This loaf makes great toast because it’s not only crackly on the outside, but also has crunchy bits on the inside. In this yeast-raised cornbread recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman, fine cornmeal is added to a basic white wheat dough for texture and that freshly made tortilla smell.
I couldn’t help but think of popcorn so I replaced the extra virgin olive oil in the original recipe with brown butter (or beurre noisette for you Francophiles). The movie theater scent is faint, but toasting and serving with a side of the amber liquid makes it a bit more obvious.
Yeast-Raised Cornbread with Brown Butter
makes 2 loaves weighing approximately 1 1/4 pounds / 567 grams
For the Poolish (Pre-fermented Dough):
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams bread flour, unbleached 1 3/4 cups 8 227 water, at room temperature 1 tbsp 8 227 instant yeast 1/8 tsp
Poolish (Pre-fermented Dough) Instructions:
Mix the poolish ingredients until smooth. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.
Final Dough Formula:
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams cornmeal, preferably fine grind 2 cups 8 227 water, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups 12.2 346 bread flour, unbleached 3 5/8 cups 16 454 kosher salt 1 tbsp + 2 tsp .6 17 instant yeast 1 1/2 tsp brown butter, cooled 3 tbsp 1.6 45 all of the poolish
- Use about 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter to make 3 tablespoons of brown butter.
Final Dough Instructions:
Soak Mix the cornmeal and water. Let the cornmeal soak for at least 15 minutes to soften the cornmeal. Mix Add the rest of the final dough ingredients until a shaggy ball is formed. Knead 8 to 10 minutes. The cornmeal will inhibit gluten formation but the dough should be pliable and only slightly sticky. Rest 5 minutes Knead 1 minute to further strengthen the gluten. Ferment #1 45 minutes at room temperature Stretch and Fold Ferment #2 45 minutes at room temperature Divide 2 pieces Preshape loose rounds Rest 15 to 20 minutes Shape shape into a tight oval or boule Preheat Oven 460ºF/238ºC Final Proof 1 to 1 1/4 hours at room temperature
Proofed yeast-raised cornbread dough.
Slashed yeast-raised cornbread dough. Got a bit overzealous with the knife here.
Steam 1 cup of boiling water poured into a heavy steam pan, preferably cast iron Bake Bake at 460ºF/238ºC for about 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking to brown the loaves evenly and let the steam escape. Cool At least 1 hour
Yeast-raised cornbread cooling on a rack.
The requisite crumb shot. The crumb is tight because cornmeal and gluten do not get along well.
Links About Jeffrey Hamelman’s Yeast-Raised Cornbread: