whole wheat bread, homemade, no-knead cloche method, cream cheese, fresh garden tomato



Biga started 24 hours in advance. Anywhere from 8 -- 12 hours will do. This looked ready at 7 hours. So, a bit overproofed. Proofing initiated with only 1/4 teaspoon yeast.

Whole wheat bread is never 100% whole wheat or else the loaf will turn out like a brick. It is too heavy and dense so all purpose flour is included to lighten the loaf. Usually no more than 50% whole wheat and that is pushing it. This is more than 1/3 whole wheat but less than 1/2. This is a difficult thing for beginner bakers to accept, but that is just the way it is, so get over it. 

By weight: roughly 14 oz. water, 4 oz whole wheat flour, 10 oz all purpose flour
By cup: 1 + 3/4 cup water, 1 C whole wheat flour, 2 + 1/2 C all purpose white flour
1 T salt (added at the beginning retards the yeast somewhat) 





This sticky wetness is what allows the dough to rise beyond regular dough. We want the dough to be wet and somewhat difficult to manage because of it. 


The hands are powdered with flour, the bench scrapper too. This is how the wet dough is managed. An entire side is lifted from the work surface and pulled away from the body, then folded back to the edge. This stretching along with the extended time proofing is what constitutes kneading and substitutes for working the dough. It redistributes the yeast cells inside putting them in proximity with like-type yeast allowing them to reproduce sexually as well as simple budding.



A full side is lifted and pulled in the same manner.


Then the opposite side. The flattened dough is being stacked, the stretching produces a skin.


The front is pulled, stretched and folded the same way. Now the flattened dough becomes a stack of wet layers inside. 



The pile is pinched around the edges to seal it. Dusted with flour and pushed around using the bench scrapper to form a reasonable shape. This is showing ↑ the size of the dough in relation with the bench scrapper, 6 inches.

This is showing ↓ the loaf expanded somewhat after it is covered and rested, the yeast redistributed inside, proofed for some 20 - 30 minutes or so while the oven and clay cloche with its lid are heated to maximum oven heat, about 550℉, the numbers go only to 500℉.


Baked for 30 minutes then uncovered and baked an additional 10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 200℉ thereabout. When tapped the loaf will sound hollow.









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