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Wheat Berry Bread

September 27, 2012

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The other day, I fell in love with wheat berries.

I don’t know how they’d escaped my attention all these years, but now that I’ve discovered them, I’ll likely fixate on incorporating them regularly into my menus.

I fell for them first in a salad — cooking them in simmering water for about an hour, then draining them and adding EVOO, lemon juice, celery, scallions, almonds, raisins, cilantro, salt & pepper.

I didn’t measure a thing so I can’t provide an actual recipe. But I’ll measure next time and post it. It was delicious. Nutty, crunchy, flavorful, filling, with just a touch of sweetness — all together satisfying.

But I’d cooked so much — not knowing what the yield would be from what I’d prepared — that I had about 1 1/2 cups of plain cooked wheat berries left over.

So the next day, I thought I’d try adding them to the no knead bread I make so often. I’d previously packaged the pre measured dry ingredients in zip locks and stashed them in the pantry so it was that much easier.

The result: a really hearty, big loaf of bread with loads of whole grain appeal. Crusty with a bit of crunch on the outside, a lovely moist & rustic texture inside.

I’ll definitely be making it again!

You’ll Need:

3 cups bread flour

1 packet instant yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water (or perhaps a little more)

1 1/2 cups cooked & drained wheat berries

Canola Oil

A large mixing bowl

A fork

A plate

Saran Wrap

A Dutch oven with a lid

Steps:

1. Mix the flour, yeast & salt in the large mixing bowl with a fork.

2. Add the water, continuing to mix with a fork. The dough should be moist & shaggy & depending on the flour you may need a bit more than 1 1/2 cups of water.

3. Cover with Saran Wrap & place in a warm location (70 degrees or so) for 4 hours.

4. At the end of 4 hours, fold in the cooked wheat berries.

5. Pour canola oil onto a plate & tip it so the plate is covered with oil.

6. Turn the dough out onto the oiled plate, then fold the dough over itself a few times, being sure the resulting blob of dough is coated all over with oil.

7. Cover again with Saran Wrap and allow the dough to rest while you prepare the Dutch oven for baking.

8. Put the Dutch oven with the lid on into the oven and heat the oven to 450.

9. When the oven reaches temperature, carefully remove the lid, them uncover the dough & carefully tip it in the hot Dutch oven. Put the lid back on.

10. Cook for 30 minutes covered, then remove the lid & cook for 30 minutes more.

11. Take the bread out carefully & put on a bread board to cool.

12. Leftover fully cooled bread is best stored wrapped in a clean cotton dish towel.

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