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Crusty Whole Wheat Italian Bread

So that bread I posted about earlier, the one that wouldn't rise? Yeah. Well eventually it did, and it came out wonderfully. Next time I'm going to rise it in a slightly warmed oven, which should cut the rising time from all of eternity to an hour or so.

I like this bread. The dough was easy to work with and the end result is delicious. Two thumbs up. And one giant middle finger to my apartment building, which I suspect is actually just a giant Figidaire.

Thoughts from the day after: the flavor is still good, but this stuff dries out fast. I probably won't use this as an all-purpose bread for that reason. It'd be great if you need bread to serve with dinner, though, or for some other occasion where it'll be eaten right away.

Crusty Whole Wheat Italian Bread
Recipe is here, but I'm reposting it anyway

1 1/4 cups warm
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour (I subbed regular unbleached flour + 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten)
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 package active dry yeast
cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet

In large bowl, dissolve yeast, brown sugar, and ginger in the warm water. Let stand 5 minutes until yeast foams.

Add salt and bread flour; beat well. Stir in whole wheat flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead 10 minutes or until dough is springy, smooth, and satiny.

Wash the bowl, grease it, and put the dough back in; turn over to grease the top. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Sprinkle cornmeal onto a baking sheet and set aside.

Punch down the dough. Divide in half, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into long loaves, rolling each piece first into a 5x12" rectangle, then rolling each up along the long side to make a long, narrow loaf. Pinch edges to seal, and taper ends. You could also form this into one large loaf, or divide the dough into smaller rolls.

Place loaves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Make 4-5 slashes across each loaf with sharp knife or razor blade. Brush each loaf with water and sprinkle with whole wheat flour. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until loaves are browned and crisp. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 small or 1 large loaf, which will yield approximately 16 slices. Alternately, each small loaf can be divided into 4 rolls.

Nutritional Info: 88.5 calories, 0.38 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1.75 g fiber, 3.25 g protein per slice @ 16 slices. If the dough is divided into 8 rolls, each roll is the equivilent of 2 slices of bread.

That is beautiful. I really admire breadmaking. I'm a lazy kneader so I only make dough that requires it when my boyfriend is home or friends are (put them to work for great food, of course).

I don't mind kneading as long as the dough isn't a sticky mess. I'd love to get a stand mixer to streamline the process, but a) they're SO expensive, and b) like I need to be able to make bread all the time with no effort. Hello Fatty McCarbOverload.

I have a stand mixer - but no dough hook.

Hmm - that looks fantastic. Great job!

That looks awesome! If you proof your dough in the oven be sure to stick some water in there in a pyrex cup or something, helps keep the dough moist. It's been far too long since I've made dough for anything other than pizza crust. I might have to give this a try.

jess - Man, that's totally the only reason I want a stand mixer. You should get a dough hook and then I can live vicariously through you.

purl_princess - Thanks! And I have to say that I freakin' love your blog. :)

shananigans - Ooh, thanks for the water tip. I didn't know to do that. I pretty much know nothing about making bread, actually, so if I end up with something that's at all loaf-like I consider it a rousing success.

Wow. This looks beautiful, and yummy!

Thanks! It was pretty tasty.

hey thanks for this great recipe. i made it saturday and it was very popular! it's all gone now of course.
this is savestheworld from lj/vegan food pics and btw, i live in pa too

You're welcome! I'm glad it was a hit. :) Where in PA do you live?

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