When you bite into it, you get that initial crunch from the hard crust followed by your teeth sinking gently into the soft, light crumb in the middle -- then you know it's good bread.
I love bread and I love whole wheat bread. I don't know if I actually like the taste better or it's simply because I know it's healthier so I'm made to believe it tastes nicer. I often find that when I know something's healthy I end up liking it more so I don't know if it actually tastes better or if it's because I end up eating it so much that it just starts to grow on me. Like red wine. I like red wine better than white wine. I started drinking more red than white because of its health benefits despite not really enjoying neither red or white wine in the beginning. I think after drinking it so much that it just started to grow on me. And the same thing happened with chocolate - milk used to be my favorite but now it's dark since knowing that it's actually good for me. So it may be the same for whole wheat bread. It does have a unique earthy and nutty taste to it though. But one thing I despise is low fat cheese. Every time I go to the supermarket I'm tempted by these low fat cheeses -- maybe this one would taste nice AND be healthy. But no. Oh how much I loathe the cottage cheese from the Tesco Light Choices range.
Anyway, I stumbled upon this recipe on food gawker and what caught my attention was the fact that you simply let it rise once for an hour and then you just leave it in the fridge for days, and you can bake it when you want to! How convenient! And no kneading!
Makes: 2 loaves Suitable for: matching that delicious butternut squash jam, pâté or cheese.
Recipe adapted from here
1.5 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour
2 3/4 cup bread flour
Mix the yeast, the warm water and salt together in a bowl and let that stand for a couple of minutes before adding the two flours. Mix with your hands until a dough forms, but there's no need to knead it, Put it in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rest in a dark and warm place for around two hours.
Now put the bowl, still covered, into the refrigerator and you can leave it there for up to 14 days, just leave it and let it do its thing. When you're ready to bake it. Take it out, shape it in whatever way you want, I did a round loaf and a baguette-like one.
Don't work on it too much, gently shape it and leave it. Let it rest, covered, for 1 hour. Don't be worried if you've got dried bits all over because it has dried in the fridge, for my round loaf I peeled the dried bits off because it looked bad but for the other one I didn't and I find that the crust ended up nicer. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 230C and have your baking tray in there so it gets nice and hot. Put another tray for water in the shelf below. When the bread is ready, give it a few slices on top.
For my other loaf I put a bit of butter in the indent, which actually allows the area around it to rise better. See the dried bits? Yea, it looks like it's got cancer but don't let it bother you, the result will be healthy and delicious-looking.
Dust with some flour, and put the bread in the oven. At the same time, pour two cups of boiling water into the bottom baking tray. Shut the oven door and let it bake for about 35 minutes.
I'd just like to take a moment and comment on the beautiful pâté and cheese. The pâté is a duck liver and orange jelly pâté from M&S. Very delicious and very good value for money. The cheese is basajo, an Italian blue cheese, a "luscious wine-soaked blue" as this article so cleverly puts it.