Mix and knead together all of the ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough is cohesive. If you're using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen and how you've kneaded the dough; dough kneaded by machine will rise faster and higher than dough kneaded by hand.
Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.
Shape the dough into an 8" log and place the log in the prepared pan.
Cover the pan loosely with greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, or until it's crowned about 3/4" above the edge of the pan.
Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Its interior will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer when it's done. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool it on a rack completely before slicing.
Tips from our Bakers
- Our thanks to Peter Reinhart for this recipe. Peter is the author of Artisan Breads Everyday, and Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads; he's also the host of pizzaquest.com. Contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For a touch of sweetness, add 2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) brown sugar.
- For a softer crust, run a pat of butter over the surface of the bread when it comes out of the oven. Alternatively, you may enhance the richness of the dough by adding 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of butter or oil (7/8 ounce).