Mix the flours with the salt and the instant yeast in a medium bowl. Add the molasses to the warm water, then add the liquid mixture to the flours, and stir until a thick sludgy batter is formed. I like to use my dough whisk for this, it makes the job easier, and it goes quickly.The batter should be the consistency of porridge. Let the bowl of dough stand for 10 minutes or so, while you get the pan ready.
Scrape the dough into the prepared bread pan, and smooth the top. If it’s very sticky, wet your hand with water and simply pat the top of the loaf into shape. Drape a clean kitchen towel lightly over the top, and let the dough rise in a warm place 20 minutes or so, until the dough just peeks over the edges of the pan. Preheat the oven to 450˚F / 230˚C.
When the dough is just barely over the edges of the pan, remove the towel (of course!) and bake the bread for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 400˚F / 200˚C. Take the bread out of the oven temporarily, run a knife along the edges of the loaf pan to free the bread, and tip the loaf out of the pan. Put the loaf upside-down on right on the oven rack, and let it bake another 15 minutes, or until the bread is done.
Done, for this bread, means that the loaf will sound hollow when you tap the bottom, or, if you’re using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature at the center should read 190˚F/88˚C. Let the bread cool on a wire rack.
Thanks to David Lebovitz for his fine post on Ballymaloe’s bread. Check out his photos! I know he’d be happy that this bread has become a staple in my family’s kitchen.