This recipe is another that appeared in Beard on Bread by James Beard. Among the many excellent recipes is this very simple no-knead recipe for a whole wheat bread. No-knead means you can mix it all up like a thick batter rather than dough, throw it in a pan and as soon as it has risen, bake it!! Beard describes how he found the recipe at Myrtle Allen's inn, Ballymaloe House, in Ireland. This is a firm bread that is wonderful with butter and cheese, and tastes like we all imagine wheat bread should taste
3 3/4 cups stone ground whole-wheat flour
1 pkg yeast
2 cups warm water (100 to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons dark molasses or honey
1 tablespoon salt
Put the flour and salt in an oven proof mixing bowl and place in a warm oven. Leave in the oven about 10 minutes. Both the flour and bowl should be just warm when you mix the bread dough.
Take 1/2 cup warm water, add 2 tbps honey and stir in the yeast. Allow to proof. When the flour feels warm to your fingers, remove the bowl from the oven. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour and salt and pour the water into the flour. Stir until you have a sticky dough, almost like a very thick batter. If the humidity is low (in Houston? like that's ever going to happen!!), you may need a little more liquid. If so, add water. If the dough seems too thin, add a tablespoon or two of flour and stir in well. Since you do not knead this dough, beat it for a minute or to get a better texture.
Butter a 9 x 5 x 3-inch bread pan and put the dough in. Smooth the top with a wet spoon. Cover and allow to rise by about one-third. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees about 20 minutes before the dough is risen - it will probably just reach the top of the pan. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If the bread is browning too quickly, lower the heat to 400F. Remove the bread from the pan and leave it in the turned-off oven for a few minutes to make the crust crisp. Set on a rack to cool. Brush the top and sides with a little butter while the loaf is still hot.