Basic Whole Wheat BreadFrom staceyfish 8 years ago
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast shopping list
- ½ cup warm water, 105°-115°F shopping list
- 6 cups whole wheat flour shopping list
- vital wheat gluten, added according to package directions shopping list
- 2½ teaspoons salt shopping list
- 2¼ cups lukewarm water shopping list
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses (not honey!) shopping list
- 2 tablespoons olive oil shopping list
How to make it
- Dissolve the yeast in the ½ cup warm water.
- Mix the flour, gluten andsalt in a large bowl, stirring to make the flour fluffy. Make a well in the mixture.
- Dissolve the molasses in the 2¼ cups lukewarm water. Add the oil. Pour the liquids and the yeast mixture into the well in the flour. Starting from the center, combine to make a smooth batter and then gradually incorporate the flour from the sides of the bowl. Alternatively, use a stand mixer to stir the ingredients until just combined.
- Cover with a lid, plastic wrap, or damp kitchen towel and let sit for 20 minutes. This is called the autolyze step and will allow the wheat to better absorb the liquid and form a better network of gluten strands before kneading.
- Knead by hand or with a stand mixer until dough is smooth and elastic (about 600 strokes or 20 minutes by hand). Dough will become lustrous and supple near the end.
- Move to a large bowl in a cool area (55°-60°F) and cover. Try a dark closet/pantry or room with a window open (this works well in Alaska, at least). You may need to get creative with enclosing the bowl in a box with a cold pack.
- Allow to rise for 20-24 hours (yes, hours!), gently and thoroughly deflating every 8 hours and re-forming the dough into a smooth round each time. Allow the rising environment to become a little warmer towards the end.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Keeping the smooth top surface (the gluten film) unbroken, deflate the dough from one side to another, expelling all of the accumulated gas. Divide the dough in half and gently form into two round balls, still preserving the gluten film. Let the rounded balls rest, covered, for about 10-15 minutes, until soft.
- Shape the balls into loaves and let them proof for two more hours in a warm environment. A half hour before bread goes in the oven, preheat it to 425°F.
- When the dough tests ready (indentation in the dough slightly/slowly fills in) place the loaves in the oven. After ten minutes turn the temperature down to 325°F. Bake until an instant-read thermometer reads 210°F in the center of the loaf, about 45-75minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing.