Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bread as Good as You Get in a Bakery -- Even A French One!

Out now!
Coming March 2014
Available as an ebook

By Peg Cochran

We have several "no knead" bread recipes already posted on the MLK.  Krista has posted two of them--one for white bread and one for rye.  Both are delicious!  I found this similar "Dutch oven" bread, as it is alternatively known, that calls for half white whole wheat flour.  White whole wheat flour is just as healthy as whole wheat--it is whole flour including the bran germ and endosperm--made from white wheat or "albino" wheat where the bran is lighter in color and milder in flavor.  

This bread has a nice chewy texture and a wonderfully crisp crust.  And it's terribly impressive when you serve it to friends.  We enjoyed ours with my chicken liver pate, a selection of cheeses and a nice bottle of red wine.  And it's really easy to make even for a bread "novice."

1 1/2 cups bread flour  (bread flour gives you a crisper crust)
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt (regular salt also works just fine)
1/2 tsp RAPID RISE yeast (Rapid Rise or Instant yeast does not need to be "proofed."
1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
Extra flour for dusting

Whisk together the flours, salt and yeast.  Add the honey and warm water (follow directions on yeast package--water should be around 120 degrees).
Stir.  (You can even use your hands!)  Dough will be "shaggy."  Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for 18 to 24 hours.  Dough will double or triple in size.

Dust your work surface with flour and dump out your dough.  It will be on the sticky side.  You can gather it into a ball or flatten it slightly and fold in thirds like a letter.  Dust a kitchen towel with flour and place your dough on it seam side down.  Cover with another towel and let rise for around two hours.

Meanwhile heat your oven to 475 degrees.  When it reaches that temperature, place a Dutch oven (including cover) on the rack.  My Le Creuset Dutch oven is from the 1970s so I'm not sure my knob is heat proof.  I just unscrew it for making the bread.  Later versions are supposedly safe up to 500 degrees.  Heat for 45 minutes and be really careful.  The pot will be HOT.

Remove pot and place dough seam side up.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and crisp.  My oven runs hot so the bread is usually done in 30 minutes.  If you're not sure about your oven, invest in a thermometer.  

CAREFULLY remove the bread from the hot oven, cool slightly and enjoy! 

White whole wheat and bread flour combo

Whisk flours together

Dough will be "shaggy"

Preheat your Dutch oven--remove knob if not heat proof

Add dough seam side down

The delicious, crusty results!
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  1. It's beautiful Peg--and I am just back from the land of amazing bread! Will try this soon...

  2. Isn't that gorgeous? Amazing how flour and yeast can make something so luscious tasting!!!

    PS You've made me hungry for some fresh gluten-free bread. Getting out my mixer. Maybe I'll try it this way and see if it works. :)

    Daryl / Avery

  3. There's nothing quite like homemade bread, except, of course, homemade bread with cheese or butter! And this is certainly the season for it. Love that aroma when it's baking!


  4. I'm seriously thinking about starting some now so we'll have it for tomorrow! It would be great with some homemade chicken soup.

  5. This looks amazing. And easy too! I have an ancient cast iron dutch oven that will soon have an exciting new job making bread.

    Thank you!

  6. I'm always boggled by that "keep it in a warm place for 18-24 hours)--I'm not convinced I have a consistently warm place. Makes you yearn for the old constant pilot light on gas stoves, no? But this sounds delicious, and it's an interesting approach. I've never heard of cooking bread in a Le Creuset dutch oven (and mine was a wedding present and is still going strong--if it ever had a plastic cover for the lid handle, it's long gone).

  7. Sheila, I've found it rises just fine sitting out in my kitchen at whatever temp it happens to be. Of course we've had unusually warmish weather for fall until...yesterday! I wonder if shrouding the bowl in a big bath towel would do the when you make yogurt?