Portuguese Corn Bread


SAM_3098

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.

ingredients.

  • 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

directions.

  1. Mix the yeast, salt and water in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the dry ingredients using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or heavy-duty stand mixer with a dough hook.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 10 days.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Recipe rating: 

SAM_3097

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