One of my goals is to make all my bread from scratch -- one day when I stay home for a majority of the day. I know I have a lot to learn to be successful at bread making. But I'm a little closer to mastering homemade bread because of a great book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I've made their basic recipe twice, and it was pretty good. Then I made the 100% Whole Wheat Bread - I am sold! I've attempted wheat bread before, but it never has been all whole wheat flour and still always turns out dry, crumbly, and just plain depressing. This whole wheat bread is soft and moist, and remained so over several days. I ate sandwiches on one loaf for five days and it was just as good on day five as day one. Now I just need to get a wheat grinder and start grinding my own wheat. So much to do, so little time and space.
Since this recipe makes three loaves and the dough only lasts for five days, I made one loaf, and then the other two on days 4 and 5. The third loaf I put in the freezer since I didn't need it right away.
100% Whole Wheat Bread
from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Hertzberg and Francois
Makes 3 1 ½ pound loaves
1 ½ c. lukewarm water
1 ½ c. lukewarm milk
1 ½ Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
½ c. honey
5 Tbsp. neutral flavored oil, plus more for greasing the pan
6 ½ c. whole wheat flour
1. Mix the yeast, salt, honey, and oil with the milk and water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded food container.
2. Mix in the remaining ingredients without kneading using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy duty stand mixer with dough hook. If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
3. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temp until the dough rises and collapses, approx for 2 hours – 3 hours.
4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded container and use over the next 5 days.
5. On Baking Day lightly grease a 9x4x3 nonstick loaf pan. Using wet hands, scoop out a 1 1/2-pound (cantaloupe-sized) piece. Keeping hands wet, quickly shape it into a ball by stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Drop the loaf into the prepared pan. You want to fill the pan slightly more than half full.
6. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour the top of the loaf an slash, using serrated bread knife.
7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350 degrees on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf. If not using stone, preheat can be 5 minutes.
8. Place loaf on a rack near the center of oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 50to 60 minutes, or until deeply browned and very firm to the touch.
9. Allow to cool on a rack before cutting or eating.