100% Whole Wheat Bread

I love Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread, but I prefer to use 100% whole grains.  The “problem” with whole grain breads is that they produce a dense crumb.  I don’t particularly mind, but I’m also usually not going to be the only one eating the bread.  So my solution is to use whole wheat pastry flour, which is simply a finely milled whole wheat flour.  The structural issue with using whole wheat flour is that there is less gluten.  So I’m using a commercial bakery trick and adding a few tablespoons of vital wheat gluten, which you can find in a bulk bin or on the flour aisle.  I also modified this recipe, using cornmeal to dust the top and bottom of the loaf.  This prevents it from sticking to the pan, and adds a fun crunch.  This loaf is still more dense than doing the 50/50 (white and whole wheat) bread, but I really like it.  Enjoy! -Amanda

100% Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

1/3 cup cornmeal

Directions

1.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Let rest 12-24 hours.

2.  Pour the dough onto a floured surface.  Pat with flour, to prevent sticking.  Fold each corner of the bread in toward the center, almost as though you are creating a purse.

3.  Dust a tea-towel lined bowl with cornmeal and put the seam side of the the loaf facing downward.  Let rise an additional hour.

4.  Meanwhile, preheat a dutch oven (with lid) at 500 Fahrenheit.

5.  When the dough has finished it’s second rise, invert the dough into the dutch oven.  This way the seam will be facing upward.

6.  Cover with the lid and bake 35 minutes.

7.  Remove lid and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until desired golden color is reached.

8.  Let cool, slice and serve.

NOTE:  You can also easily store sliced bread in the freezer.  Just reheat in a toast, toaster oven or oven.  Fresh bread is only ever a few minutes away!

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