This bread requires some work, and some special tools, but it’s just as good as store-bought artisan bread. In fact, it’s better, because you get to enjoy it warm. Adapted from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.
Makes 1 loaf (1 1/2 pounds)
Total time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Inactive: 3 hours
Cook: 30 minutes
Rest: 5 minutes
2 large egg whites
1 cup water, warm
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten with vitamin C
2 teaspoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until almost stiff and soft peaks are formed.
2. Add ingredients to Breadmaker pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer – usually the order listed above. Start the dough cycle.
3. When dough is ready, unplug machine. Open lid, and gently deflate dough with your fingers. Close lid and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from pan onto a lightly floured surface. Dough will be very soft, so you might need to use a dough scraper. Resist the urge to add a lot of flour to make the dough easier to work with. Knead a few times, adding a minimal amount of flour. Stretch into a 6 X 12 inch rectangle.
5. Roll dough from a long end into a tight log. Pinch seams to seal.
6. Place on a greased French bread pan (I bought mine at Williams Sonoma). Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour, in a warm, draft-free place.
6. 30 minutes before time is up, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of the oven with foil and place a heavy pan on top (I use a cast iron skillet).
7. When it’s time to bake the bread, use a sharp paring knife to snip the surface 4 times down the length of the loaf, 1 inch deep.
7. Place the bread in the preheated oven. Immediately place a few ice cubes in the preheated pan at the bottom of the oven, then quickly close the oven door. This will create steam, and stream creates a crusty bread crust.
8. Bake 32 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
9. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy warm.
Nutrition for 1/10 Loaf:
Total Fat 0.7 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 418.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.3
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 7.1 g
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 points