Bread baking for healthy anarchists

The more we take power away from government, corporations, and other outsiders, the more that our folk and community can benefit.  To remember traditional skills such as bread baking is to take power back into our own hands, and away from the over-specialised modern world.  We can bake delicious bread from 100% whole wheat flour, not having our food nutritionally watered down to satisfy ‘artisan’ and consumer pretensions about what bread should be.

Anyway, here’s the recipe.  It requires a bit of time, to develop flavour and a longer keeping quality, but it requires no kneading, and minimal effort.  This makes 2 big loaves, which I bake on a pizza stone.  The recipe can easily be halved, the dough can also be refrigerated for up to two weeks at any stage of the recipe.

Equipment needed:
1 bowl or bucket with a lid or cover, to hold at least 5 litres.
1 tough metal spoon
1 pizza stone or baking tray, or 2 loaf tins
bread knife
pastry brush and small bowl (optional)

Ingredients (for two loaves):
5 cups water
9 cups wholemeal wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon dry active or instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt

Time: roughly 36 hours

Day 1:
1 cup water
about 1/4 teaspoon of dry active yeast
1 cup wholemeal wheat flour

mix together and leave for 8-20 hours, around 12 hours works best.

~8-20 hours later, mix in:
2 cups water
3 cups wholemeal wheat flour

Day 2
~8-20 hours later, thoroughly mix in:
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
5 cups wholemeal wheat flour

leave for 8-20 hours, then cook.

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone in it to 200-240c depending on how hot your oven is.  Shape the loaves, I usually add a handful each of sultanas, currants and almonds and a tablespoon of barley malt syrup or sugar to one of them by spreading the dough into a flat rectangle, then rolling it up with the fruit and syrup in it.  Coat the loaves in seeds or cornmeal, then slash the top of the loaves about half a cm deep with a bread knife and put on the pizza stone.  Brush with hot water, then bake for about 40-45 minutes, brushing with water every 5-10 minutes, it makes the crust a bit better but isn’t essential.

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