Broa - Portuguese Corn Bread
7 gm (~1 tsp) honey
145 gm (~1¼ US c) white cornmeal, finely ground²
4 gm (1 tsp) active dry yeast
When the cornmeal has cooled, pour lukewarm water into a small bowl; add yeast and whisk well. Set aside.
Add the corn flour, wholewheat flour and 275 gm (~1¾ c) all-purpose flour to the cornmeal mixture (you'll use some or all of the remaining flour for kneading). Stir well. Check the temperature again to make sure it isn't hot. Stir in the yeast mixture. The dough should be pulling away from the side of the bowl. Don't worry if it's somewhat sticky. Don't be surprised if it's down right sloppy.
Kneading: Sprinkle a little of the extra all-purpose flour onto the board. Plop the dough out.
Hand wash and dry the mixing bowl. (Yes, this step is important. It prepares the rising bowl, gets your hands nice and clean AND allows the dough to rest a little.)
Knead the dough until smooth and shiny by hand about 10 minutes 4. Use your dough scraper to keep the board clean . Add a tiny bit more flour if the dough seems sticky but try not to add too much – the dough should be soft (you don't have to use up all the extra half cup of all-purpose flour).
Proofing: As best you can, form the dough into a ball and plop it into the clean bowl (there is NO need to oil the bowl!!) and cover the bowl with a plate. Don't worry if the dough doesn't seem to be all that smooth. Cover the bowl and leave in a non-drafty area of the kitchen for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes has passed, very lightly sprinkle the work surface with flour. Carefully turn the dough out. If necessary, gently spread the dough out (try not to disturb any bubbles). Using the dough scraper and still trying not to disturb any bubbles, fold the sloppy left side into the center, then the top into the center, then the right side, then the bottom. As you lift it into the bowl, fold it in half once more. Try to place it in the bowl smooth side up. Cover the bowl. Let it ferment at room temperature for 20 minutes again. Repeat this step two more times. (This step is done at 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes after the first kneading.) It may not be until the third time that the dough will look like the smooth soft pillow that is described in books. The amount of dusting flour used in those three maneuvres is not more than a couple of tablespoons in all and probably much less (I have never actually measured). It's the merest dusting.
Shaping: Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Press the dough into a rectangle. Fold the left side into the center, then the top, then the right side then the bottom. Turn it over. Continue to fold it underneath itself to form an even tight ball without actually deflating the dough. Place it seam side down on parchment papered peel or cookie tray. Cover with a clean tea towel followed by any old large plastic bag and allow to the bread to rise in the same no-drafty area of the counter until is has about doubled. To test, flour your finger and press gently on the edge – it should very slowly spring back. For comparison, try pressing early on to see how it quickly springs back when the dough has not risen enough. (1 to 4 hours, depending on the temperature of the kitchen)
Preparing the oven: About fifteen minutes before baking the bread, make sure there is a rack on the second to the top shelf. Preheat the oven to 400F.
Baking: Spray the loaf liberally with water then sprinkle with cornflour. Slide the bread onto the stone if using (the parchment paper can go onto the stone) and bake the bread at 400F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 375F and turn the bread around at the same time to allow for uneven heat in the oven (remove the parchment paper if the bread is on a stone). Bake a further 15 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when knocked or the internal temperature is between 200F and 210F. When the bread is done, remove to cool on a footed rack. Wait until the bread is completely cool before cutting it (it's still not finished baking inside when it's hot out of the oven). 5
1.) Tap water is fine to use - just make sure that it has stood for at least 12 hours so that the chlorine has dissipated. Under no circumstances should you use water from the hot water tap. Of course, saying that it is unsafe to use water from the hot water tap might be an urban myth, but why tempt fate? Heat the water in a kettle or microwave and add cold water until it is the correct temperature, (use the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist - your fingers have no idea of temperature!) Or you can use a thermometer. The temperature should be BELOW 120F because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.
(based mostly on Pao de Milho (littlecomptonmornings.blogspot.com)
1 el honing
160 g (wit) fijn maismeel*
120 lauwwarm water
60 g volkoren tarwemeel
10 g zout