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Chef John's Rustic Italian Corn Bread

Rated as 4.6 out of 5 Stars
56k

"I was speaking with my mother, Pauline, last week, and she told me about a bread she used to eat at her grandmother's house. She said it was basic Italian bread, but had some cornmeal in it, and was one of her favorites. I love to play food detective, so I took her description and went to work. I believe this is pretty close to what she remembers, and even if it's a bit off, it was still delicious."
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Ingredients

4 h 30 m servings 103
Original recipe yields 8 servings (1 loaf)

Directions

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  1. Stir warm water, 1/2 cup bread flour, yeast, and sugar together in a bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and forms a creamy mixture, about 40 minutes.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal, olive oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Gradually add bread flour to yeast mixture until a dough pulls together.
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. Place dough in a large, lightly-oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 14-inch wide rectangle. Roll dough, starting from the long-end, into a loaf, finishing seam-side down.
  5. Dust a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Place loaf on baking sheet, cover with a dry towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place a shallow pan of water on the lower rack of the oven.
  7. Cut a 1/2-inch deep slash down the center of the loaf.
  8. Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts


Per Serving: 103 calories; 4.7 13.3 2.1 0 440 Full nutrition

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Reviews

Read all reviews 12
  1. 15 Ratings

  2.  
    Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars
  3.  
    Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 3 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 2 out of 5 Stars
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    Rated as 1 out of 5 Stars
Most helpful positive review

An easy bread to make. I kneaded the bread by hand and was surprised how easy it was to do. The bread was crusty on the outside and tender on the inside. My husband loved the bread with butter.

Most helpful critical review

I tried making this in my bread maker and it was an epic failure. I'm not going to blame the recipe. Apparently, what makes it work isn't compatible with my bread maker.

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An easy bread to make. I kneaded the bread by hand and was surprised how easy it was to do. The bread was crusty on the outside and tender on the inside. My husband loved the bread with butter.

This bread was wonderful! Thank you cef john I love you and all your wonderful recipe s! Lol???

Well, That temp first. At 425 degrees, you better start checking it at 25 minutes. I checked it at 26 minutes, turned it over and thumped the bottom, and because the color was a dark brown, I...

I made this for Thanksgiving the night before. They were soft, moist and delicious. Perfectly dense, but light at the same time. I'll definitely be using this recipe for all of my italian bread ...

I tried making this in my bread maker and it was an epic failure. I'm not going to blame the recipe. Apparently, what makes it work isn't compatible with my bread maker.

First off, the bake time is actually only 25 mins. Like another reviewer, I made this in my bread machine on dough cycle. Shaped the loaf and let it rise one more time and it baked to perfection...

This is spectacular. I used my bread maker on the dough setting then formed the loaf, let it rise again, and baked it. I am only giving 4 stars because I think the baking time/temperature is wr...

Super easy to prepare. By far the lightest loaf I have ever made. The flavor is homey and the cornmeal adds a nice texture. Gonna do this one for guest!

I would use less salt. This bread is tasty but didn't live up to my expectation as I thought the cornmeal flavor was lost.