2 loaves, 12 slices per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

Before wheat became cheap and plentiful in the late 1860s, bread was often made with readily available rye flour and cornmeal. As a result, it was low in gluten and very dense. Sometimes wheat flour was added, which accounts for the moniker. This bread is great for sandwiches and makes marvelous toast.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk. Remove from heat; add butter, stirring until melted. Stir in molasses. Let stand for 15 minutes or until warm (100° to 110°).

Step 2

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add warm cornmeal mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined.

Step 3

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Step 4

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover the dough, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Step 5

Divide dough in half. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover the remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up each rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place each roll, seam side down, in an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Step 6

Lightly coat the loaves with cooking spray; cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Step 7

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 8

Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove the loaves from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

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