Monday, March 5, 2012

SRC: Portuguese Corn Bread

This month, my Secret Recipe Club assignment was Paulchen's Food Blog, which was full of delicious recipes to try.  Since I'd recently purchased some whole grain corn flour for another recipe, I thought I'd see if I could find some inspiration for using up the rest of the package. Indeed I did, with this delicious recipe for Portuguese corn bread.  This is a yeasted corn bread, so it takes more work than the quick bread version, but it's definitely worth it.  In addition to being tasty, it's also much healthier than your typical quick bread - over half the grains are whole grain, and the bread is fat free.  The result is a moist loaf that's perfect for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or for serving next to a bowl of soup or chili.  You can leave the top of the loaf plain or add your favorite spice blend - I used a fun citrus-fennel seasoning salt that added great flavor, but feel free to play around with different flavors here.

Portuguese Corn Bread (adapted from Paulchen's Food Blog, original recipe here)
Makes one loaf

1-1/4 cups boiling water
1 tsp honey
1-1/4 cups whole grain corn flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1-3/4 tsp fine salt

1. Combine the boiling water, honey, and whole grain corn flour in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Whisk to combine, and then let sit for one hour.
2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the yeast and lukewarm water, and let proof for about 5 minutes, until bubbly.
3. Meanwhile, add the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt to the corn flour mixture.  Mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment to break up the corn flour mixture - the mixture will resemble coarse crumbs.
4. Once the yeast is proofed, add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes.  Add more water or flour as needed to create a sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom - it will appear very shaggy.
5. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let sit 20 minutes.  Then gently fold the dough a few times (working from under the dough, fold it over itself 3-4 times).  Let sit another 20 minutes, and then repeat the folding process.  Let the dough sit a final 20 minutes (for a total of 60 minutes), and then fold a final time.  On the final fold, pick up the dough and form into a smooth round, placing it smooth-side-up in the bowl.  The dough will still be very sticky, but much more smooth than when you started.
6. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour in a warm room.
7. Shape the dough: without punching down the dough, pick it up and fold the edges under with your fingers to create a smooth, tight ball.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down.  Cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
8. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
9. Brush the loaf of bread with water, and sprinkle with salt or a spice blend if you like.  Pop the bread in the oven.  Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees, and then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for a further 15 minutes, until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
10. Let cool before serving.


  1. Yum, I bet the house smelled amazing while you were baking the bread.

  2. looks so hearty & comforting! your seasoning salt sounds fabulous, i'll have to look for that somewhere. great SRC pick. :)

    1. Thanks! The seasoning salt I used is made by the girl and the fig:!store/vstc1=fig-food/productsstackergalleryv22=18 - so tasty!

  3. How interesting. I've never heard of this type of bread before but your picture makes me want to try it! Great choice!

  4. I have never baked with whole grain corn flour, nor have I ever heard of this bread. But it seems like an interesting recipe to try. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Guess what I was SCOURING the store shelves for yesterday? CORN FLOUR! What a coinkidink that you posted a recipe that uses it. Now I have THREE recipes I can make if I ever track that stuff down. I love the sound of this bread, and the seasoning you put over the top. Great job!

  6. Great pick! I'm half-Portuguese, so I practically grew up on corn bread... yet strangely enough, I've never actually gotten around to making it myself (mostly because my grandmother never wrote down her recipe, nor did she teach it to my mother).
    I'm saving this recipe to try out next time I'm in a bread-baking mood. Can't wait! Thanks for the little trip down memory lane. :)

  7. This bread looks amazing! I had this blog once for SRC - so many great breads to pick from!

  8. I've never made a yeast bread with corn flour, but I know I'd love the flavor. Great recipe!

  9. Tasty looking! This definitely seems healthier than normal cornbread.

  10. This looks sooo good! And a secret recipe club? How fun!

  11. That looks so good. Unfortunate I am horrible at making bread, despite however easy it ought to be.

  12. I actually ate Portuguese corn bread while I was in Brazil, so I know how delicious your bread must have been.

  13. This is a great looking bread, I have never tried anything like this. Must be delicious!

  14. Looks delicious! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  15. I've had all kinds of Portugese bread, but never cornbread! How looks great!!

  16. What a gorgeous loaf! I was just thinking about lunch and my sad loaf will not do!

  17. I love all kind of bread - I'll have to try this one over the weekend - looks delicious Sara!

  18. Looks great! I love baking bread.

  19. I considered this recipe too when I had Paulchen's blog. It was so hard to pick! I'm glad you chose it - it looks wonderful.

  20. Your bread looks and sounds amazing, great SRC choice.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry: Broiled Sushi.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  21. Hi Sara,
    Your bread looks awesome, I can almost taste it! Hope you are having a great day and thanks for sharing!
    Miz Helen
    SRC -B-