Summer is not the best season to bake, specially if you live in a little 3 rooms appartament (like I do!). But this recipe was waiting for me since last June and I couldn’t wait anymore, so I turned the oven on.
What I love the most about this bread is its consistency: very soft inside and crunchy outside…plus it looks really great (I made other bread experiments in the past: great taste but awful look….but this one, oh my!!).
It is not a real quick recipe, as you have to let the yeast acting for 1 hr plus 40 mins, but bread needs its time to turn out the amazing thing it is. So, be patient but I promise the waiting will be worth it (specially if you cut a slice, spread a layer of mustard and some smoked prosciutto on it!)
- 21/2 cups buttermilk (warm)
- 2 tbsps honey
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 51/2 cups whole wheat flour (fine grind)
- 11/4 cups bread flour (unbleached)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsps unsalted butter (soft)
- 1 egg white (mixed with a tablespoon of water)
- 1 water
- Warm the buttermilk to body temperature. In other words when you stick a finger into it you shouldn’t feel it.
- Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the tablespoon of yeast and the honey to it. Let the yeast dissolve either by whisking it or letting it bloom. Add the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of bread flour, egg and salt.
- Using a thick handled wooden spoon mix the dough in a circular fashion adding the softened butter once the dough has started to form. Once the dough has formed remove it from the bowl to a clean counter top and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and the gluten has formed. Consider this your workout for the day. Roll the dough into a tight ball.
- Place the dough back into the bowl , cover it with a damp warm towel and set it in a warm place. Set a timer for 1 hour.
- At the end of the hour punch down the dough and set the timer for another hour. At the end of this hour the dough should be doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll it into two balls
- Place the balls into prepared pans (a round cake pan with parchment will work just fine).. Cover with a warm damp towel and let the dough rise for 40 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Once the dough have doubled brush it with the egg wash. You can also dust the tops with flour but if you do this don’t use the egg wash.
- Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes rotating them halfway through baking.
- Remove the pans from the oven and remove them from the bread pans to a rack and let them cool.