Makes 5-6 loaves (4C-Water, 2T-Salt, 2T-Yeast, 8C-Flour, 1C-other)
- 4 cups lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp granulated yeast (2 packets) – not "quick rise"
- 2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
- 7 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
- 1 cups unsifted, whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat bran
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
The rule here is to get 8 cups of flour (or a bit more) so to add the whole wheat flour, I had to reduce the all-purpose flour. However, bran and flaxseed do not could as flour so they are added without any corresponding reduction.
I put the warm water in my stand mixer and added the yeast and salt and went for a short walk. When we got back (about 10 minutes – I said it was a short walk), I turned the mixer on “2? with the bread hook and added the wheat bran and flaxseed. Next, I measured the flour. I simply scooped the flour with a 1 cup measure and tapped it against my flour jar to knock the extra off the top to get a level cup – the recommended method is to scrape the top of the measuring cup with a knife to level it. I did the whole wheat first and then the all purpose white. I didn’t bother to wait between adding flour – as fast as I measured, I added it. The flour was all in within a minute and I let the mixer run another two minutes to combine everything. I did not bother to scrape down the bowl. Within the 3 minute mix time, all of the flour was combined and no dry clumps remained.
I took a large plastic container and did a light spray of corn oil before transferring the dough and then covered (not sealed) and put it on top of the refrigerator for 2+ hours. (The top of the refrigerator is usually 5+ degrees warmer than the rest of the kitchen so it helps the dough rise.) The dough was done so I stuck it in the refrigerator. Over night, the dough doubled in volume in the refrigerator.
I started the day this morning by cutting off a ball of dough, approximately 1/5th or 1/6th of the total. While still in my hand, I dusted the top with a little flour and then curled the sides down under to create a smooth top on the ball of dough. I let it rest for 45 minutes on a pizza peel which was dusted with cornmeal. I placed a 12" unglazed patio tile in the oven and pre-heated to 400 degrees. I cut a shallow broad "X" in the top of the dough before sliding it on the stone and then baked for 20 minutes.
The stone cracked. So much for Alton Brown’s suggestion of getting a large unglazed tile from your local big box home center. I’ll try using half thickness fire bricks next.
Conclusion: The bread has a very mild nutty flavor. Color and texture is much better than the stock recipe. The slight deformity in the loaf occurred after the baking stone cracked and separated. It is still too mild for my preference. I will try wheat germ next as well as add a bit more salt.
Credit: The root of this recipe is by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.