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Almost No-Work Whole Grain Bread

November 28, 2010

Friday my husband and I decided to make a whole wheat bread together. We divided it in 2 small loves one we made plain and the other we added a mix of cranberries and raisins with some Splenda and cinnamon. The bread was very simple to make, we used the quick method.

 

  Almost No-Work Whole Grain Bread

From — Mark Bittman, “Food Matters”

3 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting (optional)

Up to 1 cup chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or proofed whole grains (Optional. To proof grains, soak 1/2 cup grain in a small bowl, covered with water, for an hour or so. Drain and add to the dough as described in step 2.)

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 3/4 cups water and stir until blended; the dough should be quite wet, almost like a batter (add some more water if it seems dry.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for at least 12 and up to 24 hours. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Rising time will be shorter at warmer temperatures or a bit longer if your kitchen is chilly.

2. Use some of the oil to grease the loaf pan. If you are adding nuts or anything else, fold them into the dough now with your hands or a rubber spatula. Transfer the dough to the loaf pan, and use a rubber spatula to gently settle it in evenly. Brush the top with the remaining oil and sprinkle with cornmeal if you like. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, an hour or two depending on the warmth of your kitchen. When it’s almost ready heat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Bake the bread until deep golden and hollow-sounding when tapped, about 45 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer should register 200 degrees when inserted into the center of the loaf.) Immediately turn out of the pan onto a rack and let cool before slicing.

**For fast whole grain bread, increase the yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Reduce the initial rise to 2 hours and the final rise in the pan to 60 minutes or so. Proceed immediately to Step 3. **

The sweet bread was great for breakfast. The breads are on the dense side. I will try using the plain for french toast to make it softer.

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