- 1 cup whole-wheat flour, preferably stone-ground
- 2 tablespoons wheat bran
- 3/4 cup warm whole milk (about 110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons coarse whole-grain cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons old-fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed, plus 1 teaspoon whole for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
- Olive oil, cooking spray
- Stir whole-wheat flour, bran, and 1 cup water in a bowl. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Stir milk and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Stir in yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Put whole-wheat flour mixture, milk mixture, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the cornmeal, 3 tablespoons oats, the ground flaxseed, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook; mix on medium-low speed until combined. Add 2 1/2 cups bread flour; mix until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 2 minutes (if dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time). Continue kneading until dough is soft and elastic, about 5 minutes more.
- Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Add dough to bowl; turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour (or refrigerate overnight; bring to room temperature).
- Turn out dough onto a work surface; shape into a loaf about 9 inches long. Using a spray bottle, mist with water; sprinkle top with remaining 2 teaspoons oats and the whole flaxseed. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Transfer loaf to the pan, and cover lightly with the plastic wrap. Let stand until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist oven with water; place loaf in oven. Bake 5 minutes; mist oven again. Continue to bake, rotating pan once, until well browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Unmold bread onto a wire rack; return to oven, and bake directly on oven rack 5 minutes more. Remove from oven; let cool completely on rack. Bread can be stored, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature up to 1 week.
This bread also can be made in a two-pound-capacity bread machine: Add all the ingredients (using 2 3/4 cups bread flour), and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions. The resulting loaf will have a softer, paler crust than one baked in an oven. Cornmeal isn't always whole-grain, so check the label; avoid packages that say "degerminated."