These rustic olive- and herb-flecked loaves are light-textured, flavorful, aromatic and crisp on top. They are a fine accompaniment to many hearty soups and stews. To simplify preparations, kneading is skipped and the gluten is developed by beating the dough with an electric mixer. Although the recipe calls for regular active dry yeast, a quick-rise or rapid-rise yeast may be substituted by slightly reducing the total amount used; the rising times may be a little shorter than for regular yeast. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
To make ahead: Store cooled loaves, tightly wrapped, for 3 days at room temperature or freeze for up to 2 weeks. If frozen, thaw completely and, if desired, warm (wrapped in foil) at 350°F before serving.
Tips: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. Two companies that distribute the flour nationally are King Arthur Flour (kingarthurflour.com) and Bob's Red Mill (bobsredmill.com).
Create your own warm, moist, draft-free environment for raising bread dough by microwaving 1/2 cup water in a 1-cup glass measure just to boiling. Set the water in one corner of the microwave. Set the bowl of dough on the other side and close the door. The heat from the water will keep the interior warm. After the first rising, reheat the water, then put in the two loaves and proceed with the second (brief) rising.
Serving Size: 1 slice
154 calories; protein 4.4g; carbohydrates 28g; dietary fiber 2.5g; sugars 1.7g; fat 3g; saturated fat 0.5g; vitamin a iu 20.9IU; vitamin c 0.2mg; folate 78.3mcg; calcium 11.7mg; iron 1.5mg; magnesium 27.3mg; potassium 87.8mg; sodium 281.9mg; thiamin 0.3mg.