Traditional bread baking is a lengthy process with all the rounds of kneading and rising and kneading and rising. I find it very therapeutic, but there are times when my need for quick results out ways my need for therapy. This artisan style, whole wheat recipe fits the bill perfectly. It is healthy and takes almost no work!
Mix the flour, yeast and salt.
Add olive oil and water to the dry ingredients. The consistency will be similar to batter. Allow the dough to rest for 12-24 hours (or 2 hours if using the quicker version). The dough will be ready when bubbles start to appear. Tip: If your kitchen is chilly, you can set the oven temperature to 200 degrees, give it about 5 minutes to heat, and turn it off. Now place the dough in the oven, the warmth will encourage the yeast to activate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. .
Fold in the rosemary and pour the dough into the bread pan. Allow the dough to rise for about 60 minutes in the pan. (Have you noticed? No-kneading at all!) Bake the bread for 45 minutes. Test for doneness by thumping the loaf. It should have a hollow sound.
Enjoy steaming hot with a little butter and jam!
Whole Wheat Rosemary Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (1 ½ teaspoons for the even quicker version)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting (optional)
2 Tablespoons fresh Rosemary (optional)
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 3/4 cups water and stir until blended; the dough should be quite wet, almost like a batter (add some more water if it seems dry.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for at least 12 and up to 24 hours (2 hours if using 1 ½ t. yeast). The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
2. Grease the loaf pan. Fold in the rosemary your hands or a rubber spatula. Transfer the dough to the loaf pan, and use a rubber spatula to gently settle it in evenly. Brush the top with the remaining oil and sprinkle with cornmeal if you like. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, this could take one or two hours. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Bake the bread until deep golden and hollow-sounding when tapped, about 45 minutes. (An instant-read thermometer should register 200 degrees when inserted into the center of the loaf.) Immediately turn out of the pan onto a rack and let cool before slicing.
adapted from Food Matters by Mark Bittman