Adapted from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Bread machine time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Rising time (in the bread machine) 30 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes
Cooling time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 1 loaf
Ingredients: Make sure you place the ingredients in the order given. This recipe is for a medium loaf which for my bread maker means 1½ lb (680g) loaf
1¼ cups plus 1 tbsp buttermilk (or 1 ¼ cups milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice)
2½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup whole grain spelt flour or ½ cup more whole wheat flour (my choice)
1 tbsp gluten with vitamin C
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp SAF yeast or 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp bread machine yeast (my choice)
1. Place all the ingredients IN ORDER into the bread machine. Select Dough setting and press start. (My machine takes 1 hour 20 minutes). This dough is very sticky so when it’s ready to come out of the bread machine, just quickly tip it onto a prepared pan.
2. When the bread machine beeps at the end of the dough cycle, press STOP and unplug the machine. Open the lid and use your fingers (I oiled mine a little) to deflate the dough. Let the dough rise in the machine for another 30 minutes (kitchen timer is useful here).
3.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured working surface (I used whole wheat flour). Knead a few times and pat into a 12”x6” rectangle. Roll up from the long edge into a flat loaf and roll back and forth with your palms to make pointed eggs. Fold the log of dough in half lengthwise and pinch seams to seal. Roll the dough back and forth again (my loaf seemed to twist, but I liked the effect) to make the loaf about 14” long. Cover gently with a damp dish towel and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk – about 1 hour.
4. Twenty minutes before baking, place a baking stone on the center rack of a cold oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C. Place an EMPTY cake pan or broiler tray out of the way of your stone (I put mine on the lowest shelf, off to one side). Even though my oven preheats quickly, I leave the oven on for 20 minutes before lowering the heat to 400°F/200°C.
5. Holding kitchen shears at 45 degree angle, snip the surface 5 or 6 times down the length of the loaf, cutting no more than 1” deep.
6. Sprinkle a little flour directly on your pizza/baking stone. Using a dough scraper or steel spatula to help you, slide the loaf onto the prepared stone. Just before shutting the door add 1 cup hot tap water to the hot empty baking pan. This will steam the oven and make a very crispy crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the surface is dark brown and sounds hollow when you tap the top.
7. Remove and let it cool on a rack.
Best served right out of the oven, but almost as good toasted the next day for breakfast or cut in cubes and made into croutons.