Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4 Ingredient No Knead Whole Wheat Bread Anyone Can Make and Everlasting Yeast Tutorial w/ printable!

I have had a lot of requests to combine the recipe an tutorial for the no knead whole wheat bread and the everlasting yeast into one post. I'm happy to do it.  If you would like the printable tutorial, you can email directly stephanie@cheftessbakeresse.com . Or you can get the printable PDF by going  Here!

By Chef Stephanie Petersen

      This is the method I use for never having to buy yeast again and basically perpetuating everlasting yeast. It is strengthened by the length of its existence and a remarkable skill to have for not only saving money but for any emergency situation or camping. The bread made with it is not a sour dough, but can be a sourdough if you let the yeast go too long between uses. I'm amazingly fond of this method for the fact that I'm a cheap-skate and I really don't like spending money on something that should be free. For thousands of years people made yeast-raised bread without commercial yeast. Somewhere along the way we've become totally dependent on the powdered active-dry and instant yeast in our bread making. This doesn't have to be the case. In fact, in my house it is usually the exception. The bread made with everlasting yeast has remarkable depth of flavor and beautiful results. I make bread often enough that I haven't had a problem with my lump of dough ever getting too sour or molding. It has been a dear friend for quite some time. I dare say...about 5 years.

First, retain a small amount of dough from the next loaf of No Knead 4 Ingredient Overnight Wheat Bread (recipe here). I usually save about a half a cup of dough and keep it moist with 1/2 cup of cool water. Covered in a bucket 24 hours or less from the time I made my bread. It can be up to a week in the fridge, but in the summer here at room temperature I haven't gone longer than a day or two.

 Chef Tess’ No Knead 4 Ingredient Overnight Wheat Bread Anyone Can Make!
4 cups hard wheat flour (mill your own or use Ultra Grain Flour) 500 g
1 ½ tsp salt (6 g)
1/4 tsp instant yeast (or 1/2 tsp active dry yeast) (1 g)
2 cups water (under 110 degrees)

Directions:  Combine the ingredients in a 1 gallon food-grade bucket or a large 1 gallon bowl with a lid, just until everything is mixed and smooth. It takes about 20-30 turns by hand to get it all combined. Cover with a lid and keep covered 10-12 hours at room temperature until you're ready to bake bread. Once it has risen overnight you have two options. Form into bread (or rolls, cinnamon rolls, whatever) OR it can be kept in the fridge up to 7 days and warmed to room temperature to use for bread or pizza etc. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get it up to room temperature (70 degrees).

Form into a loaf (see detailed tutorial here) and place on a lightly oiled baking stone or in an 8 inch loaf pan that has been greased. Allow to rise in a warm room until doubled, about 2 hours. Bake at 375 degrees 35-40 minutes (meat thermometer will register 165 degrees or more). Enjoy!
Yields:  1 loaf of Whole Wheat Bread, 11 slices. 154 cal each slice

Everlasting Yeast Tutorial
I'm going with the old-school method here and just showing you what I do. I'm not going to weight the dough. You're just going to have to trust me. This is your yeast-dough-ball. It's is what I got from my last loaf of bread and is basically now the yeast you will use forever. Make friends because this can be around for many years to come.
Dissolve the yeast-dough ball in 3 1/2 cups of cool water in a food-grade gallon size bucket with a lid or you can also use a large plastic bowl. I don't use metal because if the dough does sour, I don't want to deal with a mess. It hasn't so far, but ya know...there's always a first time.
Smoosh and swirl it around until it is a liquid mixture.
To the bucket or bowl add 8 cups Hard White Wheat Bread Flour  and 2 tsp salt.
Mix and combine the dough by hand about 2 minutes. You don't need to knead it. Just combine it.
If it appears a little dry, add 1/4-1/2 cup more water.
It should be moist enough to stick to your hands, but not moist enough to fall in pools of pathetic sadness on the bottom of your bucket. It will hold it's structure.
Now that the dough is combined, cover it with a lid and let it sit at room temperature 12-14 hours. It can go up to 24 hours but not much longer. In cooler weather, it will take the full 24 hours to raise.
This is what it will look like when you take off the cover.
The dough will have some pretty nice gluten development.
It should look almost stringy.
Lightly flour your counter-top and transfer to dough to be made into 2 loaves of bread.

Retain one small handful of dough.
Add 1/2 cup of cool water to the handful of dough and put it back in your bucket. Cover. Use within 24 hours for more bread or put the lump and water in your fridge after 24 hours for up to 1 week. It will become sourdough after that time and will need to be discarded or it can be used for a sourdough bread starter in any of the many recipes I've done here on the blog for sourdough .
With the dough you have on your counter, follow the directions of the Sandwich loaf molding tutorial, but allow the loaves to raise about 3 hours (it may take up to 4 hours the first few times you use the yeast), covered at room temperature. The longer and more often you use your everlasting yeast-dough-ball the stronger it will be and that time will shorten dramatically.

Bake your bread in a hot oven or you can  use this: Baking Bread in a Solar Oven Tutorial. All I know is that the bread ends up being moist, delicious and well...amazing. You're going to love this method. It will save a lot of yeast money for other things...like grain to feed your family. There you go. Make some everlasting yeast.

©2012 Chef Stephanie Petersen. All Rights Reserved. Copies permitted only with permission and only with author information included.  http://www.cheftessbakeresse.com 


Anonymous said...


why does your bread crack on the top like that? is it because of the lack of oil or because it is whole wheat? it looks pretty and rustic, but i was just wondering why?


Chef Tess said...

I slit a line in the top of the loaf before I bake it so that it raises and splits in a uniform way. My oven is a lot older and it doesn't get really good circulation so I do that to keep it a nicer shape.

Anonymous said...

How long should it bake in the oven? And at what temperature? I'm excited to try it! Thanks!

Chef Tess said...

Bake at 375 degrees 35-40 minutes (meat thermometer will register 165 degrees or more). Enjoy!

Kelli said...

I've got a loaf in the oven right now, and I hope I did it correctly! The dough seemed awfully sticky when I was shaping it, and I ended up using a little bit of flour on the counter because I was worried that the dough was too wet. Is that how it's supposed to be?

Also, I noticed that the dough looked kind of dark on top when I took it out of the bowl. I had it covered all night, so it wasn't that it dried out. Was this normal as well?

Chef Tess said...

It will be pretty moist when you work with it and a little flour on the counter is fine. Just don't go crazy and use a cups full of flour. If you're doing the everlasting yeast it will be a little dark on top but shouldn't be dry. It sounds like it went well.

Glo @ Off The Grid at -30 said...

Wow! Can't wait to try this! My wood stove won't be starting up quite yet but this looks like the perfect bread recipe! Thank you!

Kathy said...

Does the basic recipe yield 1 loaf or 2? Under the No Knead Whole Wheat tutorial it says it yields 1 but in the Everlasting Yeast tutorial it says to make the dough into 2 loaves.

Chef Tess said...

If you go with the recipe amounts in the 4 ingredient bread, it will make 1 loaf. If you go with the ingredient amounts in the everlasting yeast tutorial, it will make two. Cut ingredient amounts in half for the everlasting yeast tutorial if you only want one loaf.

Heidi said...

Can't wait to try this, have quite a bit of hard white wheat on hand. I read in one of your other bread recipes to cook the loaves at 450 degrees (in Utah) for the first 20 minutes and then 350 degrees for the second 15 or 20 minutes...would you recommend that for the this whole wheat recipe or is it better to bake at a constant temperature the entire cooking time?

Chef Tess said...

In Utah with that high altitude, yes, I'd reccomend the higher temperature at first, 425 for 15 minutes and lowering it to 350 for 20 to 25 minutes (until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees or higher internal temperature). Great question!

offthegridat-30 said...

I'm planning on making your no knead bread recipe but one loaf is just too small of a batch. Will it work if I double or triple it? I bake with a wood stove and don't want to be heating the house up that much every other day. :)

Chef Tess said...

Yes. It will work to double or triple. Xoxo!