Saturday, March 23, 2013

5 Whole Wheat Super Easy Artisan Loaves

The Altitude Adjustment Section
This is an amazing, super-easy way to make the dough for five — count 'em, FIVE — whole wheat loaves. No rising, no kneading! Just mix, rest and bake. Yummy!

5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) vital wheat gluten
4 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees F)
1 to 2 tablespoons of whole seed mixture for sprinkling on top crust: sesame, flaxseed, caraway, raw sunflower, poppy, and or anise

Measure the dry ingredients into a 5-quart bucket or bowl, and whisk them together. Now add the water to form a very wet dough. Cover loosely (leave lid open a crack) and allow to rise for two hours at room temperature. Do not punch down or intentionally deflate. The dough will rise and then begin to collapse.You can also refrigerate and use over the next 14 days, tearing off one-pound loaves as you need them.

On baking day, cut off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough (about a pound), using a serrated knife or a kitchen shears. Now, quickly shape a loaf (this should take less than a minute). You pull the top around to the bottom, rotating quarter-turns as you go. DON’T KNEAD or otherwise knock all the gas out of the loaf. Cover the loaf loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest on a sheet pan covered with cornmeal or parchment for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a pan of hot water inside the oven on the bottom shelf. Just before baking, use a pastry brush and paint the top with water and sprinkle with seed mixture. Slash the loaf with 1/4-inch deep parallel cuts across the top using a serrated bread knife. Place loaves into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a rack, and eat. Baked loaves freeze well.