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Whole-Wheat Bread

This recipe is adapted from "My Bread," by Jim Lahey with Rick Flaste (Norton; 2009). The dough doesn't require any kneading, but it will need almost an entire day to rise. Lahey makes his bread in a special concave lid, using its pot as a cover. We baked the loaf in the main vessel of a 3 1/2-quart ovenproof pot.

Tools and Materials

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface and hands
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (from one 1/4-ounce envelope) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups cool water (55 degrees to 65 degrees)
  • Wheat bran, coarse cornmeal, or more flour, for dusting

Whole-Wheat Bread How-To

1. Stir together flours, salt, and yeast in a medium bowl. Add water, and mix well using a wooden spoon or your hand until dough is wet and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature until dough doubles in volume and the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.

2. Transfer dough to a floured surface using a rubber spatula or a bowl scraper to scrape dough from bowl.

3. Fold dough using lightly floured hands, lifting edges toward the center. Shape dough into a loose round.

4. Generously dust a clean kitchen towel with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Gently place dough on towel, seam-side down. Dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour.

5. Loosely fold ends of towel over dough to cover. Let stand in a warm place until almost doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours (it should not spring back when pressed).

6. After dough has risen for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 475 degrees with rack in lower third of oven. Heat a covered 3 1/2-quart heavy ovenproof pot or Dutch oven (9 inches in diameter) for 30 minutes or until dough is ready. Carefully remove preheated pot from oven, and uncover. Unfold towel, and quickly but carefully invert dough into pot, seam-side up.

7. Cover with lid. Bake for 30 minutes.

8. Uncover pot, and bake until bread is dark brown but not burned, 15 to 20 minutes.

9. Carefully lift bread from pot using metal spatulas, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Comments (1)

  • Baileyrayvalentine 17 Jan, 2013

    This recipe is wrong. 1 and 1/3 cup of water is way too little - you need about 1 and 3/4 cups to make it the right consistency. The dough should be wet and sticky. With the right amount of water, the bread is great! I've made it about 10 times so I have it down to a science.