The author's bread recipe is a starting point for her signature sandwich, consisting of mustard greens, wasabi mayonnaise, and tomato. "Throwing" water into the bottom of the oven creates steam and gives the bread a crisp crust.
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup semolina or pasta flour
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/4 cup water
How to Make It
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 1/2 cups 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 dough 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. (Gently press two fingers 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°.
Throw water onto floor of oven (avoiding heating element). Place baking sheet in oven. Quickly close oven door. Bake at 425° 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.
I've been making this recipe since it came out in 2003. It is a wonderful recipe. When I make it I end up using more flour than the recipe calls for. It goes particularly well with soup. My kids love it fresh out of the oven with peanut butter.
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