Sunday, October 30, 2011

Today's Dough: Whole Wheat & Spelt with Pepitas

When I want a hearty, whole grain bread that I can prepare without a lot of fuss (some whole grain breads can be a three-day process), I find something out of my "no-knead" book and let time and the refrigerator do the work.  This one is delicious wrapped around roasted veggies, topped with hummus or toasted and slathered with jam.  The pepitas add a nice (and seasonally-appropriate) crunch.

Whole Wheat & Spelt Loaves with Pepitas
(using the overnight, no-knead method)

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
2 cups AP flour
1/4 vital wheat gluten
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 cup pepitas
4 cups lukewarm water

Combine the dry ingredients together in a big container - big enough to allow for some significant rise.  Pour in the water and stir (you may need to use wet hands to get this all mixed together) until you have a nice, wet dough.

Loosely cover the container and let sit on the counter for about two hours.  It will get nice and puffy.  Do not punch down the dough!  After two hours, you can bake immediately - but you'll get a better-tasting bread and the dough will be easier to work with if you pop it into the refrigerator overnight - or even up to 14 days.  The flavor will continue to develop.

When you're ready to bake, start by taking a large baking sheet and lining it with parchment paper. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the surface of the dough in the container, then remove as much dough as you'd like (depending on the size loaf - or rolls - you want to make).  Quickly shape the dough into a boule (round ball; or if making rolls, lots of little round balls), using more flour as needed and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes.

After about an hour, preheat the oven to 450F.  (At this point, I put a baking stone in the oven as I bake my bread directly on the stone.  If using a baking stone, instead of lining the inside of a baking sheet with parchment paper, turn it over and line the outside bottom - this way you can easily slide the dough/parchment onto the baking stone.  If not using a baking stone, just bake the bread on the prepared pan.)  Just before you're ready to put the dough in the oven, spritz or lightly brush the boule with water, then quickly and firmly slash the loaf about 1/4" deep using a serrated knife.  I usually do a simple cross.

Ready for the oven.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 30-50 minutes.  Baking time will depend on how large or small the loaf is - so be sure to keep an eye on it.  I test by thumping the bottom of the bread.  If it sounds hollow, it's done.  Allow to cool completely before slicing and eating. 

(This recipe is based on the "master" recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  Great book!)


  1. Yummmm!!! looks fabulous! It is a great book!

  2. Wow that looks good! Too bad I can't bake. My friend is a great cook though so I'll pass it on to her. Maybe she'll make it and bring some to work!

  3. I've gotta give this a looks to be excellent...thanks!


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