Labor day weekend is here! I always have such mixed emotions about this weekend – the end of summer is sad, but I LOVE fall. It is my absolute favorite season. I can’t wait for cooler temperatures, gorgeous fall leaves, and pumpkin everything! TheBetterHalf can’t wait for Notre Dame football to start (tomorrow!). But I will enjoy this one last summer weekend I always love to bake bread when I have a little extra time on the weekends. If you are the same, I have a great recipe for you to try this long weekend! The name is kind of confusing – this is NOT corn bread. It is a fluffy yeast bread with cornmeal in the dough. It is very similar to white sandwich bread, but the cornmeal gives it a nice texture and flavor. There is just a hint of sweetness from some dark brown sugar, which I always love in my bread. We have been eating this bread all week for sandwiches and toast and have been loving it! The recipe comes from a great little bread cookbook that my aunt gave me, Beard on Bread. I have made so many delicious breads from this book. Hope you have a great long weekend, and Go Irish!
Recipe from Beard on Bread
½ cup cornmeal
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (100 – 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup dark brown sugar
4 – 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Put the cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir vigorously until it cooks thick, about 3 minutes. Let it cool.
Mix the yeast and granulated sugar with ½ cup warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes to proof. Pour it into the cornmeal and mix well. Add in the milk, 2 tsp salt, brown sugar, and 1 cup flour. Mix well. Keep adding flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the mixture comes together to form a dough, turn it out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (You can also knead this in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for about 7 minutes.) When the dough is ready, butter a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning the dough to coat with butter. Cover and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Punch the dough down, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and cut it into 2 pieces. Shape them into loaves and place into two greased 9x5x3inch loaf pans. Cover the dough and let it rise until about the dough has doubled in size, it will be about level with the top of the pan, about 45 minutes.
About 20 minutes into the rise, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the risen loaves for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for 15 – 25 minutes longer. The dough will be golden brown, and will register 190 – 200 degrees F. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely.