Whole Grain Rustic Bread

Author: Heather Leno
1 loaf Prep Time: 15 minutes total hands on time Cook Time: 40 minutes Passive Time: 4 hours
Ingredients:

3 3/4 cups whole wheat white bread flour, stir before measuring

1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten

1/2 teaspoon dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups very warm water

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl with a lid that seals, combine the flour, yeast and salt.  Add the water and mix. This dough will be raggedy and sticky, not smooth—it should not be stiff. Cover and let it stand on the counter for 30 minutes.  Then proceed with first fold.

First fold:  with dampened hands, reach under one side of dough and gently pull out the dough, lift and fold it back over the dough ball. Do not pull or stretch excessively.  Turn and do each of the other three sides the same.  Cover and rest for another 30 minutes.  Then,

Second fold:  Repeat instructions for first fold; cover again and rest for another 30 minutes.  Then,

Third fold:  Repeat again, same as first fold.  Cover and rest another 30 minutes.  Then,

Fourth fold:  Repeat again.  Cover and rest for 2 hours, until dough is sufficiently light and bubbly.  Then,

Remove the lid and sprinkle flour around the edges of the dough where it meets the bowl, and generously flour your countertop or work surface.

 With your hand or a spatula go around the edges of the dough to help it pull away from the bowl, and gently pour the dough onto the floured counter.

Very gently fold again; turn the dough over; and carefully with both hands tuck under edges while turning it to form a nice round loaf.  Then,

Carefully put it in a well-floured bread basket or a nice oiled round bowl that is about the size of your cast iron or corning bakeware. Cover and set the timer for 50 minutes.  Then immediately

Put a baking stone if you have one in the oven and place on it a cast iron pot or glass corning ware bowl with a sealing glass lid and set your oven to 475 degrees.

After 50 minutes, dump the dough upside-down on your floured counter.  Remove your bakeware from the oven. Be careful as this is really hot, and don’t forget to close the oven door to retain the heat.

Carefully lift the dough into the bakeware, trying not to get it on the sides.  Cover and return to oven; bake for 30 minutes. Then,

 Remove lid, turn the oven to 450 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Notes: