Saturday, September 3, 2011

Today's Dough: Whole Wheat French Bread

Ahh, there's nothing quite as satisfying as a bucket of fragrant, spongy dough rising in the refrigerator.  Sometime last year I discovered no-knead breads and though I still primarily make my loaves the "old-fashioned" way, occasionally, when I'm in a hurry, I'll mix together a batch of the other.  Then I have fresh dinner rolls and a loaf or two for the week.

The recipe (from a King Arthur Flour catalog) for the French bread dough in the photo at left  is one of the most successful of all that I've tried.  It bakes up crusty on the outside with a soft, light interior and complex flavor.  I'm planning on using one of these loaves for tofu banh mi sandwiches tonight.

If you're curious about making bread but have been reluctant to try - definitely find a no-knead recipe to give yourself a kick-start.  I recommend either visiting the King Arthur Flour recipe site or picking up a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois (they also have a whole grain no-knead book which is great).  There really is no kneading involved (stirring, yes); most of the work is done overnight in the refrigerator - the bonus being that the bread will develop rich, yeasty flavor that just gets better (nearing sourdough in flavor) over several days.  You can stir up a batch and use as needed.  Most of these recipes keep in the refrigerator for at least seven days.


  1. looks so good I can almost smell it. lol. do you ever use a bread maker? I have one and love it, but the loaves are small.

  2. That's certainly a different way of doing French bread to the way I've begun to do it! Here, we can get access to real French flour (not sure that the difference is, but it's there and my recipe calls for it!) and what I like about it is that I can start it first thing in the morning, forget about it for 3-4 hours and then knead for 10 mins., shape it into whatever shape I want (we tend to make it one big cottage loaf style) and while its rising, I get the oven good and hot and put in a dish of hot water. Once the bread has risen, I put it in, and then have to remember to get the water out after 5 mins. Then we end up
    with lovely crusty baguette style bread, which lasts us a couple of days. It's so more-ish, that it does'nt last any longer!


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