Dad’s here in honor of Sis’s birthday. I decided to make this bread for him to enjoy with some reheated Beer Cheese Soup. Unfortunately because I mixed the dough at 5 p.m., when I got home from work the first loaf of bread was done some time after 9 p.m. – way after dinner.
- 3 c. lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 T. instant yeast
- 1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
- 1 c. wheat bran
- 6 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- Mix the yeast, salt, and water in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the flour and wheat bran using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 14 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of large orange or grapefruit. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn. Shape into an oval and allow to rest and rise on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal for 40 to 60 minutes.
- Place a baking stone on the top rack (in the middle of the oven) and an empty broiling pan on the rack below the stone. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Just before baking sprinkle liberally with flour and slash the dough diagonally using a serrated bread knife.
- Set the bread on the hot baking stone and quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiling pan beneath the stone. Close the oven door as quick as possible. Bake for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned and firm.
- Cool on a wire rack (to avoid a soggy bottom) before cutting or eating.
If you’re strictly a white-bread fan, this bread may be too healthy for you. However, if you’re into wheat or bran breads, you’ll be a huge fan. It was delicious about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven and in my Spinach and Tomato Breakfast Melt this morning.
Store sliced-side down on a plate. If you don’t eat it almost immediately (and my guess is you will) use leftover bread to make croutons or French toast!