Very few ingredients paired with a no-knead method (the original no-knead method being made famous by Jim Lahey, the world-renowned baker), make for a super crusty bread with an airy crumb and a chewy texture you might not expect from something whole grain. The size and depth of a stand mixer bowl is ideal to do the dough-swirling stunt to avoid seeing the ball of dough fly across the kitchen. It’s a bird, it’s a plane …
- Yield: 1 loaf
- 350 g (2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons) white whole wheat flour, more as needed
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 11⁄3 cups (315 ml) water, at room temperature
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine, until the flour is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. The dough should come together rather easily, so if the flour absorbs the water too quickly and the dough is impossible to combine, add extra water, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, until you can easily combine the ingredients. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
- Remove the plastic wrap, use a rubber spatula to un-stick the ough from the sides and bottom of the bowl, generously sprinkle with flour, and swirl the dough around in the flour simply by vigorously shaking the bowl, without kneading or incorporating the flour into the dough: This will wake the yeast and ensure it continues doing its job properly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for approximately 18 hours.
- Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and leave it out for 2 hours to bring it back to room temperature.
- Place a 10-inch (25 cm) or larger Dutch oven with its lid in the oven. Preheat the oven to 475°F (240°C, or gas mark 9).
- Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, use a spatula to un-stick the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl again, generously sprinkle the dough again with more flour, and vigorously shake the bowl to swirl the dough around, without kneading or incorporating the flour.
- Carefully transfer to the preheated Dutch oven. Use scissors to cut 3⁄4-inch (2 cm) slits into the top of the dough that will allow the bread to expand as it bakes. Evenly sprinkle the top with a generous amount of flour. Cover with the lid.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. Carefully tap the bottom of the bread with your knuckles.
- The bread is ready once it sounds hollow and the top is deep golden brown.
- Let cool on a wire rack for several hours before slicing. The bread is best enjoyed the day it is baked.