Whole-Wheat Rustic Italian Bread

Whole-Wheat Rustic Italian BreadWhole-Wheat Rustic Italian Bread
 
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, September 2003

Notes: CI tackles bread from time to time, and I generally like their approach, e.g. here's my version of their ciabatta, their almost no-knead bread, etc. So for the Family Day holiday, I decided to make a loaf of fresh bread as part of a casual brunch we hosted. On Sunday morning, with my son's help, I made the biga and let it sit in the fridge all day. In the evening, I mixed the dough, did the first rise at room temperature, then put the loaf in the fridge overnight for the second rise.

The next morning, I shaped, did the final rise, and baked it in a nice hot oven. Without a spray bottle handy, I just dabbed my hands in water and gently wet the surface of the dough. My baking stone is somewhere outside (where it sometimes is used in our Big Green Egg) so I just preheated a sheet pan upside down. What a giant loaf! It turned out beautifully, with great oven spring, and a nice, crisp and chewy crust. Very delicious, especially served warm with black bean soup and various dips!

Kid and KitchenAid

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