This week for Tyler Florence Fridays I made Tyler's Portuguese Cornbread -- Broa. I love making yeasted breads and cornbread so was excited to give this recipe a try. I've made a yeasted cornbread before but it was nothing like this one, this was more crusty, dense, sturdy and chewy than I expected. I'm not 100% this came out as it is supposed to, although I checked all the basics, fresh yeast, proper rising temperature, etc. so it's leaving me a little confused.
Portuguese Cornbread -- Broa
2 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal, plus additional for sprinkling
2 teaspoons salt (I only used 1 teaspoon since the FN reviewers said it was too salty)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 tablespoon coarse salt
In a small bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and the warm water in a large bowl until the yeast is dissolved and foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal and salt with the boiling water. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the melted butter and mix to incorporate. Now, pour the yeast mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing well after each addition. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if the dough feels dry and doesn't come together easily. Continue to mix until a dough forms into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Grease a large bowl with oil and transfer the dough to the bowl, brush the top with more oil so it is completely coated. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 11/2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead briefly, 3 or 4 times, to punch out the air. Gather the dough into a ball and shape it into a round loaf.
*These photos were taken right at the start of the final rise, the first rise (in the bowl) went normally, doubled in bulk just fine, shaped into round loaf fine, nothing out of the ordinary for yeast bread that I noticed...
Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. *This is where it started looking kind of funny to me...
This is after the final rise before going into the oven...see how it didn't rise up really but more out? I could actually hear the yeast working if I put my ear near it, kind of like the snap crackle pop from rice crispies!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and place a pizza stone (I did not use a pizza stone, this was my only real change) in the oven to heat up.
Put the dough round on the pizza stone and brush the top with oil. Sprinkle the top of the bread with coarse salt. Bake in middle of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes until the bread is golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. *To recreate the steam effect from authentic Portuguese brick ovens, spray the bread and oven walls with cold water every 10 minutes. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.
Here is the bread after cooling and cutting a little, it had an almost peach hue to the outside of it.
So there you have it, I probably wouldn't have posted about this bread if it was not my TFF dish, I suppose it would be good with a soup or chili but not really the 'slice and have as a snack' kind of bread I was imagining. I'm thinking of giving this a second go, maybe in a loaf pan? I'm not sure. And since I've never had real Broa I really can't rate it. This bread did have a nice flavor though, I'm thinking it will make a great base for some veggie and cheese sandwiches :)