Monday, January 01, 2007

Loaf #1 of 100 for 2007, spelt whole wheat bread

In my experience, you can make a loaf with whole wheat but you want at least half of it to be bread or high gluten flour for a lighter loaf. For this one I used high gluten flour for the preferment, and the rest of the dough was half bread flour, a quarter spelt, and a quarter wheat. An egg wash and simple boule and slash made for a hearty and tasty loaf. I used the basic bread method to make the loaf.

8 oz high gluten flour
15 oz water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
Let proof in fridge overnight, store up to a week.

The Dough.
8 oz bread flour
4 oz spelt flour
4 oz whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
egg for glaze

When it's time to make the dough, put 1 pound (16 oz) of bread flour into the bowl of your mixer. Add 1 teaspoon instant yeast, 2 teaspoons salt and the preferment. Put in your dough hook and mix until the dough just comes together, about 5 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest 15 minutes to let the water saturate the dough, then turn on medium speed for 5-8 minutes to knead the dough.

While the dough is kneading, bring a teakettle full of water to a boil. Pour about 3-4 cups of hot water into a bowl in the oven and close the door. This creates a warm, moist enviornment that the yeast loves. When the dough is through kneading, transfer it to a greased bowl (I sprits a bowl with nonstick spray, then do a quick spray over the dough). Put the dough and bowl into the oven with the hot water and let proof (rise) for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, it's time to shape the dough. I will cover shaping techniques later, so I'll assume you can form a basic boule or put it in a loaf pan for now. Once the dough is shaped, refresh the hot water in the oven, and put the loaf back in for 1 hour. When the hour is up, remove the loaf and start preheating the oven (mine takes about 10 minutes to preheat). While the oven heats, scramble and egg and brush it over the surface, then use a serrated knife to make slashes on the top of the loaf. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes.