Saturday, April 12, 2008

No-Knead 100% Whole Wheat Bread

If you’ve never baked yeast bread, but want to learn how, this is the loaf to start with. Unlike most yeast breads, this one isn’t kneaded; instead, the soft dough is simply beaten in a bowl for several minutes, then scooped into a bread pan. An hour later, it’s ready to pop into the oven. The result: A dense, moist, easy-to-slice loaf, ideal for sandwiches. Or spread thin slices with flavored cream cheese; the extra fiber in the bread will assuage any guilt you feel about the richness of the cheese!

1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange juice
1/4 cup (2 ounces) melted butter or vegetable oil (1 3/4 ounces)
3 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) molasses or maple syrup (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup (1 ounce) Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur whole wheat flour: white whole wheat (organic is especially nice), or traditional
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Thoroughly grease an 8 ½" x 4 ½" pan. It’s important to grease the pan well, as this bread tends to stick otherwise.

To prepare the dough: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Beat the mixture vigorously for about 3 minutes; an electric mixer set on high speed works well here. At the very end of the beating time, the dough might begin to clear the sides of the bowl and form a rough clump. Even if it doesn’t, it should be fairly cohesive and dough-like, not batter-like. Scoop it into the prepared pan.

Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes; it won’t fill the pan. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

To bake the bread: Bake the bread for about 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after 20 minutes. The bread is done when it’s golden brown on top, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 195°F. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out onto a rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired; this will keep the crust soft. Cool the bread completely before cutting it.

Yield: One 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf, 16 servings
©2007 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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