Whole Grain Bread by Machine or Hand
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast if using a bread machine - 1 tsp. if not.
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
About 2 to 2 1/2 C. bread flour
1 T. softened butter
To mix the dough by hand
Heat the water until warm, between 105 and 115ºF. Pour into a large, warmed bowl and add the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble. Slowly add the whole wheat flour and about half of the bread flour. Beat until a smooth dough forms.
Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured board and knead, adding the remaining flour as necessary, until smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, and turn over to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
To mix the dough in the bread machine:
Pour the water (at room temperature, between 70 and 80ºF) into the pan and add the whole wheat flour and then about 2 cups of the bread flour. Make an indentation in the center and add the east. Select the dough cycle and press start. If the dough is wet and sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is smooth yet soft to the touch. If the dough is not soft to the touch but is very firm, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time, until the dough is smooth yet soft to the touch. The machine will stop when the dough is ready to shape and bake.
To shape and bake:
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Punch the dough down and shape into an oblong loaf about 11 inches long.
To bake on baking tiles or a pizza stone:
Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet, smooth side up, cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. Place baking tiles or a pizza tile on the top rack in the oven, and place a heavy, shallow pan on the bottom rack. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Using a sharp knife or a razor, slash the loaf lengthwise to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Transfer the loaf from the baking sheet to the preheated tiles or pizza stone. Immediately pour 1 cup water into the pan on the bottom rack. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until loaf is
golden. Remove from the oven, brush with softened butter and cool on a rack.
To bake on a baking sheet:
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place the loaf, smooth side up, onto the sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Using a sharp knife or a razor, slash the loaf lengthwise to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Brush loaf with water. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until loaf is golden. Remove from the oven, brush with softened butter and cool on a rack.
NOTE: This simple bread traditionally does not have salt added, which results in a texture that is open and porous. Salt controls the action of the yeast, so the amount of yeast was reduced so it wouldn't rise too much. Results of the bread using 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon yeast were good.