I am in Vail for a conference. Had to climb over 11,000 feet twice to get here. Staying in a honeymoon suite with my favorite partner in ukulele crime, Linda. She and I are training for the Olympic swim trials in our bathtub and trying to keep ourselves from singing too much Frank Sinatra in our white bathrobes and terry-cloth flippie floppies. There are fire places and shallow basins of pecans and walnuts and chardonnay around every corner. And I say, Let them eat Wheat.
Italian Whole-Grain Bread
Adapted from the Village Baker
¾ cup milk sour starter (or regular sourdough starter)
½ cup milk
1 cup warm water
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cup rye flour (I used 1 cup rye, ¼ cup cracked rye grain)
1 tbsp salt
Mix the water and the starter with the milk. Add the flours and mix with a wooden spoon. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes on a work table. Return dough to an oiled bowl and let rise for 6-8 hours. Divide dough in half and shape into two round loaves. Now here’s where I messed up, because I couldn’t understand the directions. You are supposed to flatten the rounds and fold the edges into the center. Then place the loaf into a floured and cloth-lined banneton. I just put the round straight into the banneton, so mine lack the “distinctive shape”—maybe next time. I basically just did them as boules. Let the rounds cold rise, covered, for 15-24 hours in the refrigerator.
Then remove and let them rise for another 4 hours at room temperature. Bake for 35 minutes at 450 in a humid oven.
This was particularly good after sitting out for a day, and toasted. I love to eat bread plain, and I found this had a lot of complex flavor that made it a tasty treat all by itself. But, I’m a bread freak. I also like to eat my Cheerios plain so take my recommendation for what it’s worth. Here’s me and Linda in our palatine bathroom: