Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A First Timer - Whole Wheat Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

OK. Let's make this clear right at the begining. It took more than 5 minutes. In fact, this bread, took 24 hours. About. I started it yesterday when I mixed the dough and finished it today when I shaped the loaf and baked it. The actual shaping of the loaf took less than 5 minutes though. Still, this bread is well worth the effort. I used a recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, a great book that takes a new and, admittedly, radical approach to making bread. I am very impressed with the result. The loaf looks great, and the taste is fantastic. Also, it has a nice chewy crust and a soft crumb. I toasted a thick slice, put a few pieces of Gouda (which slightly melted on the warm bread) and who needs more? What is a little disconcerting, is that the dough is so wet. It is almost like a starter, except that it doesn't get mixed into additional ingredients. The mixture from Day 1 is the bread!! It really is simple, and so tasty. Maybe not 5 minutes, but well worth the extra time for great results. You won't be sorry!

Here's What You'll Need (for 1 1 1/2 lb. - 680 g.- loaf):
2 cups less 1 Tablespoon (270 g.) whole wheat flour
1 cup less 3 Tablespoons AP flour (100 g.)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon (13 g. ) wheat gluten
1 1/5 cups (390 ml.) warm water

Here's What You'll Need to Do:
1. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a plastic container with a lid. It should not be air-tight as the gases will build up. But it should be covered so the dough does not dry out.
2. Mix in the water just enough to make sure everything is dampened. You do not need to knead this dough, just be sure it is mixed thoroughly.

3. Allow the dough to rise in the container, covered, until it doubles.
4. Do not punch down the dough!! Instead, place the container, covered, into the refrigerator at least for 3 hours (preferably overnight).

The next day...
1. Prepare a baking tray (or a peel if you have one - I don't) by coating liberally with flour.
2. Gently remove the dough from the container

and, by stretching and shaping, make a ball. Place this shaped loaf on the prepared peel (or board).
3. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap for 90 minutes (or 30 minutes if using at room temperature) to rest. It will not rise much, if at all.

4. Meanwhile, about 30 minutes before baking, place an oven tray on the bottom of the oven and a baking stone on the middle rack. Pre-heat the oven to 450 F (220 C).
5. When the oven is ready, pour about 1 cup boiling water into the oven tray and quickly close the door to create a steamy environment.
6. Just before placing in the oven, brush water on the bread, then sprinkle seeds. Slash the bread with a serrated knife to allow gases to escape and for the bread to rise evenly.

6. Place the dough directly on the baking stone (or if on a baking sheet place the sheet directly on the stone).
7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack completely before slicing.


  1. This looks great! Ive been meaning to try out a 5 min whole wheat recipe lately, but can't seem to find vital wheat gluten in Israel. Where do you get yours from?

    Thanks, Leah

  2. I went to a health food store in Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market called Teva Net. I have also seen in at Nitzat Haduvdevan. It is not expensive and a small bag will last a while. It must be kept in the freezer, however, or it spoils quickly. Good luck with your bread. Let me know how it works out or if you have problems!