Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Simple Crusty Peasant Wheat Bread

This is such a delightfully easy bread to assemble - just two pots (if you have the right pots). One is the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, and the other, a Dutch oven. Simple to prepare, especially since you don't need to worry about shaping the bread into any particular form -- the Dutch oven does it for you! Highly recommended.

Simple Crusty Peasant Wheat Bread
Hide the Cheese . com

1 T + 2 tsp yeast
1 T + 2 tsp salt
3 c warm water
2 c whole wheat flour
4 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

Combine yeast, salt and water in the bowl of a mixer. Stir quickly to combine and then let proof five minutes.

Add the flours and combine, either with a wooden spoon, or if you're lazy (like me) with the dough hook on a mixer. I beat the dough for only about five minutes, until it was shaggy. It will be very sticky.

Cover with a cotton towel and let sit in a warm space for 2 hours.

Arrange racks in the oven so that a Dutch oven fits on the middle shelf. Place Dutch oven on rack and heat oven to 450.

Divide dough in half. Cover one half to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap; store in the fridge for up to one week so that you can make bread on an upcoming day.

Take the other half of dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a ball, but don't worry about being too precise with the shape or look. Fold any uneven edges under the ball and let the dough rest until oven is at temperature.

When the oven is at 450, remove the Dutch oven. Carefully place the dough in the Dutch oven -- with the uneven folds facing up -- and put the lid back on the pot. 

Place in the oven and cook 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and bake until the top is a golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the bread. Let cool on a baking rack until ready to eat.

When you are ready to bake the second loaf, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Continue baking according to the instructions above.

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