Number of servings : 32 slices
Type of meal : | Breads and muffins | Breads and muffins
Special diet :
To make poolish, combine flour and yeast in medium bowl. Blend in water. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Cover with damp tea towel. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, up to overnight.
To make dough, combine 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour, salt, yeast, and poolish in large bowl. Blend in water. Stir in whole wheat flour and 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour to form soft dough. Beat at medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle work surface with remaining all-purpose flour. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes; divide into 4 equal pieces. Cover. Let rise 30 minutes.
Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with a little flour. Roll each piece of dough into 12-inch (30 cm) rope. Shape 2 ropes into twisted loaf by joining ends, twisting dough 2 or 3 times and then joining the other end; repeat. Transfer loaves to baking sheet about 4 inches (10 cm) apart. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle twists with cornmeal.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Place heavy ovenproof skillet on bottom rack of oven and slide another rack directly above. When oven is hot, pour water into skillet and quickly close door. (You can make the bread darker and crispier by pouring 1 cup (250 mL) of water into a skillet and putting it on the bottom oven rack. If you want a light golden loaf, use 4 cups (1 L) or more.) Wait 1 minute, and then put bread into oven. Reduce temperature to 400ºF (200ºC).
Bake until loaves are brown and sound hollow when tapped on bottom, about 40 minutes. Cool loaves on wire rack. Cut each loaf into 16 slices, about 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick.