Whole Wheat Bread Day 2 and Recipe

Here is the final dough creation and baking portion of this bread. You can’t even begin to imagine the smell of the bread baking, and the wonderful flavor of this until you do it for yourself. It doesn’t take that long each day and the ingredients are simple. Give it a try you wont regret it. Don’t have a baking stone, I didn’t when I started this. Here is one similar to the one I used or look around until you find one you like.

I had to split this into 2 videos due to the length. Here is the part on finishing the dough.

To finish up here is the cooking portion.

Now what you have all been waiting for the actual recipe. I have condensed this into a more direct form than what was in the mother earth news article.

Simple Whole Grain Bread
Day Before
Sponge
1 ¾ Cups Whole –wheat flour
¼ Tsp yeast
¾ cup cold water
Mix ingredients to form a ball of dough. With wet hands or a mixer with a dough hook, knesd the dough for about 2 minutes, let it rest 10 Minutes. Knead again for about a minute cover and refridgerate for at least 6 hours ( can be done a couple days before use)

Soaker
1 cup Whole-wheat flour
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
½ to 2/3 cup buttermilk or yogurt (for simple version use water)
2 Tbsp. orange juice (for simple version use water)
Mix ingredients together to form a loose, wet ball. Cover and leave at room temperature for 6 to 24 hours. (This can be made a few days in advance in which case it should be refrigerated)

The Day of Baking
Final Dough
All of Sponge
All of Soaker
1 Tsp. Salt
2 ¼ Tsp. (one standard packet) yeast
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. Honey
Adjust with flour and water as necessary.
About an hour before you begin mixing remove the sponge from the refrigerator ( and the soaker if it had been refrigerated) , allowing them to come to room temperature.
Cut or tear the sponge into about a dozen pieces and roll each in the soaker before adding it to a work bowl of a mixer.
Add additional dough ingredients except the butter and honey.
With the paddle attachment first mix until the dough coms together.
Using a dough hook mix for 2 minutes on low then medium for another 2 minutes. Add the butter and honey and mix for an additional 2 minutes. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 Minutes.
On a floured work surface knead the dough my hand for a few minutes adding additional flour or water as necessary to create a soft, slightly sticky dough that is strong enough to resist pulling bur still malleable.
Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a b uttered or oiled bowl turning it to coat it. Cover loosely and let rise for 45 minutes about 1 ½ times its size.
Transfer to ball to a floured work surface and form it into a loaf and place into a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise for another 45 minutes about 1 ½ times its size again.
While the loaf is rising this time preheat the oven to 450F for the best results preheat the oven with a baking stone on the bottom rack and a cast iron pan or dutch oven on the top rack.
Lightly mist or brush the top of the loaf with water.
Slash the top of the bread down the middle or a few diagonal cuts going about ¼ inch deep.
Working quickly, as to minimize heat loss, place the loaf pan on the stone in the center of the oven.
Immediately add about ½ cup of hot water to the cast iron pan on the top rack being careful of the steam.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 and bake for 20 minutes. (you can spritz the oven walls with a mister early during baking but be fast and limit to only once or twice)
Rotate the pan and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until done.
For a crispier crust the overdoor may be propped open slightly during the last 5 minutes of baking.
The bread is done when the top including the slashed portion is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow, or using a thermometer the internal temp should be 195F.
Remove the bread and allow to cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing. (The article emphasizes the one hour wait time)

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