Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crusty Yeasted Corn Bread

Today in the bread-baking blog, we're making a Crusty Yeasted Corn Bread with Coarse Salt. I must say that this bread surprised me ... it's really good! I love real corn bread and what I mean by that is Southern corn bread. However, this corn bread has become one of my favorites. I highly recommend it!
 
Let's get started...

If you would like to bake along with us, turn to page 77 in
Kneadlessly Simple to locate the recipe and list of ingredients.

Crusty Yeasted Cornbread with Coarse Salt
This yeasted corn bread is made using the Kneadlessly Simple method by Nancy Baggett.

Makes: 1 large loaf (12 to 14 portions or slices)
 

First Rise:
 
In a medium bowl, stir together the polenta and boiling water until lump-free. Let the mixture stand until cooled.





Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well mixed.




Whisk the water into the polenta mixture.  Scrape down the sides and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.



If the mixture is too dry, add additional water, a little bit at a time. Or, if necessary, add a little extra flour until it forms a fairly soft dough. I added a little extra flour.

Brush the top of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. I refrigerated it for 10 hours overnight.



Then let the dough rise at cool room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) for 15 to 20 hours. If convenient, stir the dough about halfway through the rise.


The dough after resting on the counter 10 hours




I stirred down the mixture about halfway through the rise.



The mixture after 18 hours of resting on the counter.


 
Second Rise:

Using an oiled rubber spatula, lift and fold the dough in towards the center. Don't deflate it completely and don't stir.




Oil a 9- to 9 1/2-inch deep-sided pie plate. Sprinkle cornmeal on the plate and tip the plate back and forth to spread the cornmeal on the bottom and sides.





Use an oiled rubber spatula to loosen the dough from the bowl all the way around.




Then, gently invert the dough into the plate.  Sprinkle the dough with more cornmeal.  Pat and press the cornmeal into the dough with your fingertips.



 
Then firmly tuck the sides of the loaf underneath all the way around to form a smooth, round, high domed loaf. It should be about 7 inches in diameter.




 
Cut 5 or 6 2-inch curved shallow slashes starting from the center of the dome to create a pinwheel effect.

 



Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and then tent the dough.





Let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Continue the rise until the dough doubles from its deflated size. Remove the foil if the dough reaches it.





Baking the Bread

20 minutes before baking time, put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set a broiler pan on the oven floor.


Generously sprinkle the loaf top with water. Then sprinkle coarse salt over the top.  Prepare the pan for steaming by pouring 1 cup of ice water in the broiler pan. Then reduce the heat to 425 degrees.





Bake the loaf uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until the loaf is nicely browned and the loaf is firm.




Then, transfer the loaf from the pie plate to a baking sheet. I think I must've missed this part because I baked my loaf in the pie plate the whole time. I did cover the top with foil to keep it from browning too much though.



Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes more (depending on your oven) until a skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out mostly clean. Then bake for 5 to 10 minutes more to be sure the center is done.



Cooling the Bread

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool for a little while.  Let it cool completely before slicing or serving.




Serving and Storing

Serve the bread warm or cooled. It will keep at room temperature for 2 days or you can freeze it for up to 1 month. To maintain the crisp crust, store the bread wrapped in a clean tea towel or heavy paper bag. You can re-warm it uncovered on a baking sheet for a few minutes if you like. I just microwaved my slices for a few seconds and buttered them. Yummy!


Here is a slice just for you. Can't you just taste it? Mmmmm....



This bread is so good! I've never had yeasted cornbread before, but I will definitely make this one again. Like I mentioned before, I highly recommend this bread! It goes well with homegrown vegetables from the garden.


Thanks for visiting The Bread Experience Bread-Baking Blog.

Happy Baking!
Cathy

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