Makes one 9-inch loaf
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons and reduce the first rise to 2 hours and the second rise to 1 hour)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil (Note: Bittman loves his oil. Me, not so much. I reduced it to just 1 tablespoon, and it came out just fine.)
- Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; the dough should be quite wet, almost like a batter (add more water if it seems dry). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for at least 12 (or up to 24) hours. Use more instant yeast to reduce the rise time (see above). The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
- Use some of the oil to grease a 9X5-inch loaf pan. Scoop the dough into the pan and use a rubber spatula to gently settle it in evenly. Brush or drizzle with the remaining oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, an hour or 2 depending on the warmth of your kitchen. (It won't reach the top of the pan, or will just barely.)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake until deeply brown and hollow-sounding when tapped, about 45 minutes.