Sunday, May 31, 2009

100% Whole Wheat Bread: Artisan Bread in "Five" Minutes

I checked out the popular Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day from the library a few weeks ago and decided to make whole wheat bread.

The bread was really good, but it was very dense because of the flour. After I put some butter on it, my mom devoured her piece happily. I plan to make the other wheat bread that requires a combination of whole wheat and regular bread flour the next time around.

I had made brioche dough from this book on a previous occasion, so I had an idea of how to prepare and handle the dough. However, if you would like to see a video of the authors demonstrating how to prepare the dough, go here.

Instead of grading my students' exams, I was making this dough hehe.

Despite the authors' explanations and justifications, I still think calling this bread process as "five minutes a day" misleading. Nevertheless, having dough sitting in the refrigerator ready for your beckoning call is very nice. If you live alone, like I do, I suggest halving this recipe, or make the other loaf, cut it into slices, freeze the slices, take out however many you want later, and then put them in a toaster to defrost.

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Makes two to three 1.5 lb loaves (I made two).

1 1/2 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 c lukewarm milk
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
1/2 c honey
5 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (like canola oil)
6 2/3 c whole wheat flour

1. Mix the yeast salt, honey, and oil with the lukewarm water and milk in a 5-quart bowl (I used the KA mixer bowl), or a lidded, not airtight food container.
2. Using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or a stand mixer, mix in the whole wheat flour without kneading the mixture.
3. Cover the mixture, and allow it to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flatten on top); approximately 2 to 3 hours (see picture above).
4. Although the dough can be used after it has risen and collapsed, the authors state that the mixture is easier to handle when it is cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded, not airtight container and use over the next 5 days (I used my tea container). After the five days, put the dough in the freezer for up to 1 month.
5. On baking day, lightly grease a 9x4x3-inch nonstick loaf pan. Using wet hands, scoop out a 1 1/2-pound (cantaloupe-size) handful of dough. With wet hands, quickly shape the dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
6. Drop the loaf into the prepared pan filling it slightly more than half-full.
7. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour and slash the top of the loaf using the tip of a serrated bread knife.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 5 minutes, if not using a stone; otherwise, preheat the oven 20 minutes before baking time.
9. Place the loaf on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake the loaf for 50 to 60 minutes or until deeply browned and firm.
10. Allow to cool completely before slicing in order to cut reasonable sandwich slices.


  1. Yes, the wheat bread was very delicious, and I munched along happily! This good, dark, dense bread is reminiscent of an old-fashioned World dinner--all I needed to make the meal complete would have been a piece of cheddar cheese and a mug of hot coffee!

    Good job, hija!

  2. Incredible, your loaf look so perfect. Well done Memoria!


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