Who says you can’t make bread with 100-percent whole-grain flour? With the right yeast and a dose of vital wheat gluten, whole-grain yeast breads turn out perfectly, even without added bread flour or all-purpose white flour.
- 4 cups 100 percent whole-wheat flour
- 1⁄2 cup wheat germ
- 2 Tbsp. raw sugar or honey
- 2 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten
- 1 package (2¼ tsp.) active-dry yeast
- 2 cups hot water (from the tap, not boiling)
- 1½ tsp. salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, wheat germ, sugar (if using) and vital wheat gluten.
In a separate bowl, add the yeast to the hot water, and stir. If using the honey, add it, and stir until dissolved. Add the hot water to the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine until the dough is too stiff to stir easily.
Knead the dough with the dough hook on your stand mixer for five minutes, or turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 to 12 minutes until the dough is smooth. If the dough remains sticky, add a little more flour as you knead.
Spray the dough with cooking spray, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until double — about one hour.
Punch down the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the salt, and knead for two or three minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise again for about
30 to 45 minutes.
Punch down the dough again, and shape it into a rectangle. Roll it up, and shape it into a loaf by pinching the ends and folding them under. Spray a standard loaf pan (about 9x5 inches) with cooking spray, and place the dough into the pan, seam-side down.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Also preheat a cast-iron pan or other oven-proof pan on the bottom rack of the oven. When the oven is fully preheated, pour 1 cup water into the pan on the bottom rack. Quickly place the loaf on the top rack, and close the oven door.
Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool the loaf completely. Slice, and serve. Yields one loaf.