this super simple bread comes together quickly with no kneading required and is delicious for a variety of uses – plus, it tastes just as good defrosted after being frozen as it does fresh.
I’ve been making Once Upon a Chef’s crusty artisan bread for years now. And while it’s absolutely amazing as is, I wanted to try to come up with a whole grain version and I’ve gotta say, this has become a must-have in our house each week.
We use this bread in our house for just about everything: freshly cut & buttered for dinner, sliced for sandwiches, toasted and buttered for breakfast. It’s easy to throw together and absolutely delicious (at least we think so!).
I hope you find as much joy out of this loaf (or Once Upon a Chef’s original loaf, which I also highly recommend!) as we do in our house!
all-purpose whole grain loaf bread
- 1 large (6 qt.) bowl with wooden spoon OR
- 1 stand mixer fitted with dough hook
- 2 sturdy metal baking sheets
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
- 3 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast I use active dry yeast, but instant / rapid-rise also works, it just may make the loaf rise faster than the active dry yeast
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- Cornmeal for dusting the pan
- Whisk flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Add the water and stir with a wooden spoon (if not using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook) until there are no more patches of flour and the dough is sticky and conforms to the bowl (about 5 minutes in the stand mixer on medium speed).
- Add a few tablespoons more warm water if your dough seems dry and a few tablespoons of flour if your dough seems overly wet.
- Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 2 hours.
- Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal.
- Place a small amount of flour on a clean countertop and pull half of the dough out of the bowl.
- Gently work the dough into a smooth ball, stretching the surface and tucking the ends underneath. You don’t want to overwork the dough, this shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds. Repeat with the second half of dough,
- Put the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet and let rest at room temperature, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. The dough won’t rise significantly during this process and it may spread out a bit which is okay.
- Set one rack in the lowest position of the oven and one rack in the middle position, then preheat to 450 degrees F. Place a metal pan (any metal pan will work; just don’t use glass) on the bottom rack. (You will fill this with water later to create steam in the oven).
- Using a sharp knife, make a few ½-inch-deep cuts in the dough – any pattern you like!
- Slide the baking sheet with the dough into the oven then slide the bottom rack out with the extra pan and carefully fill it with one cup of hot tap water. (Try to do this quickly so as not to let heat out of the oven.) Bake until the loaf is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- This bread is best enjoyed the day it’s made. Slice and freeze any leftovers to be used past that.