I’m temporarily without my baking stone, which is fantastic for pizzas but has given me mixed results with breads. But I do have my Dutch oven so it’s a great opportunity to give the now-classic No-Knead baking technique another shot with Peter Reinhart’s whole wheat recipe.
Cut the recipe in half, making one loaf.
- 397 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 312 g lukewarm filtered water (not heated to lukewarm)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
8:00 a.m.: Whisk flour, salt, and sugar together. Dissolve yeast in water, then stir in oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer and mix with paddle on low speed for 1 min. Let stand 5 min.
Using dough hook, mix on medium low for 2 min. Added 1–2 tsp extra water at this point. Mix 4 more min.
Perform 4 stretch & folds, with 10 min. intervals. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
12:00 p.m.: Remove dough from refrigerator and shape into boule on flour-dusted towel. Dust with flour and cover with plastic.
2:30 p.m.: Set oven to 450°, with Dutch oven and lid placed in oven and rack positioned on bottom (no baking stone).
3:00 p.m.: Turn dough into pot, cover, and bake for 23 min. (At this point I accidentally turned the oven to 375°.)
Turn oven back to 450°, remove lid, and bake for an additional 15 min.
That’s what I’m talkin’ about! In contrast to my last 100% whole wheat artisan-style bread, this one baked in the Dutch oven had the cool and creamy texture Reinhart talks about. And it came out of the oven with the crispy crust that deepened the flavor and improved the texture.
Since I’m using whole wheat flour, it doesn’t have the shape of a process white flour loaf in the Dutch oven, so I’m curious to see if more yeast would make it a taller loaf.
My accidental temperature lowering didn’t cause any harm, in fact once I turned it back up it was too hot and the bottom crust was overbaked, making it darker and harder than I like. It’s also possible that the rack was too close to the bottom. I won’t be using this gas oven for much longer so I’m not too worried about getting it to bake just right.
Adjustments for next time:
- Increase yeast to 1 1/2 tsp as originally called for in recipe to compare the results
- Raise the rack in the oven
- Lower gas oven temp 25 degrees