Lovely no-knead whole wheat bread

My bread from yesterday turned out lovely!

As I mentioned yesterday I combined the Master Recipe from “Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day” with the New York Times famous no-knead bread technique. Keep in mind, I used supermarket “whole wheat” flour which isn’t very whole grain at all (most supermarket “whole wheat” flour is simply white with the bran added back in).

In my version I used the large-volume ingredient list from the “Healthy Bread” recipe, but altered it to the smaller amount of yeast (relative to the size of the recipe), room temperature proof and closed-vessel cooking method of the NYT recipe.

Here is my recipe from yesterday:

Lovely Whole Wheat No-Knead Bread

Makes one huge loaf, or several smaller ones.

5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white all purpose flour
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (available at bulk stores, or under the Bob’s Red Mill product line)
1 tbsp kosher salt
Slightly heaping 1/2 tsp instant yeast (my approximation based on the quantities in the NYT recipe)
4 cups water, room temperature

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together well (this will help to prevent the vital wheat gluten from getting lumpy when the water is added). Add water and stir to combine. Mix until it is a uniform consistency; the dough will be shaggy.

Let dough proof at room temperature, or a tad warmer (like in the oven with the light on) anywhere between 14 and 20 hours (mine was probably more like 10 hours, and it worked out fine). Two hours before baking, shape it into a boule or a bâtard, using floured or wet hands, and place it on a well-floured tea towel to proof. Half an hour before baking, preheat the oven at 450 degrees with a baking container and lid (large Cloche [clay baker] or a lidded, enameled cast iron Dutch oven) set on the lower rack to preheat.

When proofing is over and oven is preheated remove the hot baking container from the oven and tip your dough into it. This will likely be a messy affair, but that is okay: these are rustic loaves we are looking for. I have not yet figured out a way to prevent the dough from sticking to the tea towel). Put the lid on and place in the oven.

Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes. Then remove lid and continue baking for another 30 minutes or maybe even more, until the loaf interior reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer, and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Let the loaf cool thoroughly–about an hour–before slicing into it. We enjoyed ours with some Christmas turkey soup. So yummy.

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