ADVENTURES IN BREAD MAKING: 75% WHOLE WHEAT WITH LEVAIN

75% Whole Wheat with Levain
75% Whole Wheat with Levain
Working at a gym, I am well versed in all the crazy trendy diets out there. One that I don’t really get is the gluten-free thing when you aren’t even gluten intolerant. I can guarantee that these (mostly) women have read or at least seen snippets of Wheat Belly and have since condemned wheat and specifically gluten as the devil. Of course, most of the conversations that I overhear go something along the lines of, “Have you tried that great gluten-free bread/snack/packaged something-or-rather,” at which point I have to roll my eyes a little. That slice of bread that you’re giving up? It would do you a lot less damage than that gluten-free garbage that you’re having instead.

Being so interested in food, food politics and cooking, it’s hard not to define myself by my diet. Vegetarian? Vegan? Paleo? Keto? I made the decision a few weeks back to reintroduce meat into my diet, and while I have yet to actually do so, it struck up an interesting conversation between Gabi and myself about the slight identity crisis that comes with this sort of thing. Our take on the matter is that since we have followed strict-vegetarian diets for so long, our identities are ultimately wrapped up our eating habits. We both follow plant-based diet for different reasons—Gabi more so for the animals, and myself as a political and health stance. My decision to move away from a strict-vegetarian diet and furthermore to move away from labeling my eating habits in general, was not an easy one. However, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for nearly two years, and now feels like the right time.

There is so much more that goes along with the consumption of food than the actual act. There are cultural aspects in regards to food preparation and practices, as well as the social aspect of food. Instead of smacking a label on eating habits and defining ourselves this way, we ought to focus on the important thing: finding nourishment and utter enjoyment in the bounties of the Earth.

I find great pleasure in the simplicity of enjoying a fresh-baked loaf of bread. The actual act of breaking bread with friends and family is something that I hold near and dear, much more so than any of the restrictions that I—we—place on ourselves from attempting to categorize our eating habits.

75%+ Whole Wheat with Levain
75 Percent Whole Wheat with Levain
75%+ WHOLE WHEAT BREAD WITH LEVAIN // Makes 2 loaves
Every so slightly adapted from Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast

For your levain
100g mature levain
400g all purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
400g 32C water

For your final dough
50g white flour
750g whole wheat flour
660g 35C water
20g sea salt
1/2 tsp instant dried yeast
360g levain

Feed your mature levain six to eight hours before mixing the final dough. More information regarding creating a levain can be found in the book. In a large tub, combine white and whole wheat flours with water by hand. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Add salt and weighed levain and mix by hand using folding and pincer methods. Cover and allow to rest. The dough needs three folds, which should be made within the first 1 1/2 to 2 hours after mixing.

Roughly five hours later after the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to be divided into two. Shape the dough using methods outlined in Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, then place the dough into proofing baskets (or large bowls lined with floured kitchen towels) overnight.

Preheat the oven to 475F an hour before cooking. While the oven is heating, place 2 Dutch ovens on the rack with lids on. Turn out the dough into the Dutch ovens. Bake with lid on for 30 minutes, followed by ~20 minutes with lid off.

I found it's great served with a pat of butter or honey.

This post first appeared on with wanderlust.

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