Heritage Loaf, Recipe

This is a 100% whole grain, no-knead bread that I adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe. The consistency is more crumbly, like a quick bread (which uses baking soda instead of yeast to rise). It doesn’t rise much because the lower-gluten rye and corn flours, and all the bran and germ, get in the way of gluten formation. Not much oven spring. But a great-tasting, whole-grain loaf with a bit more character than whole wheat bread. No white flour, no oil. Great toasted.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour (some spelt)
1/2 cup whole rye flour
1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon sourdough starter (optional)

Directions:

Combine flours, cornmeal, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir maple syrup and starter into water, add to flour mixture, stir until blended. Dough should be sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest about 4 hours at room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Nudge dough onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands and a pastry scraper, knead gently until it forms a ball. This will happen very quickly, about a minute. Form ball into preferred shape. I like a slightly oblong loaf. Lift dough with pastry scraper and place onto a piece of parchment (if the parchment is on a cookie sheet you can move it around the kitchen if it gets in the way), drape with plastic wrap, let rest about 1 hour (less on a hot day, say, over 75 degrees).

Before the hour is up, place a large, heavy, covered pot (dutch oven) into oven. Preheat oven and pot to 360 degrees F. Score the bread. Gently lower bread into hot pot, holding it by the parchment (parchment cooks with bread in pot), and cover. Bake 40 minutes, remove lid, bake another 16 minutes. Remove bread from pot. After a few minutes gently peel away parchment. Cool on a rack.

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