Whole Wheat Refrigerator Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Prep time: 3 minutes

Sit time: 4 hours to several days

Cook time: 30 minutes

Cost: $.50

flour: .20, whole wheat flour: .20, yeast: .10)

2 C all-purpose flour

1 C white whole wheat flour

2 1/4 Tbsp yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 C lukewarm water

Combine the dry ingredients and add the water. 

Stir it until it becomes somewhat spongy. It's gonna look different than a normal loaf of kneaded bread. You don't need to stir it a lot, just until the ingredients are combined.  

Cover it up and leave it out for 4 hours. Then you can bake it if you wish. Or you can throw it in the refrigerator for several days (by several I don't mean 21 or anything; I'm talking more like 3 or 4; we left ours for 24 hours). 

The dough will expand and look wetter and spongier. 

When you're ready to cook it, fold it over a time or two. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. If it's been refrigerated, give it longer. It needs to get to room temperature (our all white bread got left out waaaay too long and I thought we'd ruined it and that it would come out just one big burned bubble, but all was well, so don't stress too much if you get distracted or go do your shopping or feel like hanging out on the phone with your credit card company for 17 hours). 

While your dough is hanging out, you're going to put your oven rack on the lower third of the oven. Then you're going to put your oven proof pot or Dutch oven in the cold oven with its lid (we used our Dutch oven). Then you're going to turn the oven on. Heat the oven (and pot) to 450 degrees. Also, please be sure your pot can handle heat that high. (Cheap Healthy Good recommends using interwebs for this.)

Now (this is the hardest part), take your pot out. Do I need to say to be careful? Please be careful. It is 450 degrees. That's a little more than a warm summer's day. 

Unless your pan is really well-seasoned (which mine wasn't), put a pre-cut square of parchment paper on the bottom. Dump your dough into the hot pan (yup, it's still crazy hot; don't touch it). Cover it (again carefully--the lid's hot too). Now put it carefully into the oven. Make sure your kids aren't around. You don't want to have to do this while standing on one foot and using the other foot to hold your toddler back. Also, please remember that part in Hansel and Gretal when the children push the witch into her own oven and cook her. Do not let this happen to you. Not that your kids would do it on purpose, mind you (well, unless you just took their Halloween candy and pitched the rest of it, or, worse, ate it all and said you pitched it because it wasn't good for them). But we all know you or your toddler may have ignored my original warning. So, you're already holding back your toddler and cat with one foot and everyone's crying (seriously, I'm trying to be funny here, but don't do this) and you're holding a pot that's 450 degrees and standing in front of an oven that's the same temperature and what you really don't need is an intense game of tag to rip through your kitchen at this moment. Lock the kids in the bathroom. And don't eat their Halloween candy before you plan to make this bread. Eat it after. Thank you. 

Okay, now bake the bread for 30 minutes. Don't forget to let the kids out of the bathroom. 

Take the bread out. Are you still being careful? Have you sent the kids outside with their game of tag--freezing temperatures be darned? Very very carefully remove the lid (there may be steam). Put the pot back in for 5-10 minutes to brown the top of the bread. Then take it out again. 

Eat it. It's delicious. And, provided you haven't been pushed into an oven, it's really easy too. 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: tastycheapskate.blogspot.com