Yesterday was about making your own whole wheat flour from hard red spring wheat. You do know there is a difference in wheat right? Pasta is made from a different kind of wheat. I’m not much of a farmer; we just call it soft wheat, just remember bread from hard red spring wheat.
Anyway I ground just enough for this batch of bread, 5 1/2 cups and dumped it in an ice cream bucket which is the only dish you’ll have to wash and then only in a few days but I’ll get to that later.
So note the white flour; you’ll need to add 2 cups into your whole wheat flour and I do buy that. I could sieve out the white flour from the germ and bran and maybe will, someday when I get better organized. I have white flour on hand for making a cake here and there so I just use it.
To the flour I add a tablespoon of salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons of yeast (not softened, just in it’s granular form). Then comes the different sort of ingredient but it’s the one that turns it into bread that you don’t have to kneed.
You see, kneading actually developed gluten which I think is what makes the bread elasticy and holds it together. So if you buy gluten like I do and add 1/4 cup then the gluten gets there that way and you don’t have to kneed it into the bread.
Then all you have to do is mix all those dry ingredients up real good with a wire wisk.
Add 4 cups luke warm water.
And stir it up with your grandma’s wooden spoon (and I personally think this is the whole secret to making bread. If you haven’t inherited that spoon yet better mention it to her now. No harm in calling dibs and I bet she’ll be a little flattered and love you for wanting something so humble. I know I would. A bought one will work and if you put your own love into your bread someday you can pass that spoon down to one of your grandkids.)
After it’s all mixed up real good put the lid on the bucket with a little spot for the air to escape and leave it sit on the counter for a couple of hours so it can rise (it should be around double the size from when you first put the lid on).
Then pop the lid down and stick it in the frig over night.
Just to show you how it doubled in volume.
So in the morning get it out of the frig, take the lid off and reach in and draw out a really big hand full.
Shape that into a bowl shape then into a shape like this
Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for about a couple of hours on the counter. Note: I put it on parchment paper (love the stuff) which makes it easy to move to the oven and helps avoid any mess too.
After that take off and discard the plastic and paint the top with water.
Sprinkle with seeds (I have Red River cereal so I just use that)
Cut 3 slits in the top (not real deep).
Pick it up with the parchment paper and put it in the oven (that’s heated to 450 degrees Farenheight) in the middle rack. Note the broiler pan underneath that rack (use what you want just not glass cause it will beak) Add a cup of hot water to the broiler pan. I forget why but I always do.
Just to show you my oven set up. I have pizza stone in there and that’s what I put the bead on. Broiler is under that.
Let it cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
After that take it out and enjoy it immensely like I do.
So the best part is that you still have dough in your bucket and tomorrow morning you can shape another loaf, let it rise, sprinkle and slit the top, and bake it. And the next day and the next for however long there is dough left in your bucket and you’ll have fresh artisan bread every day with pretty minimal effort. Eventually you have one dish to wash but only if you don’t have another ice-cream bucket.