1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain heat for 10 minutes, then turn off oven.
2. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup cornmeal and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Whisk milk, 1/3 cup water, molasses, and butter together. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, yeast, and salt on low speed. Add cornmeal mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Slowly add milk mixture and let dough come together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl and hook as needed. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in warm oven until doubled in size, 40 to 50 minutes. (Side note: As soon as dough comes out of the oven from this first rise, turn oven on to 350 degrees - see step #4)
3. Grease 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and press into rectangle about 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches (I prefer to keep it around 8 inches in width, as I find the folding process extends the ends out some), with long side facing you. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, pressing gently into corners. Cover loaf loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 20-30 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
4. One hour before baking (or as soon as dough comes out of its first rise in the warm oven), place baking stone (or overturned rimmed baking sheet) on lowest rack. Place an empty loaf pan or other heat-proof pan on baking stone. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. About 5 minutes before the dough in the loaf pan is done with its rise, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Working quickly, pour boiling water into the empty loaf pan and place the dough in loaf pan on top of the baking stone. Bake until crust is golden brown and middle of loaf registers 195 degrees Fahrenheit, 40-50 minutes (to avoid a hole in the top of the loaf, take the temperature by inserting thermometer in by the side, just above the rim of the loaf pan). Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaf from pan, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped in an additional layer of aluminum foil, bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. Alternatively, I prefer to slice the bread, and freeze it in an air-tight bag.
Makes about 14 slices (depending on thickness of slice)
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (150g)|
|Recipe Makes: 7 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 48 (11%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 5.3g||7 %|
|Saturated Fat 2.4g||12 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1g|
|Cholesterol 9mg||3 %|
|Sodium 10.8mg||0 %|
|Potassium 252.5mg||7 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 83.5g||25 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2.9g||12 %|
|Sugars, other 80.5g|
|Protein 12.5g||18 %|
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Calories per serving: 437
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