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Author Notes: After years of experimenting with bread recipes that weren't quite right, I have combined what I've learned in this easy whole wheat recipe. I bake this loaf every Sunday and it consistently comes out great. Also works great with added herbs and spices like lavender, rosemary, or cinnamon. —Emily
Makes one 8-inch round
- 3 cups Whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (divided)
- 1/2 tablespoon active yeast
- 2 cups warm water (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon oil
- In a small bowl, combine 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, 1/2 c. of warm water, and yeast. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. With a wooden spoon mix in remaining warm water.
- Once yeast mixture begins to form bubbles (~5 minutes), stir mixture into dry ingredients. Dough should be very wet and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 6 hours.
- Dough should rise significantly, almost doubling in size. Remove plastic wrap, wet hands, and scrape dough from the outside of the bowl, folding to the middle. Dough will be very sticky. Work clockwise around the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for another 60-90 minutes.
- While dough sits, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Once oven is ready, heat an empty 3 1/2 quart dutch oven (with lid) for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap from dough and dump dough onto a floured surface. With wet hands, knead dough into a smooth round.
- Remove preheated dutch oven from oven and swirl 1/4 tsp. of oil in the bottom. Drop dough round into dutch oven.
- Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crust is browned. Let cool completely before slicing.