I can’t seem to find just a simple loaf of bread out there … flour, yeast, and salt. So, for my regular daily bread I’ve been making this. It’s a half-wheat, half-white, no-knead bread. The overnight rise takes the place of kneading.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white, all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups water (plus about 1/4 cup more)
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
1 heaping teaspoon sourdough starter (optional)
- Stir salt and instant yeast into flours in a large bowl (it’s going to expand).
- Dissolve starter into the 1 1/4 cups water. Add to dry. Add about 1/4 cup more if dough seems too dry. Water needs depend upon how much whole wheat flour used, which absorbs more water.
- Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise 12 to 18 hours.
- Place dutch oven with lid into oven. Preheat to 510 degrees F.
- Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour onto counter. Using a flexible spatula, nudge dough onto flour.
- Flour hands and pat some flour onto dough. Using pastry scraper, knead dough 5 or 6 times so it comes together into a loaf. Cover with plastic. Let rest 20 minutes while you line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Using scraper, form dough into loaf (will take another 6 or so kneads). Transfer loaf to parchment-lined cookie sheet. Cover with plastic. Let rise 1.5 hours. If it starts to split or if a poked indentation doesn’t fill in, it’s ready to bake.
- Remove pot from oven. Score top of loaf. Lift with parchment paper and lower into pot. Cover. Bake at 510 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove lid. Lower temperature to 470. Bake another 20 minutes.
I’ve made this without the spoonful of sourdough starter and it just wasn’t the same. It was a beautiful loaf, great oven spring, but the flavor was flat. Nothing to write home about. It’s a job keeping a starter fed every week, but I think I’ll keep it going.
(I bought this starter online several years ago at Breadtopia for about $8. It’s going strong.)