Whole Grain Artisan Free-Form Bread.

28 Feb

Hello everyone,

I’ve had a couple of busy days. Yesterday was my Master Canning class, and it was a lot of fun! They had a few different presentations, one lady talked about her experience at the Western Idaho Fair. A couple other ladies talked about how to judge items, (that’s what I would like to do)!!! The last lady we had was the superintendent for the WIF baking and canning dept.

I just got my cake done for the mentally challenge adult tonight, I made a flower-pot with lots of pink roses on it. I liked how this one turned out! I hope she likes it as well!!!

I went to a class tonight on how to make whole wheat Artisan Free-Form Bread. It’ s taste’s really good and only has 6 ingredient’s!!!

 Here’s the recipe:

5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tblsp. dry active yeast

1 tblsp kosher salt

1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

4 cups lukewarm water

cornmeal or parchment paper

1. Measure the dry ingredients: Use dry-ingredient measuring cups to gently scoop flour into measuring cup. Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl or in a resealable, lidded plastic food container or food grade bucket.

2.  Mix with water-kneading is unnecessary: Warm the water until it feels slightly warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees). Add all at once to the dry ingredient’s and mix without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if your not using a machine. Using warm water will allow the dough to rise fully in about 2 hours. Don’t knead! It isn’t necessary. Your finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches.  This step is done in a matter of minutes, and will yield a dough that is wet and remains loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.

3. Allow to rise: Cover the dough with a lid (not airtight) that fits well to the container. If you are using a bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on the top), approximately 2 hours. Longer rising times, even overnight will not harm the result. After rising, refrigerate in the lidded container and use over the next 14 days. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than dough at room temperature. Once refrigerated, the dough will seem to have shrunk back upon itself. It will never rise again in the bucket, which is normal for this dough. Do not punch down this dough! You are trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible and punching down knocks gas out and will make your loaves denser.

One Baking Day:

4. Shape a loaf in 20-40 second’s. Prepare the rising surface, a pizza peel or parchment paper or paper sheet by sprinkling liberally with cornmeal. Dust the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife or kitchen shears. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick  to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides rotating a quarter-turn as you go to form a ball. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom of the ball may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The entire process should take not more than 20-40 seconds. If you work the dough longer than this, it might make your loaf dense.

5. Form a narrow oval-shaped loaf and let it rest: Stretch the ball gently to elongate it, and taper the ends by rolling them between your palm and pinching them.

6. Allow the loaf to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on the prepared surface for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Depending on the age of the dough, you might not see much rise during this period; instead, it will spread sideways. More rising will occur during baking (oven spring).

7. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, place an empty metal broiler tray or pan for holding water on any other rack in the oven.

8. Paint and slash: Just before baking, using a pastry brush to paint the top with water. Sprinkle with a seed mixture if desired; Example sesame seeds, poppy seeds, ect..  Slash the loaf with 1/4 inch deep parallel cuts across the top. Use a serrated bread knife held perpendicularly to the bread.

9. Baking with steam: After a 30 minute preheat, place your loaf onto a prepared baking stone or place on a baking sheet in the oven. Quickly but carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray or any cake pan will work as long as it can hold the water. Close the oven quickly to prevent the steam for escaping. Bake for about 30 minutes, crust should be richly brown and firm to the touch. Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack, for best flavor, texture and slicing.

10. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded container and use it over the next 14 days. Within 24 hours the dough begins to ferment and takes on sourdough characteristics.

Variation:  Herb Bread

Herb-scented breads are great favorites for appetizers and snacks. Follow the directions for mixing the Master Recipe dough and add 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves (2 tsp. fresh) and 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves (1 tsp. fresh) to the water mixture. This also works with sliced olives, chopped garlic, onions, seeds, nuts, or any other favorite ingredients.


Amanda 🙂


Posted by on February 28, 2010 in Breads


5 responses to “Whole Grain Artisan Free-Form Bread.

  1. Simply Life

    March 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    oh that sounds great!

  2. vincent

    March 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on “Add your site”

    Best regards,


    • cakebaker35

      March 4, 2010 at 6:53 am

      Hello Vincent,
      Can you tell me more about your website? Like where are you from ect??? I havn’t heard of your site, so I was just wondering… Thank you Amanda

  3. cakebaker35

    March 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you!


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