Sunday, October 18, 2020

Baking Class: Whole Wheat Artisan No Knead Bread

I have tweaked this whole wheat sourdough no knead bread recipe about as much as I can to get it where I want it to be.  I don't always have the time (or the patience, if I am being honest) to let it sit for hours before baking it so right off the bat I increased the percentage of starter to the rest of the ingredients.  This gives me the freedom to let it sit out for just a few hours if I am in a hurry to have it, or I can throw it in the fridge and let it do its thing for up to five days to let the flavors really develop.

And while I appreciate the beauty of a crumb that is filled with those beautiful large holes, I find that the bread goes stale much faster than I can use it so I started adding olive oil, which does give a longer life but softens the crumb so I don't get those lovely holes anymore. If you want the holes and are feeding enough people for leftovers not to be a problem, you can omit the oil.

I thought I would give a little pictorial of how the dough should look at various stages of the process. If you do not want to bother with that you can just scroll down to the where the recipe is at the bottom. I promise I won't be offended.

First I combine all of the ingredients and cover the bowl and let it sit anywhere from a few hours out on a counter up to five or six days in the refrigerator. If I refrigerated it, I take it out and let it sit for about an hour and a half, long enough for it to come to room temperature. I then transfer it to a floured surface and sprinkle both it and my hands with bread flour while I stretch and fold it a couple of times, adding more flour in small amounts as needed.  When I am ready to shape it I start at the top and grab both sides and pull them across each other over the dough and affix them to the opposite sides.  I do the same in the middle, and then the bottom, and then I carefully shape it into a ball.
I then set it on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, pick it up by the corners, and put it in a small aluminum bowl tand cover it with a towel and let it rise for another hour or so. After about 45 minutes I place my Dutch oven onto the middle rack of a cool oven with the lid on and preheat it to 500° F.  When the oven has come to temperature I pull out the rack with the Dutch oven on it, remove the lid, gently lift up the corners of the parchment paper and use it to carefully remove the dough from the bowl and gently place it in the Dutch oven as quickly as I safely can, then immediately put the cover back on and put it back in the oven.

I bake it covered for 30 minutes and then I lower the temperature to 450° F. and remove the cover and let it bake for another 15 minutes. I remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes and then I use the ends of the parchment paper to remove the loaf from the Dutch oven and set it on a cooling rack to let it cool completely.
As I stated up above, this does not have that lovely open-holed crumb of your typical Dutch Oven No-Knead bread. I believe that is mainly due to the fact that i add olive oil to my dough. It may not be open and airy and chewy as the original version, but it stays fresh longer and that is more important to me since I am usually the only one eating it. If you want that open, chewy crumb just leave out the olive oil.

Home Cookin v9.81 Chapter: My Recipes
3/4 cup (145g) active starter
1-1/4 cup (300g) water
1/2 cup (60g) bread flour
1/2 cup (60g) barley flour (optional)
2 cups (240g) whole wheat flour, or 2-1/2 cups (300g) if not using barley flour
2 tsp (12g) salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

Combine the flours in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Dissolve the starter into the water in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and give it a stir, then add the flour mixture and stir to combine. The mixture will be fairly wet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for as little as overnight or as long as 5 days.

When ready to bake, take a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle flour lightly over the middle. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour to bring it to room temperature. Fold the dough 10 to 15 times in the bowl, then transfer to a floured surface. Sprinkle bread flour lightly over the top of the dough and over your hands, then take the top edges on each side of the dough and cross them over each other and press down into the base. Repeat with the middle edges and then the bottom, adding more flour a sprinkle at a time as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.

Gently bring the edges of the dough from the bottom up to make a ball, and then turn it over onto the floured parchment paper. Pat a little more flour onto the sides of the dough closest to the paper, then lift it up by the corners and place it into a medium-sized bowl. Cover with a twel and let rise until it has doubled, an hour to an hour and a half.

After about 45 minutes, place a Dutch oven with the lid on it into a cool oven and preheat it to 500° F. When the dough has risen and you are ready to bake, remove the pot from the oven and lift the dough out of the bowl by the parchment paper and carefully drop the whole thing into the hot pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, lower the heat to 450° and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Let cool completely on rack.

adapted from

Exported from Home Cookin v9.81

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