Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wheat-tacular no-knead bread

This was an experiment I did last night to try to make a somewhat crunchier version of no-knead bread using ingredients I already had in the cupboard. It wasn't as crunchy as I'd thought it would be, but it was amazingly delicious. I was going to call it "multi-grain" but since almost everything in it is based on wheat (except the oats) it's really "multi-permutations-of-the-same-grain." But mostly importantly, it's delicious.

Ingredients:
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. oats
1/4 c. bulgur
1/4 c. shelled wheat/wheat berries
2.25 c. white flour
2 tsp. salt (this is really important for the taste)
1/4 tsp. yeast

1.75 c. water (the grains in here can be quite thirsty)

Steps:
Night before:
Mix everything together (dry ingredients first, then the water), cover with plastic.

Day of:

Heavily flour a cutting board, then use a floured spatula to get the muck out onto a cutting board. Flour the top of the blob, then flatten it a bit. Fold each edge into the center (left,right,top,bottom) adding more flour if/when necessary to keep the dough from sticking to everything it touches. Let rest 5 minutes if you're into that kind of thing (I forgot this step, and it turned out fine).

Coat a cotton, non-terrycloth kitchen towel in something that the bread won't stick to - I recommend corn meal, since I have had better results with that than with flour. Flour your hands well, and quickly shape the dough into a ball, then place the ball seam down on the towel. Put the towel+dough into a bowl to rise.

In 1.5-2 hours, or after the dough has approximately doubled, preheat the oven to 475. Put a dutch oven with a lid (or a similar heavy lidded oven friendly container) in when you turn it on, so that it gets preheated with the oven. When it's the right temperature, scoop the bread from the bottom and invert it into the vessel, so the seam side is on top.

Bake for about 30 minutes covered, then reduce temperature to 425 (I didn't do this, but many recipes suggest it) and cook uncovered until the crust is browned to your liking.

Remove, cool, and enjoy.

The loaf resting:



The all important crumb shot:

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