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The mythical michetta!

The Michetta!

Although I often prepare bread at home, it is always about a kilogram of weight. For some time I had decided to prepare also the mythical Milanese michette, those blown, because I do not find them here!
Those michette that many years ago, early in the morning were delivered still warm and crisp front door of the house from the baker's boy.
Those michette that today, even in Milan, are no longer so easily.
Alasily replaced by damp and gummy industrial products that have only, and remotely, the appearance of the michetta.

Of course, preparing miches is not as simple as it seems: I began to consult manuals, read articles and consult blog. Each had its formula; but I must say that everyone agreed, for home preparation, on tagliamela for the typical petal shape of the michetta! And also on the fact that for this preparation one is necessary Biga to prepare almost a day before.

For professional preparation you should start from a compa biga, compared to 100 amount of force flour (type Manitoba), Of 35 of water, malt and yeast 0.1 1. After a rise of 16 - 20 hours you knead this chariot with a 20 amount of flour (always Manitoba), Water (QB varies depending on the quality of the flour and air humidity - average 25 - 30) and 5 salt.
And here the problems start because, for example, even my kneader MUM80 which it has a nice engine 1'600 W would still fight with a very stiff dough ... and then, later, the final mixture should be passed several times a cylinder, a kind of Grandma Duck giant!

I finally adjusted by increasing the amount of water in 40-45 to facilitate the mixture and replacing malt with honey for the preparation of the chariot. For the final batter of flour I have slightly decreased the extent to 10-15 and I replaced it with a normal 00 flour. By force of arms and the wise use of the rolling pin I remedied the lack of cylinder to browse the dough!

And in the end all these studies, attempts and experiments (in the privacy of my kitchen) have proved a success; Also according to my neighbors who got to taste my bread rolls freshly baked!

Very important warning: this is not an easy preparation. It takes time and patience, as for a pastry, for example. If your baker is a real baker, he continues to use his michette!

The following, complete with ingredients and photos, is my version.

ingredients:

for the Biga

flour manitoba

gr

400

water (variable)

gr

180

honey

ct

1

brewer's yeast

gr

5

natural baking powder (optional)

gr

10

for the second dough

00 flour

gr

80

water

QB

sale

gr

8

flour for the work surface

QB

Preparation:

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For chariot:

Dissolve the yeast in the water (I also add the yeast that helps a lot in the long rising) together with honey.
Add it to the kneading flour until dough is smooth: just a few minutes, maximum ten.
Put the dough to rise for at least sixteen hours not in a cold environment and protected from drafts (the best solution is a ciotolona leavening machine with lid)
.

For the final dough:

Pour the chariot into the mixer and mixing, add the flour and, if necessary, water; the water must be added for a short time.

Knead for 20'-30 'at medium speed: the final mixture should be dry but soft. Pick it up into a ball and put it to rise covered (or in lievitatrice) For about ten minutes

Now the dough is ready to be passed to the substitute of the cylinder: then it is spread out not too thin (v. following photos) with the rolling pin on the floured surface and fold it for the long in four. First the two sides towards the center and then on itself.
It gathers into a ball and let stand again covered for a few minutes.
In the absence of a lievitatrice It can be wrapped in plastic wrap.

Repeat the peeling and resting a couple of times, grease the ball with a little oil and, always covered or in the lievitatrice, Let rest half an hour.

At this point weigh the dough and divide it into equal parts, no more than eighty grams each (otherwise would be too big michette!)

Form a ball with each piece, flatten it with your hands and then fold it from the four corners onto itself; pick up the gathered flaps with your fingers and, turning them upside down, gently form with your hands a ball that will contain inside it a kind of cavity; It does not matter if you can not see it and if it attacks, it will no longer be kneaded and will remain, even if invisible. Gently form a sphere and repeat the operation with all the pieces of dough.
Cover the balls breaded with plastic wrap and then with a cloth to avoid sudden changes in temperature and let rise for about half an hour.

Also spent this period of rising tagliamele form with the typical shape of the loaf: flour it and press firmly but without cutting the whole dough (after two or three attempts is not mistaken more).

Turn it over (to let it grow without the cuts come together free brewing up ...) and repeat the process with all the dough balls.
Cover with the film and the cloth and let rest an hour or so.

Enter (if you have) the refractory stone floor in the oven and heat it to at least 250 ° (personally I bring it first to 300 ° with the function pizza - My oven least have it - to warm up well the refractory floor; then 250 ° to bake). Boil in part of the water with which the time of starting the cooking will fill a bowl in the oven to create steam.

Once the oven has been ready and the resting time has elapsed, arrange the miches again with the cuttings upwards on the blade with the top of the baking paper (in the absence of the refractory surface on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper), lightly moisten them with the vaporizer (type one that is also used to spray the leaves of the plants or the linen to be ironed ...), Pour the boiling water into the bowl of the oven and start baking.

During the first five to ten minutes of cooking, steam the water several times in the oven to keep the steam and encourage the formation of the crispy crust.

As soon as the bread begins to take color, but not before ten minutes, lower the oven temperature to 200 °. The total cooking time varies according to the oven and personal experience (I'm not tired of repeating it: every oven has its own character and its own history!) From 15 'to 25'.

Churn michette on a wire rack to cool them and eat them as soon as possible: I love them with a slice of mortadella.

In any case a good michetta can also be reused the following day: enough to wet the surface and leave it in the oven at 150 ° until it is returned dry and crisp on the surface; It will not be as perfect as freshly baked but still better than some pre-cooked products that are on the market!

ADVICES AND NOTES:

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  • I put this recipe in the section of the starters that also includes various finger foods and salty snacks: after all, what better snack of a beautiful loaf, stuffed with salami or cheese?
  • Grandma Duck: The classic machine to make pasta at home.
  • I prepare the michette where I live, not in the plains and in an area with a very dry climate: the amount of liquid in the mixture varies considerably with the variation of altitude and humidity of the air; take this into account when preparing the final dough: better to add after other water than having to continue adding flour to dry a dough too much wet!
  • A bit of History ...: when, in the early 18th century, Milan, as a consequence of the Treaty of Utrecht, came under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it discovered together with the arrival of the imperial officials also the loaf they consumed: the Kaisersemmel.
    The different climate of the city that did not allow the perfect bread making led the ingenious Milanese to create a bread that would remind her but that also unites the characteristics of a previous local bread (the micca o mica, Of greater size) which allow the perfect cooking even in quest'umida and foggy city.
    And this new bread was a success that lasts to this day; in 2007 also he received by the City of Milan dignity De-Co intended for typical products of the city.
  • For helping resolve some details of this preparation steps must thank the movie published by the great Vittorio Site Viva la Focaccia!
  • The michetta: how to make the calendering at home?