It's no secret that I love bread. There are plenty of foods that I like, but none that I love as much as bread. I made a Pilgrim loaf for the first time in a long while and I'm kicking myself for not making it more often. It is fairly quick and easy to make and so, so delicious.
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 c. flour 2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 c. cornmeal 2 T. molasses
2 1/4 tsp. yeast 2 T. honey1 tsp. salt 1/2 c. chopped walnuts1 c. water
Combine 3 c. flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, heat water, oil, molasses, and honey until very warm (125°-130°F), then add to the dry ingredients. Stir in nuts, then add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Press the dough into a 9" circle. Fold the dough in half, slightly off center, so that the top layer sits approximately 1" from the bottom edge. Use a sharp knife to make four equally-spaced cuts from the curved edge toward the folded edge, cutting through both layers. Place a Silpat on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 T. cornmeal. Place the loaf on the baking sheet, cover it with the towel, and let in rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.
Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Remove from the sheet and cool on a wire rack.
This bread is hearty, dense, and deeply flavorful, with a hint of honey and molasses. It's great for sandwiches, with dinner, or on its own.