This is my first American bread and it’s a corn bread made with coarse cornmeal or polenta that I bought from Raja Brothers in Birmingham. The recipe itself has come from a blog I found called Breadcetera written by a self learnt fella called Steve. This recipe makes 2-3 loaves.
- 225g White strong flour
- 225g Water
- 1/8tsp Yeast
- 455g White strong flour
- 255g Cornmeal / Polenta
- 345g Water
- 1.5tsp Yeast
- 15g Salt
- 45g Olive oil
This recipe requires a poolish as a prefermented leavening agent. It’s similar to sourdough, but it’s only fermented overnight. So, the evening before, mix the poolish ingredients and leave for 12hrs in an ideally warm room.
In the morning, mix the cornmeal and water together to create a custard like paste. To this, add all the other ingredients and mix.
The dough needs to be kneaded and then left to rise for 1.5hrs.
Afterwards, the dough can be shaped. This recipe can make a couple of loaves, maybe three. Once shaping has been done, I used a banneton, the dough needs proofing for another 1hr.
It is then baked at 230deg for 10min and then 200deg for 20min.
As a side note, I tried something different this time. Normally, when the banneton is removed, the dough will creep apart and the pattern disappears. This time, I baked the dough in the banneton for a couple of minutes and then removed the proofing basket and slashed.
It must be said, this is the best looking loaf I have made so far. The banneton trick definitely worked and I thought it might because when I removed the basket and quickly slashed with a razor blade, the dough split open due to the surface tension. I’ve been working on my shaping technique and this came out really well.
The crust is crispy and makes a lovely sound when you’re cutting into it. Inside, the crumb is soft and not as dense as I thought it might be – it’s also quite yellow! In terms of taste, there’s a very slight powdery texture and the taste is fairly plain. I was hoping for a slightly stronger taste given the use of poolish, but regardless, I’m pleased with the results.