Tuesday, November 1, 2011

100% Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread (No-Knead)

Yield:  2 (2-lb.) loaves
Recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. & Zoe Francois
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

Lost River Market & Deli just got some King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour in.  It packs the same nutrition as regular whole wheat flour, but it is made from wheat varieties that have very pale-colored, mild-tasting bran layers, so the flavor is not as assertive as regular whole-wheat flour.  Use it in when you don’t wish that strong whole-wheat taste. It can be measured just like regular whole-wheat flour.  This delicious easy-to-make no-knead bread is perfect with a cup of hot tea or as a base for peanut butter or jam.  It has just a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup.  Your kids will love it toasted for breakfast or in their Easy Lunchbox.
Notes:  This recipe can be halved or doubled.  I tried this recipe twice.  The first time, I used an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch pan as suggested in the book, but I found that the loaf came out flat on top.  When I tried it again using a larger 9 ¼ x 5 ¼ loaf pan, the bread came out with a lovely dome. 

    5 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
    2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    ½ cup wheat germ
    1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast or 2 packets
    1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
    1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
    1 cup buttermilk
    3/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil (I used canola oil.)
    Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water) for brushing the top crust
    Raw sugar for sprinkling on top or cinnamon sugar (I liked the bread best with a cinnamon sugar topping.)

Mixing and storing the dough:
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a lidded (not airtight) food container. Add the liquid ingredients and mix with a spoon, without kneading. You might want to finish mixing with wet hands to incorporate all of the flour.
Cover (not airtight) at room temperature for about 2 hours, until the dough rises and collapses (flattens on top). The dough can be used immediately after it rises, but it's easier to handle when refrigerated. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use within 7 days.

On the day of baking:
Grease a 9 ¼ x 5 ¼ loaf pan. Dust the refrigerated dough with flour and pull it out of the container. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the dough around the bottom on each side, rotating as you go.
Pull the dough into an oval shape and put it into the loaf pan, it should fill about 3/4 of the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour 45 minutes (or 60 minutes if it was not refrigerated).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint on the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Put the loaf pan on the middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes, until deep brown and firm.  (My oven bakes cool and so I baked the bread for about 55 minutes.)  Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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