers flour) 660 grams 23.3 oz 100.00%
White Starter @65% hydration 198 grams 6.99 oz 30.00%
Water 487 grams 17.19 oz 73.79%
Margaret River pink rock salt 15 grams 0.53 oz 2.27%
Total Flour Weight:
660 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.



(1) I diluted my starter with the recipe water, adding a little bit at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding a little bit more, until all water was added.

(2) Mixed in the flour with a spoon for about a minute.  Autolyse 30 minutes. 

(3) Bulk fermentation (including autolyse) was 4 hours at room temperature of 18 – 20 C.  I did four times double letter-folds in the mixing bowl during the bulk fermentation.

(4) Pre-shaped and shaped the dough into a round.  Placed the dough in a dusted banneton.

(5) Proved overnight for 7 hours (including the time that it took to pre-shape and shape the dough and the resting time in between) at room temperature of 14 – 18 C.  (The next morning I checked the dough temperature and it was 16 – 17 C.)

(6) I pre-heated my oven to as high as it could go, 250 – 260 C.  As soon as the dough was loaded, I turned the oven down to 240 C.  I covered the dough with a giant stainless steel bowl (which was not pre-warmed).  The dough was baked, covered, for 35 minutes.  Then, I removed the bowl, and baked for a further 15 minutes, after which I turned the temperature down to 230 C, rotated the dough, and baked for a further 15 minutes.

(7) Cooled the loaf for at least one hour before slicing.




A happy meal for my kids!  Hope it will be for you or your kids too.



438 users have voted.


LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2010 May 19

 Looks wonderful.  I like making all white sourdough too because it turns out so great.  Cooler weather is nice for making sourdough bread isn't it?   It is rainy and cool here today so my sourdough starter has slowed down.

Danubian's picture
Danubian 2010 May 24

Hi Shiao-ping,

[quote=shiao-ping] I covered the dough with a giant stainless steel bowl (which was not pre-warmed).  The dough was baked, covered, for 35 minutes. [/quote]

Nice result, but I'm curious; why did you cover the dough during it's first 35 m. baking? 


loafalot's picture
loafalot 2010 June 14

Hi, now I must find a stainless steel bowl that can fit in my somewhat small oven.  I must give it a try.  Good ideas about temps and fermentation so I'm making notes.  Wonderful photos.

Always happy to study your posts.


shiao-ping's picture
shiao-ping 2010 June 14

I don't normally pre-heat my stainless steel bowl, but the result seems to be even better if I pre-heat it for at least 10 - 15 min.  Try both way and see which one works for you.

mozzie 2010 June 20

The cover is often known as a cloche (french for bell) and does give great results. I first came across the technique in Elizabeth David's "English Bread and Yeast Cookery", and she suggests a clay flower pot!

I sometimes use  clay pot, or a pyrex bowl, so don't feel the s/s bowl is the only "bell".

stella 2011 January 31

Hi, i just join this forum and really enjoy your post.

i started learning to bake with culture 1 years ago, but not really understand

how's thing going with the culture. I always refresh my culture 1:1:1 for the culture,flour & water.

I want to try this recipe, looks simple but your bread turned out fantastic. My RT here is always warm all year round (around 80-82 F). Can you suggest me how many times of flour to be added to refresh my culture for this recipe?

Also, with mywarm and humid environment, is it ok to give final proof overnight?

many thanks



Eungai 2011 March 28

Hi Shiao-ping


I've been using your Aussie Miche recipe for some time now with great success, it's such a favourite that I rarely bake anything else. Thank you for sharing, my baking has improved exponentially as a result.


I've followed your instructions to the letter with the exception of the starter because I already had a good rye starter on the go. Also, I've had trouble making a white starter from scratch. Maybe it's because I live on the mid north coast of nsw, quite warm and humid. The room temp here has not dropped below 25 deg c since Oct-Nov last year.


The rye flour I used has recently been discontinued and since then I've had trouble with my starter. Is it possible for you to share your white starter recipe? It's a great time for me to try and make this loaf exactly to your instructions.


Many thanks


eyendall 2011 July 7



Looks really good. Two questions.

When do you add your salt?

What do you mean by pre-shape?


20glen11 2011 July 28


I have only been trying sourdough bread for about 4 months, had mixed results but this is the best by far, I produced such a delicious loaf. Wasnt sure when to add the salt as its not stated so I added it after initial autolyse, also I did the over night proof in the fridge as it was about 24 degrees and I didnt want to over do it! I have used many different recipes but we all agree that this is our favourite so far, will be doing it again today!


Thank you

Bushturkey's picture
Bushturkey 2012 February 16

 Hi Shiao-Ping. 

I've only just read your entry (I liked the appearance of the miche when I logged in).

Beautiful-looking bread. I can only imagine the taste (mmmm!). How sour was it (I' thinking about the long final proof in the cold)?

The word Miche, apparently is french for butt-cheek (the loaf supposedly resembles one!). As long as it meets this criterion, it can be white or wholemeal or whatever you make it with. The classic Miche weighs about 2 Kg, so it's quit a big loaf.

I'd like to ask you about your method:

The recipe went from autolyse to bulk fermentation and the stretch & folds.

Did you do any other mixing and/or kneading in between? I presumed you added the salt at some stage and mixed to distribute it evenly throughout the dough.

72% hydration would be a very slack dough. How did you prevent it from sticking to your banneton? I've not yet used bannetons. I've proofed my miches in bowls lined with (heavily) flour-dusted linen. Even then, it stuck sometimes.

I still break out into a sweat thinking about those times. Imagine reaching that final crucial point of flipping the miche onto your peel. You hold your breath anticipating a smooth separation of flour and cloth. Then----whoa! A chunk remains on the cloth!

Finally, a couple of words about the math you used:

You've pre-fermented 120 g of flour in your starter and added another 660 g in your final mix. That makes a total flour weight of 780g, not 660g as you stated. The flour and water from the starter do contribute to the overall flour and hydration of the recipe. You've removed the 30g of the starter to perpetuate your culture, but the 120g flour and the 78 g water are still there in your final dough.

The overall hydration is 78g + 487g = 565g water and 565 divided by 780 gives 72.4% hydration.

Happy Baking!


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