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The Practical Baker
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 • Posted July 14, 2010

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Courtesy: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

This is one of those breads wherein you need to make a time investment on the front end of the project, but can then bring a really nice loaf of bread to the table in a short period of time, and on short notice. This one can be made in standard loaf pans or in a free form loaf, and is an Innis Clan favorite. It makes three 1 ½ pound loaves, and the recipe is easily doubled.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups lukewarm water

1 ½ cups lukewarm milk

2 packets yeast

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ cup honey

5 tablespoons neutral flavored oil

6 2/3rds cups whole wheat flour (avoid pastry flour or "graham" flour)

Procedure:

-Mix yeast, salt, honey, and oil with milk and water in a 5 quart bowl or lidded food container

-Mix in the flour, using a spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook

-Cover and let rest until dough rises and then falls back (or flattens on the top), which takes about 2-3 hours

-The dough can be used immediately, but it is recommended that it be refrigerated in a lidded (but not airtight) container for use over the next 5 days

-On baking day, lightly grease a 9X4 inch loaf pan. Using wet hands, scoop out about a cantaloupe-sized handful of dough (for each loaf). Quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball of dough a quarter of a turn at a time.

-Drop the dough into the prepared pan and spread dough out. You want to fill the pan to slightly more than half-full.

-Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes. (I cover it with a dish towel) Flour the top of the loaf and slash, using the tip of a serrated knife.

-Place a small, oven-proof pan in the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place another rack in the approximate center of the oven for baking the bread

-Place pan of dough on center rack. Add about 1 cup of hot water to the oven-proof pan on the bottom rack (for steam), and quickly close the door to trap the steam

-Bake for 50-60 minutes until deeply browned and firm. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack

(If you wish to create a free form loaf, merely skip the loaf pan steps, shape the dough as you please, and bake on either a pizza stone or a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking. If you don’t have parchment paper, sprinkle stone or pan with corn meal.)

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