Monday, December 21, 2009

Another bread recipe

Recently, I blogged about the recipe I use to bake all of our breads. It was taken from the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day", and it's true, it takes me no more time than that. Every couple of days, I make a batch of dough, bake 2 loaves of bread from it, slice both when they are done baking and cooling, and then stick one in the freezer and leave one out to eat.

However, this dough is not suitable for crusty breads like French bread, or for pizza crust. The authors of the above book came out with a new book recently, called "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". In this book, they give a great recipe for dough that works wonderfully for breads that need more crunch. It is not 100% whole grain, so if your family doesn't like whole wheat they may still like this one.

whole wheat flour
5 ½ cups
1 pound, 9 ounces
720 grams
all-purpose flour, unbleached
2 cups
10 ounces
270 grams
granulated yeast
1 ½ tablespoons
(2 packets)
0.55 ounces
15 grams
1 tablespoon
0.55 ounces
15 grams
vital wheat gluten
¼ cup
1 3/8 ounces
35 grams
lukewarm water
4 cups
2 pounds
900 grams

I included the weights because rather than measuring my ingredients, I weight them with my digital kitchen scale, which is much faster and more accurate. I simply put the mixer bowl on the scale, pour in each ingredient, and then hit "zero" before adding the next.

Add all ingredients in a large bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined. If using a Kitchenaid, mix with paddle (not dough hook) for about 1 minute. No need to proof the yeast, knead the dough, etc. The dough will be wetter than bread dough typically is, which will allow it to rise even without being kneaded.

Allow dough to rest for 1-2 hours, until doubled in bulk. At this point, you can either refrigerate your dough in a covered container for later use (for up to 2 weeks), or use it immediately. The dough is easier to work with if it has been refrigerated first.

To use, wet your hands, and tear off as much dough as you will need. This batch makes enough for about 3 baguettes/pizza crusts/small freeform loaves. Sprinkle dough liberally with flour, and shape into whatever you are making. Allow to rise until doubled, and then bake.

I let our bread rise on a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. When it is done rising, I slide it onto a pizza stone that has been sitting in the oven at 425 degrees, and bake until the top looks golden brown. Adding a glass bowl with water to a lower rack in the oven makes it come out even crunchier.

freeform loaf
tastes great dipped in olive oil as a side dish to pasta, or sliced with ham and cheese on top

For pizza, I roll the pizza crust out on the pizza peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, prick it all over with a fork, and then slide it onto the stone immediately without letting it rise. I bake it at the highest temperature on my oven for about 5 minutes, then take the crust out with the peel, add the toppings, and slide it back onto the hot stone in the oven until the toppings are done. The crust comes out fantastic!

chicken pesto pizza

Please let me know how you like the recipe if you try it.


  1. Beautiful bread! Very impressive -- esp the French.

  2. is your crust crusty like expensive "artisan" bread? if so, is it just the pan of water in the oven that does it? i've heard it is impossible to achieve without steaming it in a commercial oven, and have been chasing this crust for years. thanks for your blog, very interesting, a lot of good ideas :)


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