Meunier Celebrates Wheat's Journey Into Bread
bread is shaped to appear like a kernel of wheat and was developed to honor
the link among farmers, millers and bakers.
by Didier Rosada
Pain meunier, or miller's bread, was developed to honor
the precious and almost sacred connection that exists among farmers who
produce the wheat, millers who grind it into flour and and the bakers who transform
the flour into bread. The formula's ingredients include all parts of
a wheat kernel: endosperm, bran and germ. When made properly, this
bread offers a nice culmination of all of the different flavors found on a
wheat kernel. Miller's bread is shaped with a crease in the center to
resemble a kernel of wheat. To allow for slow fermentation no
commercial yeast is used in the final dough. This leads to good
aroma production and increases dough strength.
The dough is prepared using a preferment. The addition of
preferment increases the final product's shelf life and gives a light
acidity to the loaf that adds to the flavor complexity.
In a mixing bowl, combine the preferment
ingredients. Adjust the mixing times and speeds to obtain a good
blend of all ingredients without much gluten development. After
mixing, transfer the preferment to a plastic holding tub and allow it to ferment
for four hours at room temperature. It also may be fermented at room
temperature for one hour, then refrigerated at 40°F for 10 to 24 hours.
Another option is to use baguette dough hat has been
fermented in the same manner as the preferment. In this case, you do
not need to mix the preferment before the final mix.
Return the preferment to the mixer and add the final
dough. Soak the cracked wheat in water for two hours before adding
to the dough. The amount of water will vary based on the coarseness
of the wheat. The goal is to use enough water to soften the wheat
without having any left oven that can affect dough consistency.
Mix final dough
To mix the final dough, incorporate flour, whole-wheat
flour, malt, water, preferment and wheat germ at first speed for three to
four minutes, or until the dough is medium soft. Then, add the
salt. Mix at second speed until the dough begins to get smooth.
This is a procedure we refer to as an "improved
mix". The goal is to achieve a lightly developed gluten
structure. It is important not to fully develop the dough in this
method. If you know the rotations-per-minute of your particular
mixer, adjust the mix time at second speed to the equivalent of 1000
rotations of the dough hook.
Next, add the cracked wheat, and mix at first speed until
well incorporated. The desired dough temperature is 76°F to 77°F.
Transfer the dough to a plastic holding tub and allow it to ferment at
room temperature for two hours. If needed, fold the dough after 45
After fermentation, place the dough onto a floured
surface. Cut the dough into 18-oz.(500g) pieces. For rolls,
divide the dough into smaller 4-0z. (120g) pieces. The dividing can
be done by hand or with a dough divider.
Shape and indent loaves
Shape dough into batards. Use a thin
rolling pin to indent the dough down the center of the batard.
Fold on side of the loaf onto the indention and
flip it over, so the indention is no the bottom for proofing.
Shape the dough into light balls and allow them to rest
for 20 to 25 minutes. After resting, shape the balls into short
batards. Let them rest for 15 more minutes. Then, dust
the pieces of dough, and use a thin rolling pin to create an indentation
lengthwise on the top of the batards.
Fold one side of the loaf in the indentation. Then, roll
the dough over, so it is upside down. Proof the dough on dusted
linen at room temperature for about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be careful to
not let the dough overproof.