Artisan whole wheat bread is characteristically rich in flavour with complex structure and crusty exterior. To achieve this takes a long time, upto 3 days from start to finish to make a loaf, but not with this recipe!. I came across this recipe and method some time ago in one of my favorite bread baking books; Flour, water, salt yeast, by Ken Forkish. This version here has some small changes. Using this method you will produce decent artisan bread in only 5 hours. This recipe contains 75% whole wheat flour making it lighter than a 100% wholewheat loaf. This artisan whole wheat bread is healthy and high in fibre but for me, the most important point is that it tastes great.
Recipe for 1 day artisan whole wheat bread
Ingredients for 2 loaves
750g whole wheat flour
250g strong bread flour (german 550 flour)
800g water (32-35 degrees)
3g instant dried yeast
In a large bowl (or the mixing bowl of your machine) mix the flours and water by hand just until all the water has been incorporated into the flour. Leave for 30mins.
Add the salt and yeast and mix thoroughly. Now you can either knead the dough with your dough hook for 7 minutes or by hand for 10-15 minutes.
To further develop the gluten in the dough you need 3 cycles of stretching and folding during the first 30 minutes or the first proof. That means turn your dough onto a floured surface, and flatten it out, fold it in on itself and then repeat the flattening a folding 4-5 times. Leave the dough to rest again for 10 minutes and then repeat the stretching and folding. After another 10 minutes of rest stretch and fold the dough once more. then cover the bowl and leave to proove at room temperature for 3 hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.
After the long proof, deflate the dough and divide into 2 evenly sized dough balls. Place the dough balls, seam side down into 2 floured baskets and leave to rise again for 45-60 minutes.
In the meantime pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Turn the loaves onto a floured baking stone or baking tray and bake with steam for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Reduce the heat to 200 and bake for a further 50-60 minutes to develop a dark crust.