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100% Wholemeal Wheat Bread

Another recipe from Triumph of the Lentil, this is my staple bread recipe.  Even with a newborn and a toddler to look after I manage to bake this twice a week, so that we never have to buy bread.  Because of the slow rising time it requires very minimal kneading (only enough to mix in the flour), doesn’t require any oil or sugar to taste good and stays fresh for longer.  The slow rise develops the gluten in the same way that kneading would, but results in a superior taste.

Each rise can take between eight and twenty hours and put in the fridge at any stage, to be baked within two weeks.  I like to make each rise around twelve hours.  It can also be sped up a little, to make the total time as little as 16 hours by doubling the amount of yeast and combining the first and second rise together.

Kitchen time 5 minutes, 

Resting time 16-60 hours, 

Baking time 35-60 minutes

No Specialty Ingredients, 

Low Fat, Nightshade-Free, Onion- and Garlic-Free

Makes 2 medium loaves

Total ingredients

1/3 teaspoon fresh yeast, or 1/6 teaspoon dried

4 cups cold water

7 cups wholemeal wheat flour

2 teaspoons salt

First rise:

1/3 teaspoon fresh yeast, or 1/6 teaspoon dried

1 cup wholemeal wheat flour

1 cup cold water

Mix these together and set aside for 8-20 hours

Second rise:

2 cups cold water

3 cups wholemeal wheat flour

Mix this into the rest of the dough and set aside for 8-20 hours

Third rise:

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup cold water

3 cups wholemeal wheat flour

Mix this in thoroughly to the rest of the dough, it may need to be briefly kneaded to incorporate all the flour.  Set aside for 8-20 hours.

To bake:

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone in it to 230-260c (450-500f) or as hot as your oven will go.  When the pizza stone has been in there for at least half an hour, shape the loaves into whatever shapes you wish*, and coat in sesame seeds, cornmeal, or flour, making sure any cracks in the dough are on the bottom of the loaf.  Place on the pizza stone, slash a few times with a bread knife, close oven door and reduce heat to 200-230c (390-450f).

Bake until the bottom of the loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 35-60 minutes.

*to shape into Vienna type loaves like the ones in the picture, get a dinner plate and cover it in sesame seeds, semolina, cornmeal, or flour.  Get the portion you want to form into a loaf and place it over this as a flat-ish circle.  Take the sides of this circle and fold them up to form a log, flattening the seam.  Place seam-side down on the preheated pizza stone.