Prep 3 hrs
Cook 45 mins
Good stuff. My parents like to put a slice of it at the bottom of their soup plate and eat it with their soup. Recipe taken from the Food Network's website.
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- 1 1⁄2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
- additional stone-ground cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus
- more all-purpose flour
- extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- Combine the yeast, sugar, and the warm water in a large bowl until the yeast is dissolved and foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal and salt with the boiling water. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the melted butter and mix to incorporate. Now, pour the yeast mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing well after each addition. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the dough feels dry and doesn't come together easily. Continue to mix until a dough forms into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with oil and transfer the dough to the bowl, brush the top with more oil so it is completely coated. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 11/2 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead briefly, 3 or 4 times, to punch out the air. Gather the dough into a ball and shape it into a round loaf. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and place a pizza stone in the oven to heat up.
- Put the dough round on the pizza stone and brush the top with oil. Sprinkle the top of the bread with coarse salt. Bake in middle of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes until the bread is golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. *To recreate the steam effect from authentic Portuguese brick ovens, spray the bread and oven walls with cold water every 10 minutes. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.
The first time I made this, it turned out beautifully. The only change I made was adding 1 1/4 cups boiling water instead of 1- I used Kenyon's johnny cake white corn meal and with with just one cup of water, the dough was too dry. The finished loaves were a great texture and taste, very similar to the great versions from the Portuguese bakeries here in S.E. New England. The second time, something just didn't turn out. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I think it was my error.
This yeasted cornbread has a lovely flavor. The bread came out rather pale and dense, though not dry. I just used the cornmeal I had in my kitchen, which was most likely not stone-ground. I didn’t have to adjust the amounts of water or flour to get a kneadable dough, though after the first rise the dough was very sticky. (I left it sticky). Maybe I should have added more flour in the beginning. I baked the bread in pans instead of trying free-standing loaves. Although the dough rose, there was not much increase in size during baking. The yield was 875 grams. I made one medium and one very small loaf (should probably have used all the dough for a larger loaf in a medium sized pan.) I am looking forward to having this bread toasted for breakfasts. Thank you very much for posting the recipe.