Whole Wheat Bread


Super easy, super tasty loaf.

Pre-ferment:

¼ tsp. active dry yeast
105 g. / ¾ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. cool (60°F / 15°C) water

Mix the ingredients together, should take about 30 seconds or so and have the consistency of a thick pancake batter.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and put it in a cool place (65°F / 18°C is good) for 12 to 14 hours; overnight is good.  If the temperature is warmer, shorten the time to 8-10 hours.

After the fermenting time, there should be a bunch of bubbles on top, it should be giving off a pleasant acidic / yeasty / alcohol aroma and be about doubled in size.  If not, leave it for a few hours more.

Bread mixing:

Mix the following into the pre-ferment by hand:

1 c. lukewarm water
375 g. / 2½ c. bread flour
2 tsp. fine grind sea salt

If there is any dry flour left, add 1-2 tbsp of water to combine; if too wet, add 1-2 tbsp of flour.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave for 3-4 hours, till at least doubled in size.  Then place the covered dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to a week.

Oil or spray a loaf pan, then sprinkle 1-2 tbsp plain flour onto a work surface.  Sprinkle plain flour onto the top of the dough, and tip it out onto the floured surface.  Sprinkle a bit more flour on top, to keep the dough from sticking.  Using your hands, flatten the dough into a circle; then fold in one side then the other, and then roll into a log.  Place it in the oiled pan with the smooth side up, and lightly oil the top of the loaf.  Tent aluminium foil over the pan, leaving enough space for the loaf to rise.  Leave the loaf to rise at room temperature from 4-6 hours, or in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475°F / 240°C for at least 20 minutes.  Place the tented loaf pan on the middle oven rack, and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil tent and bake for another 20 minutes.  If the top of the loaf is dark, take it out after the 40 minutes; if it is too light, bake for another 7-8 minutes.  Let cool completely before slicing.

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