Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Portuguese White Cornmeal Bread - Pão a Moda de Sao Miguel
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This really is a lovely bread and I'm pleased to be adding the recipe for it to my collection. This Portuguese treasure is quite different from the sweet bread that is so popular with vacationers on the East coast. It's made with an all-purpose flour that's given a boost with white cornmeal and very little else. The result is a bread with great flavor and a tender crumb. While I show it here as a boule, it would also make wonderful breakfast or dinner rolls. There are many who consider white breads to be déclassé. I obviously don't include myself in their ranks. Don't get me wrong, I love the artisan loaves that are so popular today, but I do believe there's a place for white bread on our tables. Especially this white bread. Once I tried this, I knew I'd be serving it on a regular basis. While it is great eaten out of hand, it makes absolutely wonderful toast and sandwiches. I think those of you who regularly bake bread will really like the flavor of these loaves. No special equipment is needed to make them and while some vigorous kneading is required, you can have the bread on the table in about 4-1/2 hours. The recipe first appeared in Gourmet magazine. Here's how the bread is made.
Portuguese White Cornmeal Bread - Pão a Moda de Sao Miguel...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of the Gourmet Cookbook
1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water, divided use
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup white cornmeal + additional for sprinkling
5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
1) Stir together yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
2) Add remaining 1-3/4 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter, salt, cornmeal, and about 5-1/2 cups flour, then stir until mixture forms a dough.
3) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
4) Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl and brush top with some of melted butter. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
5) Brush 2 (9-inch) metal pie plates with remaining butter and sprinkle with cornmeal.
6) Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead briefly, 3 or 4 times, to remove air. Halve dough and form each half into a 5-inch ball, then put in pie plates (do not flatten). Cover with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
7) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush loaves with milk and cut a 1/4-inch-deep X in top of each with a sharp knife. Bake in middle of oven until loaves are golden brown and bottoms sound hollow when tapped, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer loaves to a rack and cool. Yield: 2 loaves.
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This post is being linked to:
Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting