What good is that stand mixer if it doesn’t do the work for you? Give it something to do with this great tasting whole wheat French bread.
Since awarding my Julia Child’s Bread the #1 rating for 2010, I have though of repeating it but now I wanted minimal work with some whole wheat for a healthier outcome.
With minimal hand kneading (that you can probably skip if you’re morally opposed to manual work) this is for the lazy out there. I used the Julia recipe as a guide. I sub in a cup of whole wheat flour and upped the water to make up for that.
I went through 3 rises but 2 would do. Timing: about 20 minutes prep, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours rising (2 vs 3) and 25 minutes cooking. Make it 3 1/2 to 4 1/5 hours. But only 20 minutes direct attention plus baking.
Excellent taste and texture.
Notes: I ended up using my Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch™ Nonstick Perforated French Bread Pan. This dough is too “light” to stand up by itself. If you decrease the hydration some, you could bake it on a pizza stone. I used water on the surface and in the oven plus a high temperature for a crisper crust. You could bake this in a dutch oven or other pan also. Just be aware of the internal temperature.
Cold weather baking notes: I warmed the mixing bowl initially. I then heated an over to 170. As soon as it reached that temp. I turned off the oven and let the heat element cool off for about a minute or two before using the oven as my “warm spot”.
What you will need.
Spray inside of pan with PAM and place back in pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm spot.
place loaves on pan. Cover with towel and place in warm spot until double in size.
- 2½ cups bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ cup plus 2 T water
- 2¼ t instant yeast
- ½ t salt
- Measure water and check temp with instant read thermometer. Add yeast and mix well. Spray dough hook with PAM and attach to mixer.
- Mix flours and salt in stand mixer bowl. After yeast starts foaming (about 7 minutes), turn mixer on two and slowly add yeast mixture.
- After about 3 minutes you need to decide if the dough is just right, too dry or too wet. If just right, there will about 2-3 inches attached to the bottom of the pan. If too dry, the dough is not sticking to the pan. If too wet, then it will be attaching to the side of the pan. Add water or flour 1 tablespoon at a time to get to the right hydration.
- After the right hydration is achieved, continue to knead for another 6-7 minutes.
- Move dough to a floured surface. Spray inside of pan with PAM. Hand knead the dough for about 30 seconds and place back in pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in warm spot.
- Allow to rise until at least double in size (about 90 minutes). Punch down dough and turn it on itself several times. Cover again and let rise until a least double in size again (about 1 hour).
- Preheat over to 450 degrees. Place a large pan with water on bottom rack
- Move dough to floured surface and divide into half and shape into loaves of about 10 inches long and 2 inch diameter. Spray pan with PAM and place loaves on pan. Cover with towel and place in warm spot until double in size.
- Slash top of loaves with 5-6 release cuts to allow for over spring. Brush top with water and place in oven.
- After 5-6 minutes, brush top of loaves with water again. Continue to bake until internal temp of about 200 degrees (about 23-25 minutes total).
- Cool on rack for 20 minutes before cutting.
September 21 2014