Mellow Bakers May 2010: (2) Corn Bread

My next bread for the Mellow Bakers was Corn Bread. You can find the recipe on page 139 in “Bread” by Jeffrey Hamelman, the book we are baking our way through at a very relaxed pace. First I thought, it was a quick bread like the Spicy Jalapeño Cornbread I made for the Modern Baker Challenge. But this is not true at all.

This is a bread made with a poolish, a mixture of bread flour, water and yeast, that is. As I was feeding my sourdough culture the day I wanted to make the poolish I wondered whether I could substitute the excess sourdough for the yeast. Ulrike and Paul in the forum thought it was possible, so I replaced the yeast. As the 2,8 oz of excess sourdough were at 100% hydration I cut back the flour and water in the poolish by 1,4 oz each (I opted for a half batch). This I let stand for 18 hours (12 – 16 hours were just not possible with my schedule).

The next day, I added cornmeal (half polenta and half corn flour) to the mixing bowl, poured water over it and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Then I added the remaining ingredients and did some mixing and kneading. I let it rise for about 1 1/2 hours, with a S&F after 45 minutes. Then I preshaped the dough lightly into a round, covered it and let it rest for another 20 minutes. I shaped it into an oval loaf and transferred it to my nice proofing basket which has a spike pattern on the bottom which should transfer to the top of your loaf. I let it rise for another 1 1/4 hours and inverted the risen loaf onto the peel. Due to the pattern, I didn’t score the loaf. Had I known the loaf would burst and the pattern would disappear, I’d have scored the loaf. Oh well… Into the oven it went for about 40 minutes.

I liked this bread best still warm from the oven with butter and some homemade mixed berries jam. I don’t think it aged really well. We did eat it the next 2 days, but it definitely was not our favorite bread. Lien wrote she made corn rolls – I think these might be appreciated more in our house, so I’m going to try that. The poolish for corn rolls is on the counter already so I can bake them tomorrow.


I made corn rolls the other days and I must say we liked them more than the corn bread even though they were made from the same recipe. Below you see a corn roll with homemade dandelion honey.

Other Mellow Bakers who have baked this bread


7 responses to “Mellow Bakers May 2010: (2) Corn Bread

  1. Wonderful loaf!! Love that rustic look. Cool Brotform, I’ve got one just like that 😉

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  3. So this good looking bread was a sourdough bread not a poolish bread? I wonder how that affects the taste and texture, it looks quite different from mine. We just finished the last of ours this morning for toast. I like the banneton you have, I think banneton collecting is addictive. Pity you can’t borrow them from the library! The only other version of a maize bread I have made is from the HandMade Loaf, that one used cooked polenta for the corn and buttermilk. I didn’t like it as much, found the texture much coarser.

  4. I would think anything would go lovely with that mixed berry jam! Love the pan you used to bake it in and the shape that came from it. We loved ours toasted for grilled cheese the best…I have teen boys, so not sure this is a real good thermometer of a bread’s ratings as they like everything better as grilled cheese. Your bread looks wonderful.

  5. It looks great; very cool basket! I’m impressed that you’re trying rolls, too, even after not loving the bread. You’ll have to let us know how they turn out!

  6. I like the rolls–good idea. I was kind of surprised how much I liked this one. I froze the second loaf and have been eating it as toast–it’s really good that way. It smells a little bit like popcorn when you toast it. =)

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