A recent article in Food52.com about the best bread books had very favorable comments about this bread, which appears in Ken Forkish’s recent book, Flour Water Salt Yeast. I liked the idea of a bread with a mixture of whole wheat and white flour, so I made it, and it turned out very well. We ate it at dinner with Boursin-style fresh cheese with garlic and herbs
Our granddaughter Vivie ignored her usual core food, Velveta Mac & Cheese, in favor of eating piece after piece of this bread plain.
This bread is a variation on the famous no-knead bread since it is folded and stretched rather than kneaded, and it is baked inside a heavy pot, like a Dutch oven.
This recipe is intended to be started the prior evening, to have its second rise overnight, and to be baked in the morning. I cut the original recipe in half to make one 1.5 lb. loaf, which is quite enough for the three of us. I weighed everything, which I find is the easiest way to measure for bread baking
300 g. (2-1/3 cups) bread flour
200 g. (1-5/8 cups) whole wheat flour (I used KAF white whole wheat
400 g. (1-3/4 cups) water at 90-95 degrees F
11 g. (2 tsp.) fine sea salt
1.5 g. (3/8 tsp.) instant dry yeast
In a medium bowl, mix together the flours and then the water with a dough whisk. Cover and let rest (autolyze) for 20-30 minutes.
Sprinkle the salt and the yeast on top of the dough. Put a bowl of water near the mixing bowl. With a wet hand, lift and fold the dough repeatedly to mix the salt and yeast into the dough evenly. The dough will start to firm up. Cover and rest it for 5 minutes, and then lift and fold the dough several more times.
For the next two hours, every 30 minutes lift and fold the dough with a wet hand. As you do this, the dough will become smoother and tighter. After the folding cover the dough and allow it to ferment undisturbed for 3 hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, form the dough into a ball. Place the ball in a well-floured banneton (a wicker bowl which imparts a nice design on the bread). Place the banneton in a plastic shopping bag to keep the dough from drying out, and let it have its second rise overnight in the refrigerator for 12-14 hours.
In the morning, preheat the oven and the heavy pot and its lid at 475 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the bread from the refrigerator, and carefully invert it on a lightly floured work surface. Slash the top of the bread in a cross pattern. Remove the hot pot from the oven, and carefully put the bread in, decorative side up. Replace the lid and put the pot in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 15-25 minutes until the bread is deeply browned. Remove the pot from the oven, and carefully put the bread on a wire rack to cool.
Allow at least 20 minutes of rest before cutting the bread.