Friday, February 5, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated.

I'm new to blogging and not sure exactly what the rules are for posting other people's recipes. To be safe, I give all credit to Cook's Illustrated. I don't add my own twist to this recipe, just follow the directions and you will get an excellent, perfect, round loaf of delicious bread. Seeing as I have zero followers, no RSS feeds and the only person that has visited my blog is the same person that gave me this recipe, I don't anticipate that I will be whisked away to Folsom anytime soon.

I stayed away from this recipe for a while because I didn't have a fancy dutch oven. I tried it a deep dish saute pan (I don't have one of those either but I borrowed from a friend and have been using it for months) and it works great.

There are several versions of this bread. Regular, rye, olive-rosemary-parmesan, whole wheat and cranberry-pecan. Below is the recipe for whole wheat.

Almost No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread


2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup mild flavored lager

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix water and honey. Add to large bowl. Add beer and vinegar. Using a rubber spatula, fold mixture, scrapping up dry flour from bottom of the bowl until a shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8-18 hours.

2. Lay a 12 x 18 inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10 inch skillet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 10-15 times. Shape dough into a ball by pulling the edges into the middle. Transfer dough seam-side down to the parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with a nonstick cooking spray. (I actually skip the 10 inch skillet step and just put it in the 4 qt. saute pan I cook it in. See picture below).

4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

5. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position and place 8 qt. dutch oven on rack and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and with a sharp knife, make a 6 inch long, 1/2 inch deep slit along top of dough in an X shape. Remove pot from oven, reduce oven temp to 425 degrees and pick up dough in the parchment paper and place in dutch oven. Cover. Place in oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes.

6. Remove lid and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered until loaf is golden brown and instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 210 degrees.

7. Remove bread from pot, transfer to a wire rack and cool at room temperature, about 2 hours.

Eat large quantities of this bread and herb butter (recipe below) and you are sure to have that spare tire you've always dreamed of in no time!

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