“Food! Glorious Food!” Sorry, sometimes I just break out in song. Usually it’s a torch song… “Now you say you’re sorry for being so untrue…” Boy, good thing you can’t hear me when I’m in the shower. In my own mind my voice is passable. I have a feeling other people wouldn’t think the same thing. Sing even if you can’t, people. It’ll make your day a little more badass.
So why all of the singing today, besides the fact that I’m weird? Well, sometimes good food just makes you break out into song. Homemade bread is one of them for me. I mean, who doesn’t like fresh baked bread? Even if you’ve never had fresh baked bread, you like it. It’s a certainty. Like enjoying ice cream.
In high school, my French teacher talked about her travels to that country of lovely, lovely food. She said one of her favorite treats was to slice open a warm baguette, stuff it full of good quality milk or dark chocolate, put the top back on, then wrap the baguette in tin foil. After a few minutes her and her companions would have rich, gooey chocolate baguette. Wow. That is my idea of a party. I kind of want to do that. Like right now. Can we? 🙂
So maybe you’ll be tempted to try something similar with this little sweetie of a loaf that I have for you today. Or, if not, let me assure you that thick slices of this wheat bread would also be perfect with your shaved ham, your veggie sammies with hummus, and of course, you nut butters. Let’s get down with some cookie butter too, ya’ll.
It probably doesn’t have to be mentioned, but this is also pretty rockin’ as toast. As toast I’m thinking a good song to accompany it would be a cheesy one hit wonder from the eighties. Just something to make you smile in the morning. How about some “Mickey”? You know you love it.
Happy bread travels!
(This bread is from The Light Whole Wheat Bread recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois).
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1½ tbsp granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1½ tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 5½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour for the pizza peel
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the yeast with the water and salt, letting it sit for a minute or two.
- Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients with the yeast/water mixture using a dough hook. Blend until the all of the dry bits of flour are mixed in.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit until it has doubled. This should take about 2 hours. The dough will reach the plastic wrap, then fall down a little again.
- The dough can stored for two weeks in the fridge at this point, or used right away.
- When ready to use, sprinkle some flour on the dough and pull off a grapefruit-sized portion (about 1 lb of dough).
- Dust the dough with flour and shape into a ball by stretching the dough to the bottom on all sides.
- Once it's a ball, let it rest on a cornmeal covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.
- Twenty minutes before bake time, preheat oven to 450 F. Place a baking stone in the middle rack, and an empty boiler tray on any other shelf.
- Sprinkle the dough with flour, then cut a few slashes on the top.
- Slide the dough off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the boiler tray, then quickly close the oven door.
- Bake the bread for 35 minutes, until brown and firm, adjusting time depending on the size of your loaf.
- This dough makes multiple loaves.