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Whole Wheat Bread

Pane Integrale

Makes 1 Large Loaf

I developed this wheat bread using the Basic Dough recipe from my book CIAO ITALIA. I have simply changed the ratio of unbleached flour to whole wheat flour, and added malt barley because the sugars in it cause rapid multiplication of yeast cells. Malt barley is used by many bread bakers in Italy to help give color and rise to their breads. You can find it in health food stores or by mail order. Add an equal amount of sugar if malt barley is not available.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 3/4 cups warm water (110º to 115ºF)

2 teaspoons malt barley or sugar

1 cup King Arthur™ whole wheat flour

3 cups (12 ounces) King Arthur™ unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon wheat bran

Directions

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water. Allow the yeast to proof until it is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups water and malt barley or sugar and mix well. Set the bowl aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, and the salt. Add to the yeast mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. At this point, the mixture will be very soft. Add the remaining flour and mix with your hands until a ball of dough is formed. Add additional all-purpose flour as needed to make a soft dough.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it for 5 to 10 minutes, folding the dough over on itself several times, until it is shiny and elastic. Let the dough rest, covered, on a floured surface for 5 minutes.

Grease a bowl with the olive oil. Put the dough in it and turn the dough a few times to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then a towel, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and knead it a few times on a floured surface. Shape the dough into a round, oval, or braid and place on a baking sheet. Cover the bread and let rise about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a baking sheet.

Just before baking, brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle on the wheat bran. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top and bottom are nicely browned. Remove the bread to a rack to cool completely.

This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1993.

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