This was the first recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day that caught my eye. I love corn. I love corn bread. Though this isn’t what you’d probably imagine traditional corn bread to be, I was very happy with how it turned out.
I brought this bread into work with me today and it was a bigger hit than the Tillamook garlic cheddar bread, which I actually thought would be more popular.
- 3 c. lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 T. granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 c. cornmeal
- 5 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- cornmeal for dusting on top
- Mix the yeast, salt and water in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the dry ingredients using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 10 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of large orange or grapefruit. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn. Flatten slightly and allow to rest and rise on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal for 40 to 60 minutes.
- Place a baking stone on the top rack (in the middle of the oven) and an empty broiling pan on the rack below the stone. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Just before baking sprinkle the top of the dough with cornmeal and slash a cross, scallop or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top using a serrated bread knife.
- Set the bread on the hot baking stone and quickly pour 1 cup of water into the broiling pan beneath the stone. Close the oven door as quick as possible. Bake for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned and firm.
- Cool on a wire rack (to avoid a soggy bottom) before cutting or eating.
This is a hearty bread that holds up well in soup or stew. (Unlike most corn breads, this recipe is not sweet at all.) I dipped it in Portuguese Fish Stew.