1 1/2 c. organic room white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. organic unbleached all purpose flour, or bread flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. 75 -80% protein vital wheat gluten - this optional, (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 c. starter (100% hydration; I use rye flour in my starter)
1/2 c. water
2 Tbsp. raw honey
1/4 c. room temp butter ( or you can use any healthy oil)
- Prepare a 9x5x 2 1/2" standard loaf pan (I use Pyrex) with a light greasing of butter. If you use oil it will stick, with butter, the loaf pops right out! Too much butter and the bottom will get very brown, it may even scorch. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and turn speed to "1."
- Let the machine run until the dough comes together and scrapes the sides of the bowl clean. If the dough is too wet, then add a little flour, by 1/4c. until the sides of the bowl are clean. The dough will stick to the bottom, that is fine.
- Stop mixer, remove hook from machine and place in the bowl, and let rest in the bowl covered with a tea towel for 30 min. Start the machine on speed "2" for 10 min.
- If you want to hand knead then remove dough from hook and bowl, it will be slightly sticky and knead the dough on a clean surface until it is smooth and elastic. Resist the temptation to add more flour if the dough is sticking. As you work it, the stickiness should lessen. The dough will tell you when it is ready. I use the "window pain" test.
- Let it rest, covered with a tea towel for 3o min. and then knead it until it is elastic once more and shape the loaf. I just roll and pull until it is a small rectangle. Or you can roll it out to about 9" wide and 1" thick and roll it like a jelly roll, then karate chop the ends down to the table with the sides of your hand, then tuck the ends under.
- Grease the top with very soft butter and put it in the pan then lightly cover with cling wrap, or a dry tea towel. Place in a warm spot, like the oven with the light on, or a pan of hot water, or a sunny window sill, or above the fridge until the top of the loaf is about 1" above the rim of the pan. This can take anywhere from 3 to 9 hours depending on temp. of ingredients and weather, strength of the starter, humidity, and even bad thoughts...ha ha ha.
- Once dough is proofed, heat oven to 375*F . Prepare a hot water pan to sit on the bottom of the oven, or have a spritz bottle ready to add water to the oven to create steam. This little trick keeps the loaf from "setting" its crust too early and allows for a better oven rise.
- Place the loaf in the oven on the middle rack and if using a spritz bottle begin spritzing, maybe 20 quick squirts, then shut the oven. If not using a spritz bottle, then just close the oven when you put the loaf in.
- Set the timer for 20 min. After that, turn the loaf 180 degrees and drop the oven temp to 350*F and set the timer for another 20 min.
- Remove from the oven when loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove from the loaf pan immediately so the bread doesn't steam, and place on a cooling rack. DO NOT cut into it until it is completely cool, or it will turn gummy! RESIST the temptation! Go read a book, or something.
- The bread slices best on the following day, but it can be sliced after it is completely cooled.