I have made so many everyday loaves over the years. I have a collection of favorites, and yet since I make them so frequently, I still look for new ones to add to my cache. This recipe comes from one of my favorite wholesome baking books, Recipes from the Old Mill by Sarah E. Myers and Mary Beth Lind. Despite having tried close to half of the recipes before, I somehow had never noticed this one, which reads “This is my favorite bread, the one I always come back to.” How did I miss that? I always want to try a baker’s favorite go-to bread! So, I pioneered it last week, and I think my husband mentioned three times, while cutting it one morning, what a fan he was. So, now it’s part of the honored collection.
Old Mill Bread
2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. honey
2 t. salt
2 packages dry yeast (2- 2 1/4 t.)
1/2 c. warm water
1/4 c. oil
1/2 rye flour
1-2 c. whole wheat flour
3-4 c. flour
Mix together boiling water, cornmeal, honey, and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Once the cornmeal mixture is lukewarm, add the oil and the yeast. Mix well, then add the rye and wheat flour. Continue to add the water flour until you have a soft, but not dry, dough.
Knead by hand for 10 minutes, or in a standing mixer for 5-6 minutes at level 4. Once well kneaded, place the dough into a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Punch down and divide into three parts (for the picture, I divided the dough into just two sections, to make two extra large loaves, instead of three). Taking one amount at a time, flatten into a rectangle (about 12 in. by 8 in. with the short side facing you) and then tightly roll to make a loaf, tucking the dough into the sides as you roll if it starts to balloon out. Place into greased bread pan and shape the remaining two dough balls.
Let rise again for 45-60 min. Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 35-45 minutes (until 190 degrees). Immediately turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack once done, to prevent the loaf from getting soggy.
Cinnamon Raisin Variation: After the first rise, once you have created a rectangle, sprinkle the dough with brown sugar, raisins, and cinnamon, and roll in a similar fashion to before.