Whole Wheat Bread

Flour. Water. Yeast. Salt. With all the variations of bread out there it’s kind of amazing how these simple ingredients can create such magic. We’ve been making No-Knead Bread for a few years now, and I got a boost of inspiration recently at Trifecta where they serve a small sampling of breads (I think they do that to get you hooked!) This recipe is a variation of No-Knead bread. It includes whole wheat and rye flours. The ratio of flour to water really impacts whether the bread is airy or dense. The more water the lighter the bread, more holes like a ciabatta. This recipe created a slightly more dense bread than the original no-knead bread, but it came out really nice with a crunchy crust. I found a great website, Penni Wisner, that has quite a few variations on this style bread, she says you can mix any kind of flour as long as you keep it to 20 ounces of flour. Although I do like the original version which calls for 3 cups of flour and that measures out to around 13 ounces in weight. Since different flours will yield different weights it’s good to use a scale rather than measuring in cups. The great thing about this bread is that it is incredibly easy to make. Just a few minutes here and there within a 24 hour period, most of the time it’s either rising or baking.

Whole Wheat Bread

  • 5 oz whole wheat flour
  • 2 oz rye flour
  • 13 oz bread flour
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon dried, instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 15 oz water

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal (you can rest dough on parchment paper as well, it’s less of a mess) Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Adapted from Penni Wisner