Bread Challenge Week 12
I received the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg, for Christmas and hadn’t made anything out of it until the week before last. I know Christmas was months ago, but the recipes in this cookbook are a bit different and almost all of them require and ingredient that I did not have and kept forgetting to pick up at the store, vital wheat gluten. The recipes in this cookbook are interesting because you make a larger amount of dough to store in the refrigerator and cut off pieces to bake throughout the week.
For my first foray into healthy bread baking in five minutes a day I decided to try out 100% whole wheat bread. The recipe makes four 1 pound loaves. I was interested in the short ingredient list, whole wheat flour , yeast, salt, vital wheat gluten, and water. Short, sweet, and to the point. I mixed the dough and I baked off a free form loaf right away to go with that nights dinner and later in the week baked off the rest of the dough into a large sandwich loaf.
This recipe makes straight whole wheat bread, no extra added flavors or textures. I like the simplicity of it, but I missed having a bit more to to the flavor. Luke and Maddy loved eating this bread warm from the oven with butter, and I liked it toasted with peanut butter. Yum.
The recipe took about 20 minutes of hands on time and just under 4 hours total the first time around. The second loaf we made required about 5 minutes of hands on time and just over 2 hours total with rise and bake time.
Zoë François recipe is easy to follow and well written, and even includes some notes and possible variations. I don’t plan to make this bread as a sandwich loaf again but the we did enjoy having fresh bread with dinner and this recipe is easy enough to have fresh bread with dinner almost nightly for a week just by mixing it all one time.
Hands on time: 4
Total time: 2
make it again: 3
100% Whole Wheat Bread, Plain and Simple
From Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg, M.D.
7 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1. mixing ans storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast. salt, and vital wheat gluten, in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not air tight) food container.
2. Add the water and mix without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.
3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, thought it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next 10 days.
5. On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with the flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.
6. Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you are using fresh unrefrigerated dough). Alternatively, you can rest the loaf on a silicone mat or greased cookie sheet without using a pizza peel.
7. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone placed in the middle rack. Place and empty metal boiler tray on any other rack that won’t interfere with the rising bread.
8. just before baking use a pastry brush to paint the top with water. Slash the loaf with 1/4-inch-deep parallel cuts using a serrated bread knife.
9. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone (or place the silicone mat or cookie sheet on the stone if you used one). Pour 1 cup hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30-35 minutes , until richly browned and firm. If you used parchment paper a silicone mat or a cookie sheet under the loaf, carefully remove it and bake directly on the stone or an oven rack two-thirds of the way through baking. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.
10. All the bread to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.
Previous Bread Challenge reviews and scores:
Thin Wheat Crackers – Week 11
Irish Soda Bread – Week 10
Double Blueberry Muffins – Week 9
Oatmeal Batter Bread – Week 8
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls – Week 7
Cheesy Pretzels – Week 6
Light Rye Bread – Week 5
Country-Style Whole-Wheat Pita – Week 4
Carrot Raisin Quick Bread – Week 3
Potato Bread – Week 2
Focaccia – Week 1