Apr 7, 2014

100% white whole wheat artisan bread



Like the new look?  Little sister designed a new logo and header for me.  On her snow day.  Because she wanted to.  And she's awesome.  She surprised me with it =)

So, in other news, I've started to figure out my crazy body.  I've been doing a lot of research as to what foods promote health and healing and which do more harm than good.  I find it interesting that people used to only eat foods that lead to health, whereas now, it's much easier to find the junk at the grocery store.  I've come to realize that all-purpose flour and refined sugar are my biggest enemies, as they are inflammatory.  Leave them out, my arthritic knees feel pretty good.  I have even been using the stairs occasionally (voluntarily) again on campus.  That's something that hasn't happened in years.


I'm not eating 100% un-refined ingredients, but I'm doing better and feeling better.  I've come to realize that food plays a bigger part in how I feel than I thought.  I eat crap and feel like crap.  I eat good, nutrient-rich foods and I feel good.  It seems obvious now, but it was the lack of awareness combined with denial that made it hard to see the reality for what it was.

Here's the problem.  I love bread.  I really, really love bread.  So, I've been working on adapting recipes to these new guidelines, using different types of whole grain flour in lieu of all-purpose flour and honey/agave/sucanat in place of white sugar.  This recipe was a success in my book; this bread is healthy, super easy to make, and tastes light and delicious (even by non-healthy standards).


 100% White Whole Wheat Artisan Bread
Recipe adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  •  3 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tbsp yeast (or just use 2 packets)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 2 c water, lukewarm
  • corn meal, optional 
  • olive oil, optional (I used garlic olive oil and it was amazing!)

Start by combining the flours, yeast, salt, and wheat gluten in a large lidded bowl.  Add the lukewarm water and mix everything until it's combined.  You don't knead this dough.  Just let it sit in the bowl, covered (not airtight), at room temperature for about 2 hours.  You want the wet dough to rise and collapse.  Once that happens, you can cover and refrigerate the dough until you're ready to use it.

When you're ready to bake the bread, cut the dough in half.  Store the extra half in the fridge until ready to use it.  Using one half, fold it under itself along the edges to form a nice smooth round of dough.  Place it on a cookie sheet that is dusted with corn meal (this will keep the bread from sticking to the sheet/pizza stone) or a sheet with a silicon mat.  Allow the dough to rise for another 90 minutes.  (It will only need to rise for another 40 minutes if it hasn't been refrigerated yet.)

A half hour before baking (an hour or 10 minutes into the second rise, depending on whether you're using fresh or refrigerated dough), preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  While it's preheating, place a pizza stone in the oven on a middle rack.  Place an empty metal cake pan on a lower rack (do NOT use a glass one, it'll explode when you add the water!).

Right before baking, sprinkle the loaf with olive oil (optional).  Using a serrated knife, cut slashes into the bread that are about 1/4" deep.

Using a large pancake flipper/spatula, carefully and quickly move the bread onto the heated pizza stone.  If you don't have a stone, just put the cookie sheet in the oven.  Add 1 cup water to the cake pan that's below it.  This will create steam and help the bread bake better.

Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, until lightly brown.  Move the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool some before serving.




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