The delicious texture of this No-Knead Country Wheat Bread has put this recipe on my “fav homemade bread” list. It’s completely effortless, nearly impossible to mess up, AND DELICIOUS! I’m going to walk you through the fool-proof process in this post, but first I want to leave you with a few thoughts for today.
I have been starting to feel like bread has been getting a bad reputation in the past few years. The eating Gluten-Free fad has taken over America, while in all actuality, only 1% of Americans have Celiac Disease and about 6% have rare wheat allergies or intolerance to gluten. So why do 41% of American’s make such an effort to avoid gluten? Why do products like Ice Cream advertise that they are Gluten Free? There was never any gluten in Ice Cream to begin with! This might stir up a bit of controversy, but I am interested to know other people’s thoughts on this topic. History shows that it is fashionable to jump on popular diet trends.
Thanks in part to a lot of hype from gluten-free evangelists and celebrity wheat-bashing, many Americans are convinced they’re “gluten-sensitive” and better off avoiding foods that contain it. “People want to believe that they are gluten intolerant because it’s a way for them to avoid carbs, because they also think carbs make them fat,” explains registered dietitian Vandana Sheth, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”
America has a way of commercializing (once healthy) foods and turning them into mass-produced industrialized garbage products. How did bread go from 4 ingredients (water, flour, salt, yeast) to 31 ingredients? If you are buying bagged bread products and experience some type of intolerance, I’m going to go ahead and guess that is doesn’t have to do with the wheat… The culprit is most likely the preservatives and other miscellaneous ingredients that contribute to a longer shelf life.
I love this bread recipe so much because it is made from quality ingredients. Organic flour, premium whole wheat flour, and flax. It bakes up perfectly, making the crust not too tough and the center soft and light, not chewy and dense.
The quality of the final product is only as good as the ingredients. Look for a whole wheat flour that is stone ground at low temperatures. Heating up wheat for fast processing strips away the nutritional value.
Once you realize how effortless is it to make fresh bread, you are going to wonder why people even buy the bagged stuff. And if anything I wrote about above interests you, watch the Netflix documentary “Air”.
Tips and Tricks:
- Weigh your dry ingredients with a scale in a large mixing bowl. Ingredient Weight Chart.
- Measure 1 1/2 cup purified or bottled water. (Chlorine in tap water kills the yeast!)
- Warm up the water in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Put a kitchen thermometer in it, you want it to be 120-130 degrees. Too hot will kill the yeast.
*Note:* I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast. This recipe calls for an instant yeast. Be sure to get the right type and read the back of it to see what temperature they recommend. The Original version of this same yeast calls for water between 110-120 degrees.
- If the handle of your Dutch oven is missing, place foil under the lid to seal it shut in the oven.
- When you make the slits in the dough right before you put in it in oven, go slow and make nice clean cuts. Use a sharp knife or razor blade. It will be difficult because the dough is wet, thick and sticky. Getting a few nice lines allows the bread to expand and rise much higher in the oven. I have had the best results with three 1/4 inch deep horizontal lines.
- Mix the flours, flax, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Stir in warm water slowly. Your dough will be sticky and shaggy like the photo.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for 8 hours or overnight. You want the temperature in the house to be about 70-72 degrees. Too cold and the yeast won’t rise.
In the morning it will have tripled in size and have tons of holes and bubbles. Perfect!
I have two methods of moving the bread into the Dutch oven and shaping it.
- Oil parchment paper and your hands, slid the dough onto the paper with a spatula, fold the dough over itself a few times and shape into a ball. Drop it in the dutch oven greased with olive oil smooth side up.
2. Lightly flour your work surface and your hands. Fold dough over it self into a ball and drop into a Dutch oven greased with olive oil smooth side up.
1 hrCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (240g)
- 1 1/4 cups Premium Whole Wheat Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour (141g)
- 1/4 cup whole flax meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- Olive oil (to grease Dutch oven)
- Stir together all of the ingredients (or use a stand mixer) to make a sticky dough. Continue to work the dough enough to incorporate all the flour, or beat for several minutes in a stand mixer.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it'll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so be sure your bowl is large enough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Shape the dough to fit. Stretch it and fold it over it self a few times. Form into a rough ball that fits and place it in the lightly greased Dutch oven, smooth side up. 3 1/2 to 6 quart sizes work best.
- Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until dough has become puffy and fills the pan about 1/2 full.
- Slash the loaf in a cross-hatch pattern or 3 diagonal slashes just before placing into the oven.
- Place into a cold oven in the dead center.
- Set the oven temperature to 450°F.
- Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until the bread is deep brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.