Monday, August 4, 2008

Hi- Rise Corn Bread

A new week, a new loaf. This recipe comes from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking. Although this is only the first recipe I've made from this book, I can't praise her enough. I own her other book, A Blessing of Bread, which is probably my favorite that I own, but more on that in a later post. Artisan Baking takes a look at different bakers and bakeries across America and offers some of their recipes. The photography is stunning, the loaves of bread inviting, and the information given in this book is top notch. This is actually the first book that I can say I learned something new about the bread baking process. Which is why I'm ashamed to say that I haven't baked from it until now. I came back the dormitory on Sunday instead of Saturday night knowing that I would be leaving again Monday. So making a two day bread wasn't exactly an option. This beginner level corn bread has been on my mind (along with a lot of other recipes waiting to see the light of day) and since it didn't involve too much time, I decided it would be perfect.

I made the poolish with just some bread flour, yeast and water. I left it to rise while I ran around campus gathering notes for my exams. Believe it or not, EVERY copy machine that I tried to copy a certain set of notes broke and alas, I ended up without those notes. I kid you not, photo copy machines everywhere HATE me. We just don't have a very good relationship. Anyway, when I came back all hot and sweaty about an hour later, my poolish looked like this:

My ghetto camera doesn't exactly do the stages justice, but after a very brief period it was full of airy bubbles. Just the way I like it. :) To the poolish, I added water to loosen it, some eggs, honey, oil, lots of salt, flour and cornmeal. I left out the fresh corn kernels called for because... well, I just didn't have any. Israel's seasons are very different than America's. :(

The ingredients were lovingly mixed into a very sticky and soft, barely cohesive dough:

After its initial rising, I wrestled with the still VERY sticky dough ( I can't really say I wasn't warned but the heat and humidity didn't help at all either!). Using a rolling pin, I managed to shape it into logs and placed them into two greased pans to rise again. Here they are risen, and beautifully I might add.

Off they went to the oven after being glazed with a bit of egg. And out they came, gloriously brown and smelling divine.

The flavor was delicately corny, I'm sure the fresh corn would have made it that much better. The crumb was nicely yellow and tight but still soft with cormeal flecks everywhere. So pretty. And tasty. So tasty that I couldn't resist its smell while cooling and I had to have a taste at 12 in the morning. Oh so worth it. And oh so good with some strawberry jam. Thank G-d I have another loaf stowed in the freezer... It should be gone before long! Proudly submitting this one to Yeastspotting!


Anonymous said...

I love this bread! I've made it many times and took it camping with me a month or so ago. Your loaves look beautiful. I'm excited to read more of your blog.

Chavi said...

My first comment ever! Thanks.. the bread was really good. Even without the fresh corn. Hope to see you around here some more!