Thursday, March 12, 2009

Barley Bread

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 T mild honey
1 3/4 cups warm (105-115°F) water
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
1 cup barley flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 T nigella seeds (also called black onion seeds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T cornmeal

Stir together yeast, honey, and 1 cup warm water in a bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

While yeast mixture stands, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour with barley and semolina flours, nigella seeds, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in flour mixture (still in bowl) and add yeast mixture, 3 tablespoons oil, and remaining 3/4 cup water, then stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, working in just enough of remaining 1/3 cup all-purpose flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes.

Put pizza stone on lowest rack of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and form each into a ball. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and arrange balls of dough on it. Firmly flatten balls into 5-inch rounds (leave about 2 inches between each), then brush dough with remaining tablespoon oil. Cover rounds loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let stand to rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature, 1 hour.

Transfer loaves, 1 at a time, using floured peel or baking sheet, to pizza stone and bake until well browned and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottoms, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.


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