A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Artisan Bread

I read the "Easy Riser" article by Jeffrey Steingarten you sent me. I love the idea of his slow-rise bread but he used white flour, and I prefer to use whole wheat for all my bread. I tried it with these proportions:

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon gluten flour
2 scant teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 5/8 cup water
1/2 cup white flour

I skipped his ideas about shaping the loaf and dusting wheat bran all over the place. I just mixed the ingredients briefly in the food processor and let it sit on the counter 18 hours. The next day I added 1/2 cup of white flour and processed lightly, then shaped a round loaf.

I put a flour-covered towel in a bowl, put the loaf in upside down, and let it rise for two hours, covered. I preheated my 5 1/2-quart Circulon dutch oven in my large oven for half an hour at 500 degrees, then transferred the loaf to it and baked for 30 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered.

It is so flavorful and chewy! Next time I'm going to use my bread machine for the first steps, and just unplug it for the 18-hour rise.


Eva said...

Excellent -- I'm glad to know whole wheat works so well! I haven't baked bread in months because of the summer heat, but your post made me want some. I wish Columbia had a village oven like in pre-industrial Europe...I could just take my rising loaves down there to bake, keeping my own house nice and cool.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned trying this in your bread machine... mind letting us know how it worked out? We are major fans of whole grains and I use both my bread machines a lot, so your input and comments would be most appreciated!

Kris said...

Thanks for reading our blog! As for the bread machine question--I probably did try it, but then in the intervening couple of years we went on a gluten-free binge for a while. So I can't really remember. You've reawakened my interest in this loaf, though, so I'll probably give it another try.