Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cranberry-Walnut Homemade No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Cranberry-Walnut Homemade No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped dried cranberries

Run your tap water until it's very warm but doesn't burn your hand.
Fill a small bowl with 2 cups of warm water, add 2 T of maple syrup and 2 t. active dry yeast (this is 1/2 t. more than the original recipe because other folks said the dough rose better with more)
Gently stir the ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, you should see the yeast colonizing and bubbling.
Set your oven to 200 degrees. When it reaches 200 degrees, SHUT IT OFF.
In the meantime, in a large bowl, add the whole wheat flour and salt. Whisk the ingredients together. When the yeast mixture is ready, stir into the flour mixture for 1 minute, using a wooden or silicone spoon/spatula. The dough is a very wet dough. Don't be concerned about the consistency if you added the correct amount of ingredients. This is how it should be!
Add in the walnuts and dried cranberries and stir a few times to get them incorporated.
Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and place in the TURNED OFF oven. It should be nicely warm in the oven but not hot. Let the dough rise for 90 minutes. Take the bowl out and vigorously stir the dough for 30 seconds. Cover again with plastic wrap and return the bowl to oven for another 90-minute rise.

After the two "risings", put the dough into a loaf pan. It should be VERY non-stick, or you may have to lightly grease it (which I didn't do). Take a plastic grocery or produce bag and cover the loaf pan, leaving plenty of room all around it for rising. Let sit for 30 minutes. Due to the high water content in the dough it may begin to spill over the sides of the loaf pan. In this case, take the edges of the dough and stretch it over the loaf to the other side, working your way around the perimeter of the loaf pan as you go. Stretching the dough over itself will also help keep the loaf in its proper shape as it bakes. Lightly dust the top of the loaf with wheat germ, wheat bran or oat bran.

About 10 minutes before the "sitting" is complete, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes. You can insert a digital thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is at least 180-190 degrees. It SHOULD be done, though.

Remove the bread from the loaf pan after about 30 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack until it's cooled to room temperature. This bread is best stored covered in a cool dark place or pre-sliced and stored in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer.

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