So my wonderful sister in law mentioned this concept quite a while ago to me, so I bought the cook book....and like too many other cook books I've purchased, it sat in my cupboard. Well, with the growing desire to make my own things, I pulled that book out. I was inspired! Making my own bread had always intimidated me (I think it was the yeast/rising thing!), but NO MORE!! In the last 3 days, I have baked 2 Free form Artisan loaves and one in a loaf pan. I have another batch of dough ready to be prepped to bake into Soft Honey Wheat Sandwich bread. Sounds delish, huh? So here is what I did.
5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (can decrease)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (can adjust to taste or health concerns)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) vital wheat gluten (or vital wheat gluten flour)
4 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees F)
1 to 2 tablespoons of whole seed mixture for sprinkling on top
crust: sesame, flaxseed, caraway, raw sunflower, poppy, and or anise
First, measure the dry ingredients into a 5-quart bucket or bowl,
and whisk them together (you can also use a fork, or if it’s lidded,
just shake them well). Mixing the dry ingredients first prevents
the vital wheat gluten from forming clumps once liquids are added.
Now add the water to form a very wet dough. Don’t add additional flour to dry this out:
Cover loosely (leave lid open a crack) and allow to rise for two hours at room temperature (if you decreased the yeast, you’ll need more time). NEVER PUNCH DOWN
or intentionally deflate. The dough will rise and then begin to
collapse. Refrigerate and use over the next 14 days, tearing off
one-pound loaves as you need them.
On baking day, cut off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough (about a pound), using a serrated knife or a kitchen shears.
Now, quickly shape a loaf as you’ve seen in our video on the website, or on our new Amazon site
(but note that the Amazon video leaves out the crucial 90 minute
resting time that I’ll talk about in a minute). Should take less than a
minute— still pictures don’t do it justice, but basically, you pull the
top around to the bottom, rotating quarter-turns as you go. DON’T
KNEAD or otherwise knock all the gas out of the loaf:
Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest on a pizza peel covered with cornmeal or parchment for
90 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough.
This is longer than our 1st book because whole grains take a longer rest
than white doughs. Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see
much rise; our loaves depend more on “oven spring.”
Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C), with a baking stone placed
on a middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any
other rack that won’t interfere with rising bread.
Just before baking, use a pastry brush to
paint the top with water (we’ve dropped the cornstarch wash) and
sprinkle with seed mixture. Slash the loaf with 1/4-inch deep parallel
cuts across the top (or a singe lengthwise cut as in the
first picture). Use a serrated bread knife held perpendicularly to the loaf.
Slide onto hot stone and carefully pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray (in the book, we give alternatives for creating that steam environment, which is essential for creating a great crust).
After a 30-minute bake, cool on a cooling rack, and serve however you’d
like. You have the basis for a complete, nutritious meal, bursting with
healthy vegetable oils (from wheat germ), fiber (from wheat bran), and
vitamins. We look forward to hearing more from you as people have
questions about the book.
The bread turned out great! There is also a White Bread version for those who don't want to do the Whole Wheat (but WW is sooooo much healthier for you!!).
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Cornmeal for the pizza peel
And then, you know the drill. Mix with a spoon in a food-safe bucket, let it rise at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours, then into the fridge for two weeks. Tear off chunks, shape, rest, and bake as needed. Details in the book
The book also has Gluten Free breads to make using this super easy process.
So using the WW recipe, it works out to about 40 cents per one pound loaf. The White version would be even less than that!! Give it a whirl and tell me what you think:)