Tag Archives: rising

Peasant Bread

I love fresh, warm bread.  The kind that is crusty on the outside, and soft inside.  Pair that up with some fresh bruschetta, or butter- and I have dinner.  Or it can be a perfect addition to a salad or soup dinner.

In the past couple of months I have conquered my fear of yeast.  If you’d like proof then check out the Mostly-Whole Wheat Bread, Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza, and Whole Wheat Pitas.  Last week’s Food Matters Project was bruschetta, and I needed a vehicle for all that deliciousness.  So I attempted bread.  What did I learn?  I never want to buy bread from the store again!

It looks gorgeous, and I am so proud of it!  If I have succeeded, all of you can make it.  Fortunately, this recipe does not require an overnight rising period- that is way too long to wait (although that might be due to my lack of planning).  This is perfect to throw together right before you leave for work (or the night before), let the yeast work its magic and all you have to do is pop it in the oven when you get home.  Fresh bread for dinner!

Peasant Bread
Adapted from: Hide the Cheese

This recipe makes 2 larger loaves.  I made a loaf the first day, and covered and refrigerated the other half.  It should last about a week in the fridge.  Take it out of the fridge as you’re heating up the oven, and continue with the baking instructions below.  The original recipe used 2 cups of whole-wheat flour, and 4 1/2 of all-purpose.  I did not have the whole-wheat flour, so I improvised.

1 tbsp + 2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp + 2 tsp salt
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp honey
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix the yeast, salt, water and honey in a large bowl.  Stir with a spoon until the yeast and honey dissolve completely.  Then add the flour, continue mixing until it is fully incorporated with the wet ingredients.

(optional) Coat a large bowl with olive oil.  If you don’t have an additional large bowl, just move parts of the dough to add some of the olive oil under it.  This is not necessary, but does make it easier to take out the dough from the bowl after it has risen.

Cover the dough with a dish towel and allow it rest for at least 2 hours (although the longer the better).

After the dough has risen, take half of it out (the other half can be stored in the fridge) onto a floured surface.  Shape it into a ball, or any shape you’d like.

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.  As you turn on the oven, put the dutch oven (or corningware) into the oven at the same time.  When the oven reaches 450ºF, take out the dutch oven and place the dough inside.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Then cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered, or until the top is a light brown.

Take out the bread from the oven, and allow it to cool off on a wire rack.  Enjoy it fresh!

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The Food Matters Project #12: Mostly Whole Wheat Bread

How many of us have a number of cookbooks on their shelves any never tried any of the recipes (or very few of them)?  If you are this person, you should do something similar to The Food Matters Project (with this cookbook or any other).  Each week one of the participants chooses a recipe, and we all try it.  It’s a great idea to cook your way through a cookbook- with only 1 recipe a week!

Whenever I go through a magazine or cookbook, I tend to notice only some recipes.  Since we have began The Food Matters Project, it has been great trying out new dishes which we probably would never have gotten to.

Thanks to Melissa of The Faux Martha, I now tried a new bread recipe.  She chose 2 bread recipes from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matter’s Cookbook: Real Whole Wheat Bread and Mostly Whole Wheat Baguettes.

In the kitchen I tend to stay away from yeast, Sam is the one that makes the pizza dough.  Although I have used yeast a little bit in the past (double-rise wheat bread, whole-wheat pitas and yeast dinner rolls), I’m still not very confident in my abilities.

This bread turned out great, and gave me a little bit more confidence.  I wish I had played around with it a bit more, but I was playing it on the safe side the first time around.

So if you’re worried or scared of yeast, definitely try this bread!  After the first bite this will be a “must-bake” item every single week!

What can you eat with this bread?  Here are some ideas: Triple Green Chicken Salad, Lox, and Tuna & Veggie Sandwich.

Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 542)

This recipe was going to be a baguette, but when I was shaping the dough I think it wanted to be a bread loaf instead.  If you’d like additional flavor or texture, top it off with some poppy or sesame seeds.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + more for shaping
2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (equivalent to the little packet)
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil

In a stand mixer combine the: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, sugar and yeast.  Start the mixer, using a dough hook.  Then, about a 1/4 cup at a time, add the water into the mixture.  Continue to mix the dough until it forms into a ball.  You might need to add some more water- if so, add it 1 tbsp at a time.

Pour olive oil into a large bowl, swish it around so it is covered where the dough will touch (this will prevent it from sticking).  Put the dough into the bowl, and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap.  Allow it to rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature, it should double in size.

Lightly flour the surface you’ll be working on.  Knead the dough a few times (about 3 minutes).  Roll the dough out into 2 baguettes or 1 loaf of bread.

Heat the oven to 500ºF.  If you’ll be baking the bread on a sheet pan, spray it with non-stick spray, then set the loaf on the pan.  Put the bread into the oven for 10 minutes.  Then turn down the heat (while the bread is in the oven) to 400ºF.  Bake it at 400ºF for 30 minutes or until the inside of the bread is 210ºF).

*If you are topping the bread with seeds, brush the loaf with a little water and then sprinkle on the poppy or sesame seeds (about 1/4 cup) prior to baking.