Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Knead Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Soft No-Knead Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I mix and store the dough in the same container...a latch-lidded one gallon plastic storage container I found at Target. Make sure if you do it this way that you incorporate every last bit of flour into the dough. I use my hands to mix it together, which is messy, but effective. Do not latch the lid when storing the dough, or the gasses may cause it to explode off. Also, I never wash my container after I bake off the last loaf of bread. The dried bits that cling to the side, get scraped into the new batch of dough, creating a tangier flavor, not unlike sourdough.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 55-60 minutes, plus rising time
Yield: 3 loaves


5 cups whole-wheat flour (I like so-called White Whole Wheat)
2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (available at health food stores and online)
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey
5 large eggs
2/3 cup melted butter or canola oil


1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer or food processor (14-cup capacity), or your 1 gallon storage container, mix together the flours, yeast, salt and wheat gluten. In another smaller bowl, whisk together the water, honey, eggs and preferred fat. Using the dough attachment, or your hands, mix the wet ingredients with the dry until thoroughly combined. It will be very sticky. Do not knead.

2. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours. After this, the dough is ready to be formed and placed in a loaf pan, but it is easier to do this if you refrigerate it first for a couple of hours. The flavor improves after 24 hours, so make it the evening before, if you have time.

3. On baking day, lightly grease a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2). Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and grab a large hunk in your hand, cutting it off at the bottom. It should be about the size of a cantaloupe. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Cover the rest of the dough loosely and return to the refrigerator.

4. Form the ball into a thick log shape and place it in the prepared loaf pan. It should be just over half full. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 90 minutes in a warm place (40 minutes if the dough you are using is already room temperature).

5. Thirty minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown. Remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a rack before slicing.