Toast Oven Breads :: Sweet and Savory Yeast Breads
This is a rich old-fashioned bread.
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 C. lukewarm water
1/2 C. cornmeal
3/4 C. cold water
1 1/2 C. boiling water or milk
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 C. dark molasses
2 Tbsp. salt
3 C. whole wheat flour
3 C. unbleached white flour, unsifted
Dissolve yeast in warm water for 5 min. Meanwhile, put cornmeal into the 3/4 C. cold water and soak. Pour this mixture into the boiling water and stir over low heat until mixture comes to a boil again. Remove from heat; add butter, molasses and salt. Cool to 95 degrees F to 105 degrees F. Be sure it is cooled at least to body temperature. You can place it in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, to speed up the cooling process.
Combine yeast and liquid cornmeal mixture. Put the whole wheat flour into a lrg. mixing bowl, add liquid all at once, and mix into a smooth batter for 3 to 5 min.
Gradually add white flour and beat and knead until smooth, elastic and non-sticky. Cover dough and let rest for 2 min. Gently knead and form into a ball.
Place dough in a well-buttered 6-qt. bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise slowly for 3 hr., or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, place on a lightly floured surface, cut in half, cover, and let rest for 1 min.
Flatten dough into 2 3/4-in. thick rectangles. Fold each in thirds, turn and flatten again in the opposite direction. Roll into tight cylinders, pin.ing seam and ends. Roll back and forth until cylinders are the length of the bread pans.
Place dough in 2 well-buttered bread pans, seam down, and cover. Let rise slowly at 75 degrees F room temperature for 1 1/2 hr. or until dough has filled pans and curves above the edges. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake for 15 min., checking to see that crust isnt browning too much. If it is, cover with foil. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 min. more. Bread is done when it pulls from the edges of pans, the crusts are firm, and a finger tapped on the bottom of a pan makes a hollow thump.
Remove from pans, place on a rack and return to a turned-off oven, door ajar, for 15 min., to set the crust.
Cool on a rack. When cool, place in plastic bags and store or freeze immediately.