Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes plus rising times
Servings: Makes 3 medium loaves
Note: Adapted from "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman. Specialty flours are available at select well-stocked markets, health food, cooking and baking supply stores, as well as online.This recipe can also be used to make about 3 dozen dinner rolls.
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1 1/8 cups (3.8 ounces) rolled oats
3/4 cup (3.8 ounces) flaxseeds
1 1/2 cups (2.6 ounces) wheat bran
5/8 cup (2.6 ounces) cornmeal
2 cups water
Prepare a cold soaker: In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flaxseeds, wheat bran and cornmeal with the water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap while you assemble the remaining ingredients.
1 5/8 cups (12.8 ounces) water
3 5/8 cups (1 pound) high-gluten flour
2 7/8 cups (12.8 ounces) whole wheat flour
7/8 cup (3.2 ounces) rye flour
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (1.6 ounces) vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons (0.9 ounce) salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (0.8 ounce) instant yeast
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large bowl if mixing by hand), combine the soaker with the water, along with the high-gluten flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, oil, eggs, salt and instant yeast. Mix at low speed for about 3 minutes to incorporate the ingredients thoroughly and form a dough. The dough should have a medium consistency. Continue to mix the dough until it is smooth and elastic (about 3 to 31/2 minutes at medium speed if using a stand mixer).
2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap in a warm place. Set aside until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Fold the dough (press it down slightly in the center, and fold one end of the dough over the other) midway through the rising process, or after an hour.
3. After the dough has risen, divide it into three pieces. Gently gather and pinch together the edges of each piece to form loose rounds and place, seam side up, on a lightly floured work surface. Cover the rounds with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 20 minutes. Again, gather and pinch together the edges of each round to shape the dough into tight round or oval loaves, and place, seam side up, in floured bannetons or similar-sized baskets and cover with plastic. Set aside to rise until almost doubled in size, 1 to 11/2 hours.
4. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Turn the loaves onto parchment sprinkled with cornmeal and flour (high-gluten or wheat), then slide them into the oven. (We heated a baking stone in the oven, and baked on the lowest rack, with a small pan on the bottom of the oven added with water to steam the bread as it first begins to bake. You could also heat a baking sheet in the oven on the lowest rack, and slide the loaves onto that to bake.) Bake the loaves until puffed and golden with a crisp outer crust. The loaves will take about 40 minutes to bake, with round loaves taking slightly longer than oblong ones.
Each of 36 servings: 145 calories; 5 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 4 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 281 mg sodium.