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Round Crusty Loaf

Yield 3 round loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 2 cups milk, scalded
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon whipping cream

How to Make It

  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water, stirring well; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.

  2. Pour scalded milk over butter in a large mixing bowl; stir until butter has melted. Cool to lukewarm (105° to 115°). Add remaining sugar, yeast mixture, salt, and 4 eggs, stirring well. Gradually add whole wheat flour, beating well. Add enough bread flour to form a stiff dough.

  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

  4. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal portions, shaping each portion into a round loaf. Place loaves on greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine egg yolk and whipping cream; mix well, and lightly brush over top of loaves. Cover and repeat rising procedure 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  5. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove bread from baking sheets; cool on wire racks.

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