- 5 1/2 cups (1 pound, 9 ounces/720 grams) whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups (10 ounces/270 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets/.55 ounces/15 grams) granulated yeast
- 1 tablespoon (.55 ounces/15 grams) kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (1 3/8 ounces/35 grams) vital wheat gluten
- 4 cups (2 pounds/900 grams) lukewarm water (about 100 degrees F)
- 1-2 tablespoons seed mixture (sesame, flaxseed, caraway, raw sunflower, poppy, etc.) for sprinkling (optional)
To make the dough:
Whisk together flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl or lidded plastic food container (not airtight). Add water, all at once, and mix without kneading using a wooden spoon, 14-cup food processor, or heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix until everything is evenly moist with no dry patches. The dough will be shaggy, wet, and loose.
Cover with lid (not airtight) or plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until top of dough flattens, about 2 hours. If desired, let rise overnight. Refrigerate dough (lidded or wrapped in plastic) and use over next 14 days. Note that fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and easier to work with. Refrain from punching dough down.
Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling liberally with cornmeal or lining with parchment. Dust the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece of dough.
With lightly floured hands, gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter-turn as you form a ball. The bottom may appear uneven but will flatten out during resting and baking. The final shape should be smooth and cohesive. If you prefer a oval-shape, elongate the dough with your hands and taper the ends by rolling them between your palms and pinching. The entire shaping process should only take 20-40 seconds, any longer and your loaf could be dense.
Allow shaped loaf to rest for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you're using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). 30 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water for steam on any other rack that won't interfere with the rising bread.
Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top of loaf with water. Sprinkle with seed mixture (if desired). Slash the loaf with 1/4-inch deep parallel cuts across the top using a serrated knife.
With a quick forward-jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto preheated baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about 1 cup hot water from the tap into broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is richly browned and firm to the touch. Allow bread to cool completely on a wire rack for best flavor, texture, and slicing. Crust will firm up when cooled.
Will this work if I use whole wheat flour exclusively.
The shaping instructions are super vague.
Hi If you have strong white flour( bread flour) in lieu of the all pupose flour can you skip the vital wheat gluten in this recipe as the bread flour has more gluten than regular flour. Please advise
I must’ve done something wrong. Didn’t really rise when “resting.” Baked it anyway. Tiny little loaf.
Hi…love this recipe…can’t wait to try it…but my question is the same as that above. What can we substitute a pizza stone with? Obviously a clay cooker w lid. I imagine that bricks cld work? Lastly, in a pinch , wld a cookie sheet work as well?
I don’t have a baking stone. What can I substitute?
hello 🙂 I have made this recipe a bunch of times and a few times it came out tasting like alcohol and I am really not fond of that taste. Do you know what I might be doing wrong? Thank you.
It sounds like the yeast may have fermented too much, giving off an alcohol aroma or taste. Try using less yeast or letting it rise for less time. The taste will be different than white bread since this is a whole-grain bread. To mellow out the nutty flavor of the whole grain flour, try using white whole wheat flour. It’s available at most grocery stores now and is 100% as nutritious as regular whole wheat flour!
I’ve made this bread many times now, and it has turned out beautifully every time. Not only is it easy on the eyes, it has a great texture and flavor. My family can’t get enough of it.
I’m looking forward to getting this bread started tonight.
You mention that you can freeze the dough, at what stage would i put dough in the freezer? I’m guessing after the initial rise, I should shape the dough and then wrap and put it in the freezer?
Yep! Then you can just proceed with the recipe. It should last 3-4 weeks in the freezer.
I love this receipe. I purchased a cast iron ceramic pot with a lid and I cook the dough in there and the lid seals in the moisture, so that you don’t need to add water to the oven. 40 min at 400 with lid on and then 15 min with lid off to make the outside crispy.
I am addicted to the taste, smell and fun of making my own bread. My kids love it. My kids like to add pumpkin, sunflower, or poppy seeds to the outside. This bread actually fills you up.
CAn you bake it in a covered baking dish in the oven like the no knead artisan breads call for ?
If I don’t want to leave bread in fridge overnite how long does dough need to be in fridge
The dough should be in the fridge for as long as possible – it makes it more flavorful and easier to work with.
We just made some wonderful bread with that recipe, thank you!
This is a great recipe for whole grain bread!
You asked if we would be interested in hearing about what you are learning in culinary school- I would be very interested! 🙂
That is a gorgeous loaf of bread! Once the weather cools down, I love to bake homemade bread, and this whole grain artisan loaf is right up my alley.
I have all those tools! And it does sound too good to be true that I can just pull dough out of the fridge and have fresh bread that quick. Love love love.
Your loaf looks beautiful! This is my favorite bread recipe. I always have some of this dough ready in the fridge. It's so easy to prepare, and it makes great pizza crust too! I have both of the books, and I love every recipe I have tried. I haven't bought bread in almost two years!
You did fantastic job on this loaf of bread.