If you love homemade bread, in particular a dense and chewy, richly-flavored, whole-grain loaf, here’s a recipe I’ve been using lately that’s amazingly easy to make and, oh, so delicious to eat.
Almost No-Work Whole Grain Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour (or, as recipe calls for, use 2 cups whole wheat flour plus a combination of 1 cup other whole grain flours like buckwheat, rye, or cornmeal) 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil 1 cup cooked hard red wheat berries (or, as recipe calls for, up to 1 cup chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or proofed whole grains)
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 ½ cups water and stir until blended; the dough should be wet and sticky but not liquid; add more water if it seems dry. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for at least 12 and up to 24 hours. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
2. Add some of the oil to grease the loaf pan and/or line pan with parchment paper. If you are adding nuts or anything else, fold them into the dough now with your hands or a rubber spatula. Transfer the dough to the loaf pan, using a rubber spatula gently to settle it in evenly. Brush the top with the remaining oil and sprinkle with cornmeal if you like. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, an hour or two, depending on your kitchen’s warmth. When it’s almost ready, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Bake the bread until deep golden and hollow-sounding when tapped, about 45 minutes. (An instant read thermometer should register 200 degrees F when inserted into the center of the loaf.) Immediately turn out of the pan onto a rack and let cool before slicing.
~ Recipe adapted from “Food Matters. A Guide to Conscious Eating,” Mark Bittman, p 156
Have a slice toasted with your morning eggs or make French toast; use for your favorite sandwich, grilled or non-grilled with lettuce and all the fixings; delicious as stuffing for poultry, also. And if you like this bread, you’ll find many other ways to use it! Enjoy!