Sunday, May 14, 2006

Il pasto granoturco pane italiano (Corn meal Italian Bread)

This is a delightful, ciabatta type bread that you will make time after time.

1 TBS Instant yeast

1 1/2 Cup bottled water

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sea salt

½ Cup White Corn Meal

1 ½ Cups boiling water

4 Cups High Gluten Bread Flour

2 Cups AP Flour

1 TBS Olive Oil

Boil 1 1/2 cups of bottled water in a medium sauce pan. Once boiling, remove from heat and quickly add the corn meal and salt. Stir so it is completely hydrated. Stir occasionally to assure there is no dry corn meal at the bottom of the pan. Let the mix cool completely. Here, you will have a corn meal mash or mush.

Add yeast to a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, and 1 1/2 cups warm bottled water (105-110). Mix well with beaters and let sit for 12-15 minutes until it gets creamy/foamy. Add one cup of bread flour and olive oil. Beat well with beaters. Add cooled corn meal and continue beating until well blended. Switch to oiled bread hooks.

Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until you get a silky dough. The dough may be sticky, so add more flour until you are comfortable with the feel of the dough. The dough should pull away from the edges of the pan.

Place in large oiled bowl; turn several times to fully coat dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to doubled. This will take only about 30-45 minutes.

Once doubled lightly flour counter, gently de-gas, and shape to either one large boule, or two small ones. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and let rise to doubled in size. You can add seeds of your choice at this point. You can also do a refrigerated rise for 6-12 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Turn oven to 450F. Make sure you have a steam pan in oven. Once up to temperature, fill steam pan with hot water, spray oven sides with water – being careful NOT to spray light bulb or oven door glass. Place shaped dough in 450F. oven for 10-minutes. After 10-minutes, spray oven and turn cookie sheet 180 degrees for even baking. Reduce temperature to 400F. Bake for an additional twenty minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 180F. Remove from oven, and rub top of loaves with a stick of butter.

Let cool one hour before slicing. This bread gains flavor the longer it sits – up to four days. It has the beautiful texture of a ciabatta if not de-gassed too much for the second rising.