No-knead bread (whole-wheat version*)

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From Vince Lackowski

[Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery. In the photo above the NKB is the round at top right.]

Time: About 11/2 hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour**
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 500 mg Vitamin C tablet crushed into a powder (optional – helps w/ gluten
development)
2 teaspoons salt (I used Kosher salt)
a few Tbsp oat bran, wheat bran, flax seeds, etc.
 
1. In a large bowl combine yeast and 1 5/8 cups warm water, stir and let it proof for a few minutes. Add flours, salt and vitamin C, mix with a wooden spoon until well blended, dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 65-70 degrees.     
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles and has significantly risen. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, or the wheat bran, oat bran, flax seeds ; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour or bran. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When it is ready, dough will have about doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up, trying to not deflate the dough too much; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cut a few slashes in the top, cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 11/2-pound loaf.

* For the white version just use three cups of the unbleached bread flour.
**Experiment with any other types of flours but use at least 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the unbleached.

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