I recently acquired a new book on artisan bread baking that I have tried a few things from. The advantage is that I don’t need to have already set up my starter to make a levain in order to bake tomorrow morning. These recipes mainly use yeast rather than sourdough, and can be whipped up fairly fast and put in the refrigerator overnight or for up to four days. The book is called “Peter Reinhart’s artisan breads every day”. The following recipe is based on one from this book.
This whole wheat yeast hearth bread recipe makes 2 loaves.
- 1000g whole wheat flour
- 18g salt
- 36g brown sugar
- 11g active dry yeast (I use Allinson’s which is meant to be rehydrated before using)
- 780ml lukewarm water
- 36g sunflower oil
Mixing the Dough
Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a largish mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingedients into the dry and mix thoroughly (using either a wooden spoon or a mixer with paddle on low) for 1 minute. Make sure the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the wet. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
Mix for 2 minutes further by hand or with mixer using dough hooks on medium-low. The dough should be slightly sticky (like a normal sourdough dough from my other recipes). Mix for another 4 minutes and in the final 20 seconds do so quite vigorously (mixer on medium-high).
Using the same technique mentioned in the Seeded Sourdough Bread – A Complete Walkthrough article, turn the dough using both hands 4 times, once in each direction. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, and then repeat (do this in total 4 times). This is done to develop the gluten and provide structure to the bread.
After this, place it immediately in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed bowl overnight or for up to 4 days.
On the day you intend to bake, take it out of the refrigerator 3 hours before baking time. I did this the next day. The result is shown below:
Lightly flour the work surface and then using a curved bowl scraper, pour the dough out onto the work surface. Split the dough into two parts, and shape into two loaves, as shown.
Dust two bannetons with rice flour and place each loaf into one.
Allow the loaves to rise covered until they are roughly twice the size (2-3 hours). The loaves may look like this:
Preheat the oven to 230 C (mine takes 40 minutes to get to that temperature) together with the combo cooker. Take the smaller part out, tip the first loaf into it, score the top in a pattern of your choice with a razor blade or similar sharp tool, cover with the larger portion, and put it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on, then 25 minutes with the lid off. Cool on a rack.
Put the combo cooker back into the oven for 10 minutes to reach temperature again, and then repeat with the second loaf.
The bread came out really good. It doesn’t have the texture and structure of a sourdough loaf, but it tastes good and is excellent sandwich bread. Certainly my kids liked it and it is a reasonable substitute if I haven’t had time to prepare a leaven. I will undoubtedly be baking this again..