This year, my – or is it our – intention is to eat more whole grains. Since I’m mostly committed to baking my own bread as well, I’ve had to do some research into whole grain baking. It is different!
King Arthur Flour maintains a great source of recipes, supplies and tips for all levels of bakers. If you haven’t been on their site recently, take a look – there’s sure to be something you’ll be motivated to bake. While this recipe calls for KAF’s Harvest Grain Blend, you certainly can blend your own concoction of seeds and grains according to taste.
This bread takes about 11 hours from start to finish, so mixing up the dough the night before and doing the bake in the morning is probably the most efficient way to make it.
- 3 1/4 cups (390g) High-gluten flour or King Arthur unbleached AP flour
- 1 cup (113g) white whole wheat flour OR 100% whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (149g) KAF Harvest Grains Blend
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 3/4 cup (397g) cool water
- Using your hands or a mixer (what I used) at slow speed, mix all the ingredients until the flour has been incorporated and a sticky dough forms. Continue to knead the dough gently for 2 to 3 minutes longer until it is somewhat smooth.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and form it into a round loaf to fit a 9″ to 10″ round lidded baking crock. (I used my heavy dutch oven)
—— Here’s where I did things differently (my suggestions follow)
- Place the dough in the lightly greased crock, smooth side up. Cover with the lid and let rise at room temperature for about 90 minutes. It won’t appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it’ll seem to settle and expand.
- Put the bread in a cold oven, and set the oven temperature to 450°F.
- Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until it becomes deep brown in color, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.
- Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out onto a rack, and cool before slicing.
So as it turns out, I’ve had good results baking the bread in the same way that I’ve baked the No Knead White Bread previously posted on this blog. So if you are willing to trust the force, here’s how I finished things up:
- Put a heavy enamel, lidded dutch oven into the cold oven (you may need to remove a rack to make sure things fit) and fire up the oven to 500 degrees F. While the oven preheats, shape the dough into a 9″ – 10″ circle and, seam side down, place it on parchment paper. The paper will become a sling for lifting the dough into the dutch oven so it needs to be about an 18 inch square. I usually put the dough/parchment sling in a fry pan just to help the dough keep its shape.
- Once the oven reaches 500, turn it down to 425 degrees F. Remove the lid from the dutch oven, lower the parchment sling/dough into the dutch oven, replace the lid and bake for 25 minutes.
- At the end of 25 minutes, remove the lid from the dutch oven. Continue to bake lid-less for 10-15 minutes.
- At the end of THIS baking period, carefully lift the bread by the parchment and place it on a wire rack to cool. Good luck waiting until it’s cool enough.