Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Recipe: Artisan Wheat Bread

I scribbled down this recipe while in a Barnes and Noble in Carlsbad, California.

I'm so glad I did.

It's from the book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It's a book I'll be getting soon.

Now, their recipe called for all white flour. I simply use all wheat flour and although I'm sure there might be some variations to the recipe to make it a little better - we're still quite happy with it.

This recipe is great with Garlic Herb Soup.

Here's the recipe:

Artisan Wheat Bread

3 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
6 1/2 cups wheat flour

Boiler tray (I used an old small metal baking dish)
Baking stone
Pizza peel

Warm water slightly. Add yeast and salt to water. Mix in mixer. Mix in flour all at once. Will yield a dough that is loose and will conform to containers shape. Place dough in large container with lid lightly set on top. Keep in fridge overnight.

Take 1/3 of dough out with floured hands. Don't knead - just cloak by stretching surface of top of dough around to bottom on all four sides - rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. This step should only take 30 to 60 seconds.

Rest loaf on pizza peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Allow loaf to rest for 40 minutes. You may not see much rising - more rising will occur during baking.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone placed in the middle rack and an empty broiler tray for holding water on a shelf that won't interfere with rising.

After the 40 minutes is up - dust the dough with flour and slash 1/4 inch deep across, "scallop" or tic-tac-toe pattern.

With a quick jerking motion slide dough off of pizza peel onto preheated stone. Quickly pour 1 cup warm water into boiler tray and quickly close oven door.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and firm to touch. For a crunchier, shinier crust don't dust uncooked dough with flour. Simply bake and 5 minutes before pulling the baked bread out brush the top with egg whites.

Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.

Remaining dough will keep for 14 days.

Dough can also be frozen in 1 lb portions in airtight container and defrosted overnight in fridge prior to baking.

Herbs can be used in bread. (1 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp rosemary to water mixture.)

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