Don’t you just love having pictures and a post in your stash for those days when you haven’t cooked/baked or created anything. This is one of them. Back when Hodgson Mills sent me a shipment of their different flours I made this bread. I found the recipe at Epicurious.com and was feeling very brave that day.
It didn’t come out bad and I wasn’t jumping for joy either. The smell of baking bread should be bottled and or made into a candle scent, it is heavenly. Have you ever made something that smelled better than it tasted? That’s kinda-sorta the situation here. It came out a little dense and I haven’t baked enough bread to figure out why. Any bread bakers out there with any advice? A little more care with shaping the loaves will be helpful the next time around also. With all that being said, the taste wasn’t bad. It was perfect for dipping in the soup I made to go along with it and for dipping in olive oil.
On another note I have to thank Eileen at The Joy of Caking again for the Hershey’s giveaway that she ran on her blog. She notified me on Monday that I had won and I received a huge box of goodies from Hershey’s today. I have something in mind to bake with part of it and I’ll be sharing it soon.
Cornmeal Harvest Loaves – Epicurious.com
2 cups lukewarm water
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 ¼ -ounce packages (about 1 TBS plus 2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 TBS yellow cornmeal
About 4 3/4 cups bread flour
5 tsp salt
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp basil
In bowl of a standing electric mixer (or a large bowl if kneading by hand, hopefully not) stir together lukewarm water, sugar, yeast, basil and 1 cup cornmeal and let stand until foamy about 5 minutes. For some reason this is one if the steps that really freaks me out. In another bowl stir together flour and salt and gradually stir enough flour mixture into cornmeal mixture to form a soft dough. With dough hook knead dough; add in cheddar cheese and any remaining flour mixture if dough is too sticky, 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, dough may be kneaded on a floured surface with floured hands until smooth and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes.)
Put dough in an oiled deep bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl loosely and let dough rise in a warm place 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Alternatively, dough may be allowed to rise, covered, in refrigerator overnight. If I did this I wouldn’t sleep a wink worrying about the dough rising.
Punch down dough and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece between hands to form a 14-inch loaf and put 2 loaves on each of 2 large baking sheets. With a knife or kitchen scissors make eight to ten 2-inch-long diagonal cuts down length of each loaf and pull open to make decorative holes (exaggerate openings as they will become smaller during rising and baking). Cover loves loosely and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle loaves with remaining 2 tablespoons cornmeal and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven 25 minutes, or until golden, switching baking sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking. Cool loaves on racks.