Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wholewheat Rustic Bread

There is something warmly inviting about the aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread, bursting with flavors of the Old World. Today I was craving for some soul-pleasing food, and what can be better than a fresh loaf of rustic bread steaming its goodness on the countertop!
This bread recipe is strictly "old-time" and produces a rustic-style wholewheat bread. It's the kind that you see on kitchen tables in villages across Europe. Enjoy it with olive oil or just spread some butter and chopped garlic on top!

Ingredients:

  • 4.5 cups wholewheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • olive oil

Preparation:

Weigh flour, mix in salt and caraway seeds and set aside. Pour dry yeast into a warm ceramic cup. Heat the water in a pan until it is very warm, but not hot. Pour the water into the cup with yeast and stir with a fork until the yeast is completely dissolved.

Pour yeast-water mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add flour to bowl gradually, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon until all flour is absorbed, adding the remaining water as needed. The dough should have a smooth texture and form a ball.

Using a paper towel, coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil . Cover the bowl with a wet dish towel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Cover the surface with a generous amount of flour to prevent dough from sticking. Turn dough out onto the surface. Flour hands and knead with heals of hands for about 5 minutes. Make a loaf of bread, shaping it with your hands.Allow to rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375F (190C) degrees.

Cut slits in top of loaves just before baking. Sprinkle a bit of flour all over the loaf. Bake for about 40 min. Bread should turn a light golden color.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes. When cool enough to touch, slice with a bread knife and serve.

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