Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Long Rise 100% Whole Wheat Bread
15 cups + freshly ground whole wheat flour
6 1/4 cups very warm filtered water (110 - 115 degrees)
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
5/8 cup raw honey
2 Tablespoons unrefined sea salt
2 Tablespoons brewer's yeast (use pure brewer's yeast, not the "fortified" variety)
2 pastured eggs
2 more Tablespoons Extra-Virgin olive oil for oiling the bowl
In a very large bowl, measure out 15 cups of the flour. Add all of the water and then sprinkle on the yeast. Stir the yeast into the water with a fork.
Next, add the oil, honey, salt, brewer's yeast and eggs. Stir well to combine.
Add more flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
Turn dough out onto a surface floured with more whole wheat flour and knead for 10 minutes, adding a little flour as it gets sticky.
The dough should be smooth and elastic. It must not be "slack", nor too stiff.
Wash and dry the bowl. Pour the 2 Tablespoons of oil into the bowl and using your hand coat the inside of the bowl well.
Put the kneaded dough into the bowl, then turn it over so that the top is well-oiled.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep in a warm but not hot place. The kitchen counter is fine. Allow the dough to rise until when you poke the dough with your finger, it "sighs" and the hole does not fill in.
Punch the dough down well and allow it to rise AGAIN in the bowl as before.
Set the oven to 350 degrees F.
After the second rise, oil 5 medium bread pans, form the dough into 5 loaves (it should be oily enough that no extra flour is needed at this point) and place in the prepared pans. If it does want to stick to your hands and the work surface, just put a little more olive oil on your hands and the surface.
Allow to double again. The sides of the loaves should nearly touch the top of the sides of the pans. When you poke a loaf, gently, it should feel "springy." If your dough rises too much in the pans, it will fall in baking. If not enough, then the bread will be heavy and not as nice, but still edible, certainly.
Bake the loaves at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. You should use a thermometer to check the temperature in your oven if there is any question about it.
Remove from oven, and remove loaves from pans and cool them on wire racks. If you don't have a wire rack, use a folded dish towel to place the loaves on. Cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to slice. The loaves are still baking!
Keep track of how long all of this takes. The goal is to have it be at least 7 hours from mixing to placing in the hot oven. You can adjust your amount of yeast according.
If I were going to make just 2 loaves, I would use the following:
6 cups + freshly ground whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups very warm filtered water
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1 Tablespoon brewer's yeast
1 pastured egg
1 more Tablespoon Extra-Virgin olive oil for the bowl
This bread is wonderful, and easily digested, even by many folks who are sensitive to wheat IF you make sure to adjust the amount of yeast so you get that long slow rise.