I was speaking with my mother, Pauline, last week, and she told me about a bread she used to eat at her grandmother’s house. She said it was basic Italian bread, but had some cornmeal in it, and was one of her favorites. I love to play food detective, so I took her description and went to work. I believe this is pretty close to what she remembers, and even if it’s a bit off, it was still delicious.
Stir warm water, 1/2 cup bread flour, yeast, and sugar together in a bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and forms a creamy mixture, about 40 minutes.
Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal, olive oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Gradually add bread flour to yeast mixture until a dough pulls together.
Knead dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. Place dough in a large, lightly-oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 14-inch wide rectangle. Roll dough, starting from the long-end, into a loaf, finishing seam-side down.
Dust a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Place loaf on baking sheet, cover with a dry towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place a shallow pan of water on the lower rack of the oven.
Cut a 1/2-inch deep slash down the center of the loaf.
Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Per Serving: 103 calories; protein 2.1g; carbohydrates 13.3g; fat 4.7g; sodium 440.4mg.
The quality of the flour could make a real difference to your bread. Different makers do vary. Extra-strong or Canadian flours, which are bet higher in gluten, may give you a best rise than standard bread flours – especially if you’re make wholemeal bread , which not always rise as well as clear bread.
To make this in a breadmaker , add all the menus to your breadmaker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A bread first rising can be make in the fridge overnight . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great timesaver , as you can work it night before , then clear it off the next day.