The water on the bottom of the oven creates steam that gives the bread a crisp crust. Makes three long, thin loaves.
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- add 1/4 cup water
- add 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- add 1/2 cup semolina flour or pasta flour
- add 2 1/2 cups warm water (100 to 110)
- add 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- add 2 tablespoons sugar
- add 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- add 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- add cooking spray
- add 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl, let stand 5 minutes.
- Add 3 1/2 cups of the bread flour, wheat flour, semolina and salt to yeast mixture; stir with a whisk until well blended.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining bread flour 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent douogh from sticking to hands dough will feel tacky.
- Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- (Test by pressing gently into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down, cover and let rest 5 minutes.
- Divide into thirds.
- Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into a 16-inch rope on a floured surface.
- Place ropes on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Cover and let rise 40 minutes or until ropes are doubled in size.
- Uncover dough.
- Cut 3 slits in top of each rope.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Throw water onto floor of oven (avoiding heating element).
- Place baking sheet in oven.
- Quickly close oven door.
- Bate at 425°F for 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from pan, and cool on wire racks.
- Cut each loaf into 12 slices.