Bread!

So, yeah, the first post shows the result of my 2+ hour bread-baking extravaganza. Among the things I miss most since moving here, aside from Maultaschen, is bread. I don’t understand what the problem is, but Americans don’t like their bread to be crusty, or even dark. So I’m stuck with making it myself, if I want it. Which is fun once or twice but becomes a drag surprisingly quickly. A couple of years ago – still in Germany – I tried to create a routine to bake bread every day from scratch and managed to stick with it for a while, but with the rising and waiting and kneading…pfff.

This is some kind of Portuguese bread (Portuguese White Cornmeal Bread, to be precise) that I’ve never tried to make before, so I’m curious. It better be good, because I wasn’t thinking and grabbed the iron skillet with my bare hands and burned myself royally.

Anyway, recipe is posted after the jump.

PORTUGUESE WHITE CORNMEAL BREAD

1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 tbs. sugar
2 cups warm water
1/2 stick (4 tbs.) butter, melted & cooled
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white cornmeal, plus additional for sprinkling
5 1/2 – 6 all-purpose flour
2 tbs. milk

  1. Stir together yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water in a large bowl until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, ca. 5 min.
  2. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups water, 2 tbs. butter, salt, cornmeal, and flour and stir until dough forms.
  3. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth (8-10 min.)
  4. Transfer the dough into a buttered bowl and brush it slightly with the remaining melted butter.
  5. Cover with cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk, ca. 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Brush 2 pie plates (or cast iron skillets) with butter and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  7. Turn dough out and knead 3 or 4 times to remove air. Divide into two and form into a 5-inch ball to put in a pie plate (or, again, skillet). Cover each ball and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  9. Brush the loaves with milk and cut an X in each of them.
  10. Back for about 1 hour until loaves are golden and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. This was the point and I burned my hand on the fucking skillet, so don’t get too excited about your bread. I also made only one loaf by using half of any ingredient – worked fine.
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5 thoughts on “Bread!

    • It’s good! The one on the photo was made with only all-purpose flour and yesterday I made one with Whole Wheat Flour, which turned out dense like a brick, so I think the secret lies in the mixing of flours. It has a very nice crust and I made it my mission this year to somehow be able to bake at least an approximation of the German bread. When you come back you have to sample it and tell me what you think!

      The next step will be home-made Maultaschen & Spätzle!

  1. Pingback: More Bread | The Grumpy German

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