This hearty whole wheat bread is perfect for chilly days when all that's missing from your dinner plan is a fresh loaf of bread. We like to add a hit of fresh chopped herbs like rosemary or thyme, an optional (but delicious) addition. We found that adding a few sets of stretches/folds helps add gluten strength and structure to the dough but if you're looking for a more hands-off approach, feel free to skip them.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 3/ 4 cups bread flour
- 2 1/ 4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 3/ 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary of thyme (optional)
- Olive oil, as needed, to grease bowl
In a large bowl, mix the two flours the salt and the yeast until combined. Make a well in the center, then pour in water and chopped herbs, if using, and mix with your hands so that the flour and water are combined and a loose dough comes together. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let rise for 2 hours. Note: you can perform two sets of stretches/folds at the beginning of the first rise to add structure and strength to the dough, if desired. Using a moistened hand, grab one side of the dough, gently stretch it upwards, then fold it into the center. Repeat on all sides. Let dough rest for 30 minutes, then repeat.
After two hours, punch down the center of the dough and fold all sides into the center. Cover again and let it rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.
After the second rise, sprinkle a clean work surface with a light dusting on flour. Fold the sides of the dough into the center, then sprinkle with more flour. Flip dough and form a tight ball, using more flour as needed. Lightly grease a clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough into bowl and cover. Place your Dutch oven and lid in the oven and preheat to 450°F for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, carefully take your Dutch oven out of the oven. Invert dough onto a lightly floured surface or sheet of parchment paper, then carefully transfer to the hot pot. Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for 15 more minutes. To test if bead is done, carefully tap on the surface with your hand or a spoon. If it sounds hollow, it's ready.
Remove bread from the Dutch oven and let cool 30 minutes on a rack before serving.