Thursday, January 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Boule and Baguette

So as many of you know I am crazy about this bread baking technique that was introduced in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  Basically you mix up the dough (or get your 4 year old to do it for you - it's that hard).  Let it rise, put it in the fridge and lop off a hunk whenever you want to bake some bread, make a pizza, calzone, anything you can make out of bread.  This year the amazing authors of that book came out with a new book. .  Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day.  This was my first attempt at making the master recipe. This link is to the recipe, just scroll down on the page and when they stop talking about releasing the new book you'll get what you want.
Click on this link to see how others are using this recipe.  Michelle at Big Black Dog is hosting our Healthy Bread in Five bake along.

I dragged out my flour mill and tried to figure out which barrel in the basement had which kind of wheat in it. . . I think I used white wheat.  You definitely don't have to mill your own wheat to make this bread, but like I said I had buckets of the stuff pining away in my basement. . . Then I dumped everything into the bucket.  This new book gives weights, and since home-milled flour is often not as packed as store bought, I threw the bucket on the scale and weighed my ingredients.  That was pretty much the first time I had ever done that.  I would definitely do that again, very easy. My 4 year old mixed up the dough.  This dough has a "batter-y" feel to it when it's mixed up.  I am assuming that's because whole wheat absorbs more water than white flour, many whole wheat doughs are slacker than their white counterparts.
 I shaped the dough into a boule, then got all motivated and dug out my old banneton (which is just a willow basket) that hadn't been used in a year or so, floured it up and dumped the dough in.  Then I made a baguette just to have a little more bread on hand. 
Well a little later all the kids at my house demolished the baguette in about 5 minutes. . . This was good.  The bread was not at all dense or heavy, and had a fresh clean flavor.  Really good.  We're having the boule with dinner tonight.  I'm sensing my grain mill might get used a little more now. . .

This Is the wheat. . . unlike Little Red Hen,
 there were far too many people willing to help me

This is one of them, he's mixing up the dough

Finished dough (that's a dough whisk, in case you're
 wondering.  No, you don't need it, but it's fun and pretty)
see how "batter-y" the finished dough it? 
You couldn't knead this if you tried. . . good thing you don't have to.

It rises so high

look at all the beautiful air

dump the flour in the banneton (or just shape the dough into a ball
and let it rise on parchment on the counter. . .
once again it's fun and pretty.. . I'm sensing a theme with me)

Press the flour into the creases or it will never come out.
It still won't want to come out and you might panic for
a minute. . . but don't worry it will all turn out alright

dump the dough boule inside

You can also go this route: a shaped baguette. .
. kind of like using playdough,but gentler please or you'll have no air

Freshly baked baguette

Inside yummy crumb. . . quickly disappearing baguette
inside the boule. . . and of course the salad I can't stop eating


  1. Looks wonderful. I'm envious of your wheat grains and mill! I ordered a dough whisk today - I can't wait till it gets here.

  2. Love your baguette! This is a very versatile dough & I loved playing with it, too! Wish I had your helpers, too! ;-)

  3. I go through phases with the grain mill. . . it sits unused for a long time, then gets used a lot. The dough whisk is great, I use it evertime I make any ABin5 dough.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful baguette and boule! I have had such trouble after grinding my own flour with the master recipe and you have such wonderful success- congratulations!!

  5. How wonderful it would be to grind your own flour, pretty cool :D Your breads turned out wonderful!

  6. Hey Teresa! Your baguette turned out wonderful and your slashing is perfection! Did you use a knife or a slashing tool?

    Thanks for the tips on the proofing basket.


  7. Gorgeous boule! I would love a banneton but they were so pricey last time I looked for one.

  8. Hi,
    I used a serrated knife, but I do have a slashing tool, I don't find it as effective as a serrated knife on these slack doughs. . .
    I found a great place for bannetons, I just don't know where it is now. . . I'll go see if I bookmarked it on my old computer, if I can find it I'll let you know. Someone on Freshloaf pointed gave me the link and the bannetons were quite reasonable. I don't always use it and there is always a "ohmigod it's sticking to the basket" moment. . . but it has always worked out in the end.

  9. This is the where I got my banneton, I think they're significantly cheaper than other places.

  10. Best looking Boule I've seen! I keep forgetting that I have a grain milling attachment for my kitchen am going to the brew store tomorrow, think I'll get some whole grains there! Thanks for the idea!

  11. I do something considered sacrilege to prep my bannetons, but I don't have a sticking problem. I learned it from

    I spray my banneton with oil from a pump sprayer and then dredge it in flour. The flour sticks to the banneton, the dough does not. After you take the dough out of the banneton, give the banneton a quick rinse in hot tap water (sacrilege again!) and then dry it--I prop it up so that the hot air from the oven vent dries it out--but be careful. Mine got too close to the vent one time and got a little "toasty".

  12. wow...your breads look so good! Mine keep coming out on the dense side.

  13. I think I'll try your sacrilegious banneton technique. . . mine always sticks a little and stresses me out.
    I was quite pleased with this bread, I have made the oatmeal date bread and found that a little dense for my taste (my dh who was raised on Irish brown bread liked it a lot though)

  14. that looks FANTASTIC!! and i love your dough hook. it makes me want to add to my junk drawer...

  15. So, I just got ABin5 and am anxious to start it. I was confused about the HBin5 but now I see it is from the same authors so I am all happy...grin.

  16. Beautiful crumb - your bread turned out gorgeous! Don't you just love HBin5? :-)

  17. I do love it, but I think I love ABin5 more than any other cookbook I own (and that's saying a lot!)


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