This bread satisfied two things for me. For one, it’s been getting cooler out here, and a slices of warm, fresh bread satisfies my cravings. And I’ve always wanted to make bread from scratch, so I wanted to try a recipe. It was delicious! Warm, and crispy on the outside. Savory and soft…and a little bit of salty butter completed each slice.
Double-rise Wheat Bread
Adapted from A Chow Life blog
4 cups (20 oz) all-purpose wheat flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp table salt
1/4 tsp instant, fast-rising yeast
2 cups ice water
First Rise: In a large bowl, stir together: flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Vigorously stir in the water into the bowl, and mixing until all of the ingredients are blended thoroughly. If the mixture is too dry, stir in more water, small amounts at a time. Brush or spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel. Refrigerate the dough for 3-10 hours, then let it cool at room temperature for 18-24 hours.
Second Rise: Using an oiled rubber spatula, gently lift and fold the dough toward the center, until most of it is deflated. Brush or spray the surface with oil once again. Re-cover the bowl. Let rise for 1 1/2- 2 1/2 hours at room temperature. Wait until the dough doubles from the deflated size.
Baking: Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Heat a 3 1/4-4 quart (or larger) heavy metal pot (or Dutch oven) in the oven until it is sizzling hot. Not deflating the dough, roll it into the warm pot. Spritz or brush the top of the dough with water. Top with the lid, and shake the pot back and forth to center the dough. Bake the dough in the lower third of the oven for 55 minutes. Then remove the lid, reduce the heat for 425 degrees. Bake for 15-20 or until the top is well browned. When it seems done, bake for a couple of minutes longer until the center is baked through. Remove the loaf to the rack and cool thoroughly.
Serve/Store: Cool completely before storing. The bread will keep at room temperature for 3 days, or may be frozen (airtight) for up to 2 months.