Here is my no fail easy recipe for a light whole wheat bread that tastes just like it came from a fancy bakery! It's crusty on the outside and warm and comforting on the inside. My recipe contains half unbleached white flour and half stone ground whole wheat flour. You can use all whole wheat flour if you prefer. Just keep in mind that your bread will be more dense.
This is the basic recipe that you can use to make so many different breads, such as:
whole wheat pizza,
Tiropsomo (feta bread)
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
To make beautiful homemade bread here are some tips that are very important:
1) Use the best quality flour you can buy. I love organic unbleached white flour and organic stone ground whole wheat.
2) Keep a pizza stone or tiles in your oven while baking the bread. I keep these in my oven all the time. Even during the clean cycle! Taking these out will cause them to crack.
3) Keep a cast iron pan on the bottom rack of the oven when preheating and during baking. This will create a crusty exterior that cannot be duplicated any other way. I bought mine for under 20 dollars over 10 years ago. Such a great investment!
That's it. Now here's the recipe that makes 3 one pound loaves:
3 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached white bread flour
4 cups warm water, or more if needed (100 degrees)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 heaping teaspoons yeast
Mix the yeast in the warm water.
Place the flour and the salt in a pot, large bowl or bucket. It should be able to hold 6 quarts. Mix well with a whisk so that the salt gets incorporated.
Add water and yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands. You do not have to knead this dough. Just mix until everything is incorporated making sure that the dough stays wet and sticky. Add 1/4 cup of water if needed. If you are using half whole wheat flour, you will need to add water.
Once it is all mixed, cover loosely leaving some room for gases to release. Leave it alone to rise, undisturbed for about 2 hours.
Put the container in the refrigerator and let it rest overnight.
The dough will stay fresh up to 8 days. It's a good idea to make a double batch if you plan on making fresh bread often during the week. The longer it stays in the refrigerator the more sourdough flavor will develop.
Check out my other bread recipes that I have listed above! You can create your own versions by adding your favorite herbs to this recipe. Get creative and make this hearty bread for yourself and your loved ones!