Einkorn Miche

This post might include affiliate links. Please see my policy.

This hefty einkorn miche epitomizes community. It’s substantial and baked to share, break with others, and enjoy its hearty flavor, and nourishing quality gathered at the dinner table. A loaf so heavy it requires two hands to lift—and oh, what a statement it makes.

Traditionally, miche are large and round country-style loaves meant to sustain a family for the days between their turn at baking in the communal oven (and with natural leavening and all the subtle acidity built up through lengthy fermentation, it certainly will1). If you think about it, a massive round loaf is probably the most efficient way to bake large quantities of dough: It takes up less space in the oven, has plenty of crust, can be divided and wrapped up, and finally if meant to go to a single destination, a single loaf makes sense. A true daily bread.

Over time as the central community oven became increasingly scarce, these large loaves began to fall out of favor, replaced by more ephemeral bread meant to be consumed entirely on a baking day. But there's still a place for this beautiful and enticing loaf.

Sliced miche

While the nature of this bread is rustic, it doesn’t mean the miche is devoid of sophistication. The footprint of the spacious round is an invitation to the baker, a chance to gussy up the exterior with intricate scoring or, as I show below, symmetrical patterns littering the surface. With a beautiful score2 it never fails to rouse awe and even elicit a little snide grin when you hand this over to the dinner host proclaiming: “here’s just a little something for the table.”

Flour Selection

Einkorn Miche via @theperfectloaf

I’ve been milling around for far too long, trying to decide where first to use einkorn. I’ve read about its wonderful flavor, texture, and color but also that it can be challenging at 100% extraction (whole grain). This is primarily due to the nature of the grain’s protein: while it’s high for wheat (which is great, nutritionally), the delicate nature of it makes baking high hydration hearth-style loaves more challenging. Therefore, in this recipe, I pair einkorn with a smaller percentage of stronger bread flour to achieve the balanced texture I'm after. But with a miche, we're not looking for a dramatically open crumb or explosive oven spring; a miche is more about taste and texture — two things einkorn unmistakably has in tow.

Right out of my grain mill, fresh einkorn has a silken feel with a buttery yellow complexion. The flour floats down in sheets and clumps readily when squeezed in the hand—a good sign natural oils are preserved in the flour. These characteristics, coupled with the remarkable aroma when the flour first touches water, make it all the way through to the result to produce a strikingly flavorful bread.

Jovial einkorn is entirely organic (sourced from Italy!), and whole einkorn berries are available on their website. If you’re not able to mill einkorn at home, Jovial does have whole grain einkorn flour, all-purpose, and even sprouted flour available. These options would be first-class substitutions for the freshly milled einkorn listed in my formula below. Know that choosing the all-purpose option will yield a milder flavored result and potentially a more open interior.

Einkorn Miche via @theperfectloaf
Einkorn Miche via @theperfectloaf

If you don’t have access to einkorn, I would experiment with freshly milled, or aged, whole red wheat in its place—the typical pronounced flavor from red wheat will carry through to the end and add depth of flavor. In this case, I would also add a small percentage of whole grain rye flour (even just 5% will be noticeable) to round everything out3.

I paired the einkorn flour up with a high extraction type 85 flour, which is somewhere between whole wheat and white flour. If you don’t have high extraction flour on hand, you can approximate this flour by blending about 70% white bread flour with 30% whole wheat flour. Another option would be to bolt (sift) your own freshly milled flour.

Einkorn Miche

Einkorn Miche via @theperfectloaf

Using the levain at the correct stage in its development is critical for this bread. If used too late, fermentation will be accelerated, and the result might lean more towards a sourer loaf. See the levain section below for my notes on properly timing the stiff levain.

Do be cautious with the hydration of this dough by holding back a portion (100-200g) of the water through mixing to ensure your dough can handle the percentages listed in the formula. When you've successfully baked this bread, increase or decrease the hydration to suit your preference.

One last note: if strong-arming a whopping 1.5 kg lump of dough into shape doesn't rest easy with you, know that you can split this mass up in half and make two 750g rounds or batards.


Total Dough Weight1500 grams
Pre-fermented Flour6.00%
Yield1 x 1,500 gram miche

Levain Build (Stiff)

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
24gRipe liquid starter (100% hydration)50%
48gHigh Extraction Flour (Central Milling Type 85 Malted)100%

Dough Formula

Target final dough temperature (FDT) is 78°F (25°C).

Note that the baker’s percentages listed below are with respect to the final dough ingredients and do not take into account the levain.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
350gHigh Extraction Flour, Malted (Central Milling Type 85 Malted)46.81%
239gFresh Milled Einkorn at 100% Extraction (Jovial Organic Einkorn)31.91%
159gHigh Gluten Bread Flour, ~13.5% Protein (Central Milling High Mountain)21.28%
2.0gDiastatic Malt Powder (optional)0.27%
96gRipe, stiff levain (see build instructions above)12.77%

Einkorn Miche via @theperfectloaf


1. Levain – 12:00 p.m.

Einkorn Miche via @theperfectloaf

Build the stiff levain (everything listed in the Levain Build section above) and store it somewhere near 80°F (26°C) until ripe—about 5 hours.

The photo above shows my levain fully ripe. Note the slight dome at the top. When the levain is first created, it will initially undergo rapid expansion at warm temperatures. From there, the dome will stay rounded until it reaches maximum ripeness, at which point it will start to recede slightly at the top—this is the perfect time to mix the levain to the dough. The aroma will be quite pungent but not overly sour.

2. Autolyse – 4:00 p.m.

Due to the high percentage of high protein flour in this recipe, I find an autolyse helps increase extensibility in the dough and reduce mixing time.

Mix flour and water (reserve 100g water for the mix, later) in a bowl until all dry bits are hydrated. Cover the bowl and store somewhere warm, near the levain, for 1 hour.

3. Mix – 5:00 p.m.

Breakup the levain on top of the resting dough in the mixing bowl. Add the salt and the reserved mixing water. Mix until well combined.

Dump the dough onto the counter and slap and fold the dough (French fold) for about 5-6 minutes, just until the dough starts to show signs of a smooth surface4The einkorn flour in this recipe will make the dough feel slightly more sticky than you might be used to.  Use wet hands to slap and fold and rely on a bench knife to clean the counter.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, gently scrape the dough to the counter and mix (slap/fold) for an additional 2-5 minutes until the dough starts showing signs it's catching air and has tightened up. We’re not looking for full gluten development, but enough development, so the dough only needs 2-3 sets of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation.

Transfer the dough to a tub or thick-walled bowl for bulk fermentation.

4. Bulk Fermentation – 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

At 78-82°F ambient temperature, the dough should be ready to divide after 3 hours. The large-ish percentage of freshly milled einkorn speeds things along, so keep an eye on the dough and make the call to divide when it looks ready.

Perform 3 sets of stretch and folds during bulk, spaced out by 30 minutes. After the last set, rest the dough for the remaining bulk time.

5. Preshape – 8:30 p.m.

Dump the dough from the bulk container onto an un-floured work surface. The dough will look slightly wet and be sticky to the touch. Because this recipe only makes a single, large loaf, there is no need to divide the dough; turn it on the bench with your hand and a bench knife to coerce it into a rough round. See my guide to preshaping bread dough for a video and more instructions.

Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, uncovered. Keep an eye on the dough; if it starts to spread quickly into a thin pancake, skip the remaining resting time and proceed directly to shaping.

6. Shape – 9:00 p.m.

Prepare a proofing basket by thoroughly dusting it with a mixture of 50% white rice flour and 50% white flour. Pay attention to any areas the dough might stick and lay down a little extra flour.

The basket I am using for this dough is an 8” diameter wicker proofing basket constructed to fit 1.2 kg of dough. Even though we’re making a 1.5 kg loaf, these baskets still fit the dough perfectly (see the image in the Bake section below).

Lightly flour the top of your relaxed round of dough on the bench. Using a bench knife and your hand, flip the round over and fold the bottom to the middle. Then fold each side, left and right, over to the other to form what looks like an open envelope in front of you. Then, grab the top and fold it up and over to the bottom. Next, flip the entire “package” over and gently round it using both hands by twisting until a tight surface has formed on the outside of the dough.

Scoop the dough up and gently place it into the prepared proofing basket.

7. Proof – 8:50 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. (the next day)

Cover the basket in plastic wrap (or not if using your own dough retarder) and place it in the fridge overnight.

8. Bake – Preheat oven at 6:30 a.m., Bake at 7:30 a.m.

Fully proofed bread dough

I steamed my oven in my usual way, described here in my post on how to steam your home oven for baking.

Preheat your oven with a baking stone or steel for one hour at 450°F (230°C).

Prepare a pizza peel and a large piece of parchment paper. Turn the dough from the proofing basket onto the parchment resting on the pizza peel. Score the dough as desired and load it into your preheated oven. Steam the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After this time, remove the steaming pans from the oven, vent the steam, and bake for 35 minutes further. The total bake time for this dough should be near 1 hour or more, as needed.

Turning out dough

Because this dough is so large, it takes a full hour to bake through—and don’t cut this short. This bread needs additional time in the oven to completely bake the interior. If needed, adjust the temperature in the last 20 minutes of your baking to avoid burning the exterior (interior temp should still be above 208°F/97°C).

Due to the massive size of this loaf, it will take upwards of one hour to bake.

Cool the loaf on a wire rack and wait at least 3 hours before slicing. I find this bread tastes even better 1-2 days after baking.


The high percentage of freshly milled einkorn and high extraction flour mean this is wholesome bread. Each bite just feels good; it makes your body feel good; you know it’s healthy food. Real bread. I find the flavors in this loaf continue to develop and intensify one to two days after baking, and it's the second day after baking where I find the flavor of einkorn at its paramount: nutty, sweet, and dare I say buttery.

This bread is a strong candidate for a loaf I could eat every week; a weekly routine of baking one of these big guys to hold the family over till the next baking session. Our daily bread.


Sliced bread on cutting board

The texture of the crust in this miche is phenomenal. It's crisp and substantial but not overly husky or overbearing; it's the perfect match to the supple interior. It carries a wide range of colors, from light tans to dark hazel, and each slice has its own character. This is the type of crust that I want on all my bread.

I found myself tearing off the ends of this loaf and just dipping them straight into extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic — perfection.


Sourdough bread crumb structure

The interior is a beautiful brown/yellow color that is so tender it melts in your mouth. Thanks to the balance of flours used in the formula, the texture is light but not excessively so — perfect for a miche. Pushing the percentage of einkorn even higher would most likely yield a more tight interior, but it would be a worthwhile tradeoff for the increase in flavor. An experiment for next week's bake, perhaps.


Dunking bread in olive oil

As I mentioned previously, this is wholesome bread with subtle acidity and deep, nutty flavors from the einkorn. Further, the red wheat in the mix is appreciable but plays the second stage to these prominent einkorn flavors. Perfect harmony between the two.

If you find this bread is overly sour, pay close attention to your sourdough starter and levain. Build your levain from a starter that's ripe but not overly acidic, and use the levain right when it reaches maturity. This bread should not taste like an acid bomb; it should have just enough acidity to let you know it's there, but not so much it masks the wheat notes.

Slicing into this beautiful bread causes everyone at the table to stop and pay attention. It's like when the bride and groom first cut into their pristine wedding cake: everyone has to watch. A moment to celebrate healthy, nourishing food—and most importantly, community. I know what I’ll be baking for our Thanksgiving table this year: just a little something.

Thanks so much to Jovial for sponsoring this post. Buon appetito!

If you use this recipe, tag @maurizio on Instagram and use the hashtag #theperfectloaf so I can take a look!

  1. As you know, sourdough bread have incredible keeping quality due to the natural acids produced as a byproduct of lengthy fermentation.

  2. Or to be completely honest, even without a beautiful score.

  3. Typical miche formulas do usually call for a small percentage of rye

  4. If you aren’t comfortable with the slap and fold method, you can do stretch and folds in the bowl until the dough tightens up and starts to show strength. Transfer the dough back to the mixing bowl and cover.

The Perfect Loaf Logo

Join the Membership

The Perfect Loaf has been helping others learn to bake sourdough bread since 2013, help support the site to continue to grow with more baking guides, recipes, and more. As a member, you’ll receive baker’s perks: Ad-free reading site-wide; Access to a members-only chat to post pictures and receive baking help; access to baking spreadsheets, formula archives, and other baking tools; and baking hardware & supply discounts. Your support is greatly appreciated.