Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cornmeal Yeast Bread

I'm slowly working my way through the Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Book. This wasn't a deliberate decision; I just find the breads to be simple and successful.

This cornmeal recipe will make 8 mini loaves, or one large and one regular loaf. I suppose it would have all fit comfortably in two 9x5x3 pans and just rose higher, but I have bad luck with breads busting their tops. I erred on the side of caution.

The bread is 2quite good-almost sweet tasting. I do think it could use slightly more salt (about 1/8 teaspoon) but maybe that's being picky. I can't wait to toast it and have it with marmalade in the morning. We served it still warm with the frittata tonight and it was a nice match.

You Will Need:

6-61/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ½ teaspoons granulated (not instant) yeast
2-¼ cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1-tablespoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Cream for brushing
Cornmeal for dusting

In a large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour with the yeast. In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt and sugar until the butter melts, stirring constantly. Do not let it get hotter than lukewarm. Add to the dry mixture, add eggs, and beat on low speed ½ minute, scraping sides. Beat on high speed three minutes.

By hand, stir in one cup of cornmeal. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Remove and knead on a board for about ten minutes until smooth. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let rise 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and divide in however many parts you will be baking it. Cover, and let rest ten minutes. Shape loaves and fit into well-greased pans. Cover and let rise until just about doubled (about 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. for small loaves, 375 degrees F. for large ones.

Brush tops of loaves with cream and sprinkle with cornmeal. Bake 25 minutes for individual pans, 30-45 minutes for larger ones. I baked mine to an internal temperature of 190 degrees F.

Cool on racks.

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