I've been looking to branch out with the grains I use in my breads. Flipping through Bread Alone, I found a recipe for wheat bread with whole wheat berries. A friend just happened to have a jar of wheat berries on hand, so I was in business!
First things first: soak the wheat berries overnight.
Next we prepare the dough. The recipes in Bread Alone are fairly big--this guy weighed in at 4# 4oz! It's right about the limit for my 5.5qt Kitchenaid. You can see the dough trying to escape below. I kneaded for 6 minutes, then finished by hand for some undertermined time. The wheat berries kept trying to escape from the dough, so I had to chase them around the counter as I kneaded. I'm sure it was terribly comical.
After a 2-hour rise, I split the dough in half, formed them into boules, and popped them into my prepared bannetons.
While they were rising, I prepared for hearth baking, with my Fibrament stone on the bottom and a sheet pan for water on top.
After almost 2 hours, it was time to bake. Out of the banneton and onto my Superpeel, then slashed and into the oven. The oven had been heating at 550F for about 45 minutes.
After putting water in the steam pan, I reduced the temp to the 450F the recipe calls for. 15 minutes later I rotated the loaves and reduced the temp to 400F. 15 more minutes, and bread's done!
This recipe is a definite keeper. The inside is soft and chewy, the high whole wheat content lends tons of flavor, and the whole wheat berries add a welcome little crunch and their own flavor to the party.