The raisins and molasses mixed with rye and wheat flours bring a sweet earthiness to this rustic hearth bread.
1 heaping cup raisins
3 cups boiling water
½ cup molasses
½ cup corn syrup
¾ cup butter
1 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups buttermilk
3½ tablespoons yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
¾ cup warm water (105°F to 110°F)
3 cups wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
8½ cups bread flour
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons salt
2 cups cubed ice
In a food processor, purée the raisins. Add the boiling water, pulse slightly, then pour mixture into the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Stir in molasses, corn syrup, butter, oatmeal, brown sugar, and buttermilk. Allow the mixture to sit 30 minutes to 1 hour in order to soften the grain, melt the butter, and increase the flavor. In a separate small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Allow the mixture in the small bowl to proof and become frothy. Incorporate proofed yeast into the molasses mixture in the large bowl; stir together. Combine the wheat flour, rye flour, and 8 cups of the bread flour with the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl and stir to form a moderately stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in an additional ½ cup bread flour. The dough should become stiff yet smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the top. Cover the bowl and let dough rise until double in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Punch down the dough and form three 3-pound boules. Placed the dough balls, smooth-side down, in three floured bannetons, and let rise for an additional 30 to 40 minutes. Turn boules out of the banneton baskets onto a pizza stone. Note that the dough has taken on the pattern of the basket. Place a sheet pan on the bottom of the oven. Using a lame, or a sharp serrated knife, score the tops of each proofed loaf with a decorative pattern. Immediately, place the stone with the bread into the oven and toss cubed ice onto the sheet pan, closing the oven door as fast as possible to retain the heat and moisture. Bake the bread for 40 to 50 minutes without opening the oven at all. The internal temperature of the loaves should reach 200°F. Transfer the bread to wire racks and permit them to cool completely before slicing.
Recipe Created and Stylized by R. Shannon Mock and Brontë E. Mock
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