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    Portuguese Corn Bread

    This is a recipe from The Cook’s Guide to Bread by Julie Ingram and Jennie Shapter.

    The Portuguese make quite a few breads from corn. This particular bread has a crisp, even hard, crust and a very soft, fine-textured interior. It goes well with soups and stews or when served with butter or olive oil or with cheese.

    I start this recipe in a large bowl, then move it to the mixer. You may use a mixer for the whole recipe if you want.

    Ingredients

    Ingred Ounces Grams
    Bread Flour 16 450
    Corn meal 8 225
    Water 8 250
    Dry Yeast 2 1/4 tsp 7 One packet
    Warm milk 2/3 cup 150
    Olive oil 2 T 30ml
    Salt 1/2 Tbsp 7.5ml

    Note — I had to add an extra 1 Tablespoon / 15 ml of water during kneading to make the dough work properly. This was probably because I store my corn meal in the refrigerator, which can dry it out quite a bit.

    Method

    1. Put the yeast in a large mixing bowl and add the warm water.
    2. Stir in half the corn meal and 2 ounces / 50 grams of white flour.
    3. Mix this until it is a thick batter.
    4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes. The batter will swell and show signs of yeast activity.
    5. Remove the cover, then stir in the milk and the olive oil.
    6. Gradually mix in the rest of the corn meal, the white flour and the salt to make a dough.
    7. Either knead on the counter for 10 minutes or place the dough in a large mixer and mix for 6 minutes. You may have to add a bit of water to make the dough perform properly.
    8. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with the plastic wrap and leave to ferment in a warm place fore 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled.
    9. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and deflate the dough. Let it rest 10 minutes.
    10. Shape the dough into a round ball, flatten the ball slightly and place it on parchment paper or on a baking sheet lightly sprinkled with corn meal.
    11. Dust with corn meal, cover with a large bowl and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
    12. Heat the oven to 450F / 230C with a pan in the bottom of the oven for water.
    13. Boil a half cup of water.
    14. Place the dough in the oven and pour the water into the pan.
    15. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to 350F / 190C and bake for at least another 20 mintues, until the loaves are done and register 190F / 87C internal temperature. This can take as much as 30 minutes after the initial 10 minutes at 450F / 230C.
    16. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool before eating.

    Here We Go!

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    Portuguese corn bread ingredients. Water and yeast in a bowl. Adding some corn meal. Adding some bread flour.
    Mixed a bit. Mixed a bit more After the autolyse. Adding the milk.
    Adding the olive oil. Adding the rest of the corn meal. Adding the salt. Adding the rest of the bread flour.
    Adding bread flour. Ready to go into the mixer. After mixing a bit. Ready to ferment.
    In the bowl to ferment. Finished fermenting. Shaped into a round. Flattened slightly.
    FInished rising. Into the oven. Baked. The crumb.




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