I found this recipe online the other day because my mom keeps suggesting (not so subtlety) to find a great whole wheat recipe (love you mom). I couldn't make it however, until I had a Dutch Oven. Now that I have one (yay!) I immediately gave it a shot. I love this bread. But I can see that it's not for everyone. It's very hearty and has a strong yeasty, wheat flavor. It also took forever to make- I didn't have to do much, but it has to sit for a really long time to let the flavors develop. So plan ahead, cause it's totally worth it. This loaf would be amazing with soup. I made a large loaf and froze part of it so I can try it the next time I make soup. So excited.
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
All-purpose flour, for dusting
I started this process Monday night. I mixed together the flours, yeast, salt and then 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Using my fingers, I mixed together the dough until it came together. I didn't need to knead it, just mush with my fingers. I covered it with plastic wrap, taped down the sides so it was a nice seal and put it in the fridge.
After a day (so now it's Tuesday), I brought the bowl out of the fridge and put it on the counter. This picture shows what the dough looked like. Note: if you want a milder yeast flavor, only refrigerator for 12-14 hours.
So 18 hours later, after the bread had risen and was bubbly, I started to actually make the bread.
First, I sprinkled a lot of flour on a board. Then I turned out the dough onto the board. It looked like a total mess, but fear not, it works out ok. I pulled up the sides of the blob and sort of pinched them together (see the picture to the left).
Then I flipped over the dough, so the pinched seems were board-side down.
I covered the dough and let it rise for a few hours (2-3 hours). This picture doesn't really do justice to the fact that it did actually rise nicely.
When the dough had about 30 minutes left to rise, I started to preheat the oven (at 450 degrees) with my Dutch Oven inside (without the top). After the 30 minutes, I took out the Dutch oven and carefully flipped the dough into the pot. You want the seem side to be up. Then shake the pot to make sure the dough is centered.
I covered the pot and cooked for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. Then I removed the top and cooked for another 15 minutes until the bread was brown and crunchy.
This picture shows the bread when it just came out of the oven. I removed the bread and put it on a wire rack to cool.
Once it had cooled some, I sliced the loaf up and dug in. It's so amazing, can't say enough.