Saturday, May 28, 2011

Broa..... or Portuguese Corn Bread ....

...or, at the very least...a super close second!! That's what I'm calling my third recipe of this yeasted corn bread I've tried since coming back from our Portugal holiday.  How do you like my cute little handpainted souvenir serving plate?
Probably won't taste that wonderful bread again 'til I go back, and even then...'til I find that very same market in the very same town and hopefully the very same person will have baked it!  As if, hey?  A girl can dream........

Meantime.......... I'll definitely continue to slightly tweak this particular far, it is the best one I've tried ( the easiest too for that matter) and I'm convinced it would just need a few tiny changes to be right there!  You know how your taste buds remember things.... mine do anyway.... and I'd really like to replicate that wonderful flavour if possible.
I loved the colour of this loaf.... as yellow as bananas.....whereas some are greyish yellow.... or dull colours....

Maybe for you this could be a great cornbread for a first time effort ....and maybe it will be your new favourite ...

The Portuguese like to eat this bread with their favourite soup,  Caldo Verde, or, green soup.

Check out what Wiki has to say about the soup.  It's basic ingredients:  kale and potatoes.... but, as with all recipes... now has dozens of variations. Lots with their favourite sausage in it too ... Chorico..or Chorizo.  Google it for lots of info and recipes .... it's always amazing to me how many recipes there are for things I've previously never heard of. I've already made several very tasty soups in the Caldo Verde style.

I'll post my own variation of Caldo Verde soon too..... but, for now.... Broa.  Funny how I remember the food words I learned in Portuguese isn't it?  ....  hahhaha.... now how to ask for the bathroom..... oh, yes..just a minute....actually... that seems universal in European countries...just ask for the WC and you will be fine...even if you can't speak a word of the language.

This recipe is from a wonderful breads book given to me by a blogger named a very amazing pay-it-forward that I offered to do on his blog a few years back.  I credit him with getting me started with bread baking.  Thanks so much again Lewis.  I wish you were still blogging.  Miss you and your great recipes and tips.


2   tsp. dry yeast
1/2  plus 2 TBSP lukewarm milk
3/4  cup lukewarm water
1 1/4  cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/4  cup bread flour, sifted  (I just used regular flour, unbleached... )
1 1/2  tsp. salt  (I only used 1 tsp.)
1  TBSP olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast into the milk in a bowl.  Let stand for 5 minutes; stir with a wooden spoon.  Add the water to the milk.  Mix the cornmeal, flour and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast and olive oil.

Mix in the flour to form a firm and moist, but not sticky dough that leaves the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a dish towel.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down, then let rest for 10 minutes.

Shape into a round loaf.  (If you have trouble doing this...just Google how to do it...there are several videos to see)   Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (just a very light sprinkling is fine) and cover with a dish towel.  Proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Dust the loaf with cornmeal. (I omit this step just falls off later with I am cutting and it is messy).... Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath.  Cool on a wire rack.

::: I just used regular flour because I didn't have any bread flour on hand.  Also...I added 3 TBSP of sugar as I was trying to get a slightly sweet taste that I remember a certain loaf having...... still not enough really...but, almost....
Also....I mixed my ingredients in my stand mixer because I am suffering with a rib problem... can't do anything like mixing or kneading at the moment. more thing...I left it a few extra minutes...because I definitely wanted my crust to be darker than golden.  This was perfect for me.

We had it with a great Caldo Verde....I like my dipping breads is YUM toasted.....I sure hope you give it a try.