2 cups warm water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose ﬂour
4 cups bread ﬂour
1 cup whole-wheat ﬂour
¾ cup trahana (soured cracked wheat, available at Greek markets; coarse cracked wheat or bulgur may be substituted)
3 tablespoons grape syrup or honey
¼ ounce (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Combine all water, ﬂours, trahana, grape syrup, yeast, salt, and oil in a large mixing bowl and stir well to create a dough. The dough will appear soft at ﬁrst. But, as the cracked wheat starts to absorb moisture, it will ﬁrm up into a proper dough.
- Knead the dough by hand or machine. If by hand, turn it out onto a ﬂoured board and work it until it is smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes. If using a dough hook on an electric mixer, knead the dough at a slow speed for 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set it in a warm, draft-free place to rise until the dough has just about doubled in bulk, 60 to 75 minutes. (A perfect place in cool weather is a gas oven with the slight heat given oﬀ by the pilot light; an electric oven, turned on low for only 2 minutes, then turned oﬀ, but with the oven light left on, works equally well.)
- When the dough has doubled, turn it onto a ﬂoured board, punch it down, and divide it into two loaves. Form round loaves, taking time to round them up evenly until there are no wrinkles on top of the loaves. Moisten the top of the loaves with a wet towel or a sprayer and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place the loaves on a sheet pan dusted with ﬂour or cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a towel on the counter and let them rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- With a razor blade, cut four deep gashes to form a very large square on the surface of each loaf. Cover again with the towel, and let them rise another 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F with the rack positioned so that the bread will bake in the middle of the oven. If using a baking tile, it should be heating in the oven at the same time.
- Place the loaves in the oven and spray them well with a ﬁne mist of water. Repeat the misting two more times at 10-minute intervals. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a nice ﬁrm crust has formed. Test for doneness by rapping the bottom with your knuckle. The loaf should be ﬁrm and make a hollow sound. Cool on a wire rack.
Saturated Fat: 0g