Miche Is The Rustic Bread Large Enough To Feed The Whole Family

Miche is not something you will see in the average American bread aisle. According to Saveur, bread in this country has changed a lot over the years, evolving from its pre-industrial role as a dense, nutrition-packed staple made by specialized artisans into a mass-produced product where shelf-life, white color, and soft texture were prioritized. While artisan-style bread has become more common in the last few decades, Salon notes it has become a specialty item. If you open the pantry of an average household, it's still more likely you'll find a loaf of preservative-laden sliced bread than a hand-shaped loaf.

Of course, not every country embraced industrial bread as much as the U.S. did. The growing number of artisanal bakeries and higher-end brands in supermarkets probably makes you familiar with several European specialties. Brioche and focaccia are probably almost as well-known now as your typical sliced sandwich bread, and interest in take-and-bake artisan bread from supermarket suppliers like La Brea Bakery has exploded, with Commercial Baking reporting a 40% jump in sales in 2021. However, even among more traditional styles of bread, the French miche stands out as a glance back into history.

Miche is a whole-grain sourdough bread that lasts for days

Miche was as practical as sliced bread is meant to be now. Food52 says that before modern commercial production, French bread was baked in a village's communal oven, which might not be available to a family for days. This made the miche's large size, between two and four pounds, necessary, as you needed a loaf that would keep fresh until your turn at the oven came back around. Ravenhook Bakehouse notes that the heartiness of a miche, made from a mix of whole-grain flours, also meant it was filling and nutritious, so a family could cut off hunks at a time and stay satiated during meals.

This is real country-style bread, crusty and more dense than a baguette. According to Masterclass, miche is milder and nuttier than white bread with a slight tang from the sourdough starter. While it makes a great sandwich bread, its rustic qualities mean it is calling out to be dipped in some great stew or paired with some butter and jam. Gone stale? You'll probably finish it first, but if you don't, it will make great croutons or a wonderful heirloom tomato panzanella. Miche is from an era when bread was part of every meal, so don't hold back, and treat yourself by using it that way.