Bran-Enriched White Bread


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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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Cornmeal

Directions

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, and water in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the flour and wheat bran using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 14 days.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Just before baking sprinkle liberally with flour and slash the dough diagonally using a serrated bread knife.
  8. 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.
  9. Cool on a wire rack (to avoid a soggy bottom) before cutting or eating.
Recipe rating: 

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!

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