Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No knead whole wheat bread

The authors of "Artisan Bead in 5 Minutes a Day" have a new book out now.   "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" is very similar, with more of an emphasis on healthy ingredients.  I really really like white bread but bought the new book anyway.  The master recipe for whole wheat bread is posted on their blog now.
A few months ago I bought a book by some different authors for another variation on no-knead bread.  It just did not do it for me, so I won't post a link or name names.  Everything seemed more fussy and inconvenient.  However, they did rely heavily on wheat gluten, so bought some before I lost interest.  So when I got my new book and saw that they used wheat gluten, I didn't even need to go to the store.
I haven't had a chance to read the whole book yet, but I made the master recipe tonight.  It's about 2/3 whole wheat and 1/3 white flour, with a bit of gluten added for extra rise. The remaining ingredients are salt, yeast, and water. Like the recipes from the old book, it's pretty easy.  Combine the dry ingredients, add water and mix until blended.  You then let it sit at room temperature for three hours, and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  The master recipe makes 4 1 lb loaves, although I end to make them a bit bigger andusually get three out of each batch.
The dough grew a lot faster than expected.  The authors said it grows more slowly than the white bread recipe, but that was not my experience.  (Or maybe my house is a lot warmer and less drafty now that I have new windows!)  After an hour it had gotten pretty big and was threatening to overflow the bowl. I hadn't originally planned to bake it tonight, but changed my plans rather than risk a mess in my fridge.  I pulled off about a pound of it, tried to shape it, and let it rise.  It was a lot stickier than expected so my shaping efforts were not all that skillful.  Chilling it in the fridge helps make it less sticky and the dough develops more of a sourdough flavor over time.
The dough ball grew quickly.  It was quite puffy after 20 minutes.  Again, that was a lot quicker than I ever observed for the white bread.  I am definitely going to have to start adding gluten to that recipe too!  After 45 minutes, I made three slashes in the top of the loaf, brushed it with water and sprinkled it with a mix of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and anise, and put the loaf in the oven.
The bread expanded sideways as it baked.  It was moderately dense, moist, tasty but a bit bland.  It was not too sweet, so that is good.  A few days fermenting in the fridge will hopefully improve the flavor for the next loaf I bake.

1 comment:

  1. I baked another loaf tonight. The dough had rested in the fridge for 4 days. It took longer to rise but the crust turned out better and it had developed more depth of flavor.
    I'll definitely make this again. I don't like it as much as the white bread but it's more filling and healthy, and is tasty without tempting me to eat to much of it.