rustic whole wheat loaf.

This is the easiest bread recipe: 4 ingredients and no kneading but a whole lot of waiting. It yields a crunchy loaf and a chewy interior– similar to ciabatta but with a heavier crust.

Despite the fact that I am a veritable adult (as of 8 years ago), I hate planning. And this bread requires some forethought, since you let it rise between 12 and 18 hours and then bake 2 hours after that. So plan, readers, and then bake this. Let me know if you have any snafus, but I copied the directions almost word-for-word, and I found them fairly intuitive.

I’m excited every time I make this bread because it’s fool proof, and it makes you look like a baking genius!

lv, molly

P.S. Happy almost Christmas! I can’t believe it’s almost here.

Rustic Whole Wheat Loaf

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, via The New York Times
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

1 1/2 C all-purpose unbleached flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water (13 oz.), 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.

2. 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.

3. 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. 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.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. 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.



5 thoughts on “rustic whole wheat loaf.

  1. Molly! Carol De La Mater’s daughter here and I’ve continued to follow your blog. You bread inspired me and my made it for my family on Christmas. SO GOOD! Thanks for posting it!

    • Hi, Amanda! I’m so glad you made it. Making bread is pretty intimidating, but this recipe is fool-proof. I checked out your blog too and love it! Very fun. Thanks for letting me know about the bread!

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