- 245 g wheat berries (I used hard white wheat)
- 1 3/4 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon water at room temperature
- 362 g bread flour (higher protein) or all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
I know that some readers will cringe at my ingredients list. I mix weight in grams, volume in cups and tablespoons, what the heck? In my kitchen, I use what’s handy, and what works. Sure, I could have weighed the water on the same scale I used for the wheat and flour – but I don’t, usually, so I didn’t here. Stay with me, okay? Just try this no-knead wheat bread — I think you’ll love the loaf.
weigh and grind the wheat
Let’s start with the wheat! I use a Mockmill grain mill that attaches to my stand mixer, and it grinds the flour right into the mixing bowl. I’ve found it most useful to record the weight of the wheat berries I use and grind them all into flour, then continue. Accordingly – weigh the wheat, put the berries into the hopper, and grind “fine”.
add all other ingredients and mix
Add the bread flour (if you’ve no bread flour, use all-purpose), salt, yeast, and water. Stir the ingredients together to make a sticky dough. Work all the flour into the mixture. If you use the stand mixer, you’ll need a dough hook, but the dough is a little slack for that to work really well. I tend to mix by hand using my trusty dough whisk.
let rise 8-12 hours
Cover the dough with plastic wrap or waxed paper, and let rise at room temperature 8-12 hours. (Typically, I’ll put the dough together after supper, and let it rise overnight.) It will bubble and rise quite a bit, so make sure you’ve got a bowl that’s large enough! A 5 quart bowl should do nicely.
turn out and shape dough
Lightly grease your baking pot (see note below on equipment). Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and fold it a few times. Shape the dough into a smooth round ball, and put it, smooth side up, into the pot. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. The dough should become puffy and fill the pan about half-full.
slash loaf, cover, and bake
When the dough is ready, slash the loaf in a tic-tac-toe or hashtag pattern. You may find it easier to slash without shredding or pulling the dough if you sprinkle just a little bit of flour over the top first. Put the lid on the pot and put the pot into a cold oven. Now set the oven temperature to 450˚F.
Bake the bread for 45-50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake another 5-10 minutes, until the bread is well browned, and an instant-read thermometer stuck right into the middle of the loaf registers at least 200˚.
let the bread cool
Remove the bread from the oven and from the pot, and let it cool on a rack. Don’t even try to slice it before the loaf is cool; warm bread will just tear.
Pro tip: if you’ll want to eat some bread fresh from the oven, then form the dough into 2 loaves: the main one, plus a little ping-pong ball sized ball of dough. Bake the smaller one in its own little lidded pot (this is a great use for one of those tiny cocottes). It will cook faster, of course, so you can be eating your hot bread dripping with butter and honey even sooner, and still save the big handsome loaf for the family.
a note on equipment
I use a lidded clay baker from Emile Henry for my round loaves; I find that putting the bread and clay baker into a cold oven is the easiest way to achieve a great crust. You can use any 9 to 10-inch round 4-inch deep covered pot: one that’s thick and retains heat well will give you the best results.