01 April 2010

Whole wheat no knead bread

In Canada, we call whole wheat bread "brown bread", as opposed to "white bread". My Dad once visited Detroit, and asked a waitress there to bring him some brown toast for breakfast. At home, that would result in some whole wheat toast. Instead, she brought him very darkly toasted bread.

I've been playing a lot with my new bread book, My Bread by Jim Lahey.  This is a fun book.  With 2 minutes the night before, and about 10 minutes of work the day you bake it, you can have delicious, crunchy, chewey, tasty bread every day.  And this stuff makes wicked toast.

This past weekend, I made whole wheat no knead bread:
300 g bread flour
100 g whole wheat flour
8 g salt
½ tsp active dry yeast
300 g water
additional flour for dusting
There's a bit more yeast in this than in the regular no knead bread.  The night before baking, mix together all the ingredients just until wet.

Starting dough

Cover and let rise overnight.  (I have let this bread go as little as 16 and as much as 24 hours, and it turns out well).

Risen dough

This dough is a little more delicate than a shorter fermented dough.  Loosen the dough with a spatula, then fold the edges underneath it into the shape of a loaf.

Folded dough

Place it on a well-floured cotton tea towel (not something fuzzy, or terryish - you don't want lint in there).  Place it smooth side up (you'll be flipping it into a hot pan later, and want the smooth side on the bottom, ultimately).

Flour, cover, and let rise for 2 hours.  Half an hour before the end of rising, heat a Le Creuset (or other enameled, cast-iron casserole pot) closed in an oven at 475°F for 30 minutes.

Risen dough

Remove the pot from the oven.  Carefully and gently (and un-hand-burningly), flip the dough into the hot pot.

Dough transfer

Cover, and put back in the oven.

In the pot

Bake in the closed pot for 30 minutes.  Uncover.

In the oven

Bake for another few minutes until browned.  I find the non-whole wheat loaves take another 10 minutes to brown.  This whole wheat loaf took closer to 20.  Remove, and let cool for at least an hour before cutting into it.


Mrs. Dude loves the crackling the crust makes as it cools.  Serve.  This bread is a little heavier than the previous one.  But it makes fantastic toast, and a great dipping bread for soups.  Love it.


Dr. Ricky said...

What's with all the gentle handling. The beauty of no-knead bread is how forgiving it is. Just dump it in. Really. It's not going to hurt it. Oh, and the pot doesn't have to be enamel, although heavy is good. My favorite one to use is a stainless steel pot, but it's too small, so I'm using a regular camping ground dutch oven, available for around $10 in a sporting goods store. Works well.

Bbq Dude said...

The more you handle it after rising, the more it deflates, and the less risen the end product. Perhaps you're using a dough with a smaller amount of water. This is one of the most fragile bread doughs I've worked with, and the couple times that I've over-handled it, I've watched it deflate and I've ended with breads that have a denser crumb.

Richard said...

I dunno - you watched me make bread at least twice. I just throw the thing around :).

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