If you love good, crusty, artisanal bread, you will LOVE this recipe. This revolutionary technique of minimalist bread making was created by Jim Lahey, the owner of Sullivan St Bakery in New York City and brought to the world by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. In this variation, I have gathered whole grains and seeds from the bulk department and added them to the dough to create a hearty, chewy, fabulous loaf of bread!
Makes 1 large round loaf (12-16 fat slices)
4 cups unbleached organic wheat flour
2 1/4 cups water
Scant 3/4 teaspoon yeast
Ground grains and seeds blend (see below)
1 tablespoon salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to blend well. Transfer the dough to a second lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 12-18 hours at room temperature (68-72 degrees F.) .
Choose a clean tea towel that has a smooth surface (not terry cloth) and sprinkle it generously with flour and/or cornmeal.
Remove the dough sponge from the bowl to a floured work surface with a rubber spatula and fold it over on itself a few times. Let the dough rest for a few minutes and form it into a ball. Place it, seam side down, on the towel and wrap the towel loosely over.
Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours. Turn your oven on to 500 degrees F. and place a heavy braising pot with a lid (such as Lodge cast iron, Le Creuset or All Clad) in the oven to preheat. Allow the dough to continue to rise for 30 more minutes while the pot heats.
Transfer the dough from the towel to the pot and cover with the lid. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until the crust is deep golden brown. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting.
Ground nuts and seeds:
2 tablespoons flax seed
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup quinoa, farro, spelt or your favorite grain
Place everything in a blender and pulse to grind to a coarse meal.
Recipe adapted from Baking the Perfect Loaf of Bread at Home, Formula and Process created by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan St Bakery