Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Master Dough!

I know right... enough bread already! Let me explain, I was typing up a post on this amazing soup and garlic knot bun type things I made yesterday and remembered that I haven't written anything about the Master Recipe dough from the cookbook Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I also realized that I made the garlic knots with that master dough. So for you to make the next recipe you have to make the master dough. Thus, this post!

My favorite new recipe book (discovered at our lovely public library!) is Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I am so excited about this way of cooking! I have posted other recipes from this cookbook (Guacamole Bread & Simple Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread) and now I am posting the Master Recipe (that will keep for 14 days!)

The idea is that you make the dough (no kneading necessary) and store it in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Whenever you need to make a loaf of bread, you grab some dough, let it rest and pop it in the oven. Seems too easy to be so good,
but it really is the best bread I have ever made, tasted, or bought! It is simply amazing. If you are truly trying to eat clean, this is the easiest change. Bread found at the bakery is filled with things unnecessary for your body. This bread has only 6 ingredients! Not only are you saving your bodies but you are saving money. Buying flour and yeast in bulk will allow you to save money and make hundreds of loaves of bread!

I really am truly excited about this new way of making bread and eating clean. I hope you try it out and realize how amazing it really is.

Some of my future recipes will call for this dough (like the next post for Garlic Knots!) so if you are going to make a batch of dough and want to discover new uses for your dough, check out the labels on the right hand side of this blog under "Master Recipe Dough".

The Master Dough
From Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

5 1/2 cups Whole Wheat flour
2 cups All purpose flour, unbleached (if you use bleached flour, decrease the water content by 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 tbsp Granulated yeast (not fast acting or bread machine. Traditional or Active Dry is perfect)
1 tbsp Sea salt
1/4 cup Vital wheat gluten **found in the baking aisle with flours
4 cups Lukewarm water
  1. Measure the dry ingredients: Combine flours, yeast, salt and gluten in a large in a resealable, lidded plastic food container (not airtight - which most are not) or bowl.
  2. Mix with water - kneading is unnecessary. Warm the water until it feels slightly warmer than body temperature. This can be done simply by running your tap hot. Add all at once to the dry ingredients and mix, without kneading, with a spoon or heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour if you are not using a machine. When the dough is uniformly moist, without dry patches, you are done! The dough should be slightly wet and able to conform to the shape of its container.
  3. Allow to rise: Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and let rest at room temperature until top is flattened) approximately 2 hours. Longer rising time, even overnight, will not harm the results!
  4. Store in fridge: Fully refrigerated dough is easier to work with so it is suggested that you refrigerate for at least 3 hours the first time you use this method before using but you may use the dough after these 2 hours of rising. Store and use the dough over the next 14 days. **Do not punch down the dough! You are trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible and punching it down knocks gas out and will make your loaves dense.
  5. On Baking Day: Prepare a greased cookie sheet with olive oil spray. Dust the refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough. Add a little more flour to the dough in your hand so it will not stick. Shape the dough in 20-40 seconds by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating a quarter-turn as you go. The bottom of the dough will appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out and adhere during resting and baking. The entire process should take 20-40 seconds, any longer and your bread may be dense.
  6. Form a narrow oval-shaped loaf and let rest: Stretch the ball gently to elongate it. Allow the loaf to rest on the prepared cookie sheet for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough) covered loosely with plastic or clean tea towel. Do not panic if it does not rise up too much, it will spread sideways during this phase. More rising will occur during baking.
  7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a metal broiler pan on the bottom rack.
  8. Paint and slash: Just before baking, paint the top of the loaf with water. If you wish to add seeds (flax, poppy, sesame, raw sunflower, caraway, anise) you may sprinkle it on top now. Slash the loaf with 1/4-inch-deep parallel cuts across the top. Use a serrated bread knife.
  9. Baking with Steam: Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Quickly but carefully pour about 1 cup of water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. If you do not wish to use this broiler tray method (I don't...), use a food-grade spray bottle with water in it. Spray the loaf 3 times in the first 2 minutes with water to create a beautiful crust!
  10. Let cool completely before slicing and enjoying!

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