Going with the Grain Bread Recipe
- 1 large loaf, 12 to 14 slices
- 4 hr 20 min
FIRST RISE: Remove the yeast envelope and cornmeal-seed package (used for garnish) from the jar. In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the jar of mix and 1 teaspoon of the yeast. Vigorously stir the ice water into the dry mix, scraping down the bowl sides and stirring until completely blended. If the dough is too dry to mix, gradually stir in just enough more ice water to blend the mixture; the dough should be stiff. Brush the top with a little oil. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If desired, for best flavor or for convenience, refrigerate for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature (about 70°F) for 12 to 18 hours.
SECOND RISE: Generously oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle half the cornmeal-seed mixture into the pan. Stir the dough briefly. With an oiled rubber spatula, scrape the dough in towards the center, working all the way around the bowl. Invert the dough into the pan. Brush the top lightly with oil, then smooth out and press into the pan with oiled fingertips. Brush the top generously with water, and immediately sprinkle the remaining cornmeal-seed mixture over the top. Cut a ½-inch deep slash down the dough center using oiled kitchen shears or serrated knife. Cover the pan with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap.
LET RISE USING EITHER OF THESE METHODS: For a 2- to 4-hour regular rise, let stand at warm (74° to 75°F) room temperature; or, for a 45-minute to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in a turned-off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling-hot water. When the dough nears the plastic, remove it and continue the rise until the dough extends ½ inch above the pan rim.
BAKING PRELIMINARIES: 15 minutes before baking time, put a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Set the broiler pan on the oven floor.
BAKING: Reduce the heat to 425°F. Add a cup of water to the broiler pan, being careful of splattering and steam; don’t refill if it boils dry. Bake on the lower rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned. Cover the top with foil and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just slightly moist particles clinging to the bottom portion (or until the center registers 204° to 207°F on an instant-read thermometer). Bake for 5 minutes more to ensure the center is fully done. Remove the loaf to the rack and cool completely.
SERVING AND STORING: The loaf slices best when cool, but is good served warm or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing. To maintain the crisp crust, store wrapped in a clean kitchen towel. Or store airtight in a plastic bag or wrapped in foil; this will prevent the loaf from drying out, but will cause the crust to soften. Store at room temperature for 3 days; freeze, airtight, for up to 2 months, then thaw, unwrapped, at room temperature. When thawed, re-crisp in a 375°F oven for a few minutes, if desired.
Recipe provided courtesy of Nancy Baggett.