Thursday, January 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Artisan Bread

A lot of people find the time after the holidays a letdown. I like the slower pace. Less stuff in the house. Less expectations all around. I'm usually recovering from my own Christmas overindulgence and tend to turn to a  kind of self imposed austerity. I like using up things from the pantry & freezer (I usually don't let anyone near the frozen strawberries or blueberries until Jan, although this year I relented in November.) I also like to cook and bake from scratch at this time of year. Nothing says cosy like a windy storm outside and warm bread baking in the oven.

I have been making this no knead bread from Mother Earth News. It turns out beautifully. It's easy. I made it for stuffing for Thanksgiving and it's pretty impressive when you have people over. (my friend Kristin's is better than mine  because she has a baking stone)  It's made with completely white flour though and we  normally eat whole wheat so it's not ideal for every day. (And it's so good that it's probably better if I don't have enough around to eat it every day.) I've tried making the loaf with whole wheat but it results in a pretty dense loaf that I could possibly use as a home protection device should the need arise. The nice thing about that loaf is that you can leave the dough in the fridge for up to 14 days and the longer it sits, the more it starts to taste like sourdough.

So I was delighted this month when my copy of Mother Earth News showed up and there was a recipe for a WHOLE WHEAT version. From the same people who came up with the first recipe! Each loaf contains only 1/2 cup white flour which is pretty awesome. I made my first batch yesterday. It turned out super. So super that I now completely want the book that it comes from, Healthy Breads In 5 Minutes A Day.

I didn't take a picture of it and now the darn loaf is half gone!


Unknown said...

Last night I baked the last loaf from my large batch; I will certainly be making this recipe soon, like tomorrow!!! I'm very excited!

Christine said...

I knew you would be excited!!!

Meredith said...

This post is not in response to the "calling". I saw this when i was re-reading your wonderful Little House post.

I tried this bread from Mother Earth News and I was so excited and it did not turn out well at all. Really dense and thick and I didn't use it to fend off a home invasion but I didn't eat it either. The birds at well that day.

My bluejays don't want me to ask this but, any suggestions?

Christine said...

Did you use the vital wheat gluten? I think that makes a big difference. I found that the loaves were better the longer I let it sit-meaning the ones out of the older dough.

You could also maybe up the white flour ration and that would probably make it a little lighter. I was going to mix up a batch tomorrow. Maybe I'll try that and see how it goes.

Have you tried the one of all white flour? It's really very awesome!