Spring is here. It’s true, my windows are open and the heat is off. It’s a great feeling. Except for my allergies. But I’ll go through an entire box of tissues if it means I can feel the breeze on my face while I type. My trash bin overfloweth.
A couple weeks ago when Eric and I were making enough pizza to feed a small village we discovered that my warming drawer has a proofer setting, and I declared that I would be making a lot more bread. Remember? Well I wasn’t kidding. I found this recipe for Crusty Whole Wheat Bread in the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living. It comes from baker Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. Thank you, sir. Your bread is delicious.
Rule #1: plan ahead! This bread doesn’t involve a whole lot of kneading, but it’s got to rise for at least 12 hours.
Doesn’t look like much does it? Don’t worry. It just needs room to grow. And, of course, 12-18 hours of fermentation time.
After its beauty sleep turn it out onto a very well floured (or corn mealed) towel and fold it over to redistribute the yeast. It needs to sit in a warm place (like your handy dandy warming drawer on the “proof” setting!) for another hour and then it’s ready to go. I baked it in a dutch oven.
After about 45 minutes you’ve got yourself some brown, crusty goodness. You can brush the flour off a bit if you like, but I kind of like the way it looks.
It’s a very rustic bread with a thick crust and great flavor. Great with some butter and a little drizzle of honey over top. I promise this will be a hit. I had to get very stern with my parents to keep them from cutting into it before I’d even taken photos.
I can’t believe Easter is this Sunday already, but I also can’t wait for the food. My mom always makes her Seven Layer Salad with lettuce and hard boiled eggs and peas and bacon- I’m salivating just typing that. And of course there will be plenty of baked goods by yours truly. Hope the weather is as nice as it is today. Happy Easter, everyone!