The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Parmesan Cornmeal Bread

Parmesan cornmeal rolls.

In the midst of a cold February, I was looking forward to a sweetheart dinner on Valentine's Day, hosted by a family in our church.  When I asked Linda if I could help in any way, she mentioned that it would be great if I could purchase dinner rolls, enough for about 30 people at the evening's meal.  I went one better, and decided to make two batches of rolls from my regular bread dough recipes--one batch of rolls from my recipe for rice bread (I'll have to share that soon!), and one batch from my recipe for Parmesan cornmeal bread.

Bread dough is versatile, and simple to turn into rolls--simply take the dough and break it into small balls, shape it into rolls, place in the pan(s), and let rise then bake.  The recipe doesn't change one bit.  I usually make four loaves of bread at a time, in my Bosch universal mixer, so it's easy to separate half the dough and make about two dozen rolls, then bake the other half into two loaves.  This bread is great toasted, or as a side with almost any meal (mmm, I'm thinking soup right now, even with our warmer days!).

Parmesan Cornmeal Bread
Yield:  Four loaves (each loaf's worth of dough can be turned into a dozen or so rolls)

Set One1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey
~4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 generous cups water, heated to warm but not hot (oh, around 105 degrees F should do it)

Set Two
2 cups organic yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dried basil (1/4 cup fresh chopped)
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon vitamin C crystals (helps with the fresh whole-wheat flour)
1/2 cup ground flax seed (can omit if you don't have it)

Total Flour
about 10 cups

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon SAF yeast

Directions for use with Bosch Universal Mixer

Place ingredients from Set One into Bosch bowl.  Top with ingredients from Set Two.  Pour about three-quarters of the total flour on top, then sprinkle the yeast on top of that.

Turn mixer to Speed 1 and mix until incorporated.  Slowly add the rest of the flour, and turn the mixer to Speed 3 as you hear the pitch of the motor start to work harder; you'll recognize it!  Once everything is incorporated, add additional flour if necessary, in 1/4-cup or 1/2 cup amounts until dough pulls away from the sides but is not dry (don't add too much--the dough should still look pretty sticky).  Replace the lid and set your timer for five minutes.

At the timer, scrape the dough onto an oiled surface (use evoo, not flour, so the dough doesn't dry out!).  Hand-knead the dough into a nice ball--if you want, slam it down onto the counter to remove air bubbles!  Divide according to what you want to make--four loaves, or rolls (I actually weigh my rolls--about three ounces each--so they're uniform).  Shape into loaves (or rolls) and place in appropriate pans

Cover with a cloth and let rise for about 45 minutes for a loaf, and at least that amount or longer (up to an hour or so) for rolls (I find that my rolls take longer to rise for some reason).  Bake at 350 degrees F:

  • Bread loaves -- 45-60 minutes (my oven works with 45 minutes, but go with your usual bread baking time).  
  • Rolls -- 25-30 minutes; I err on the longer side since I make two dozen in a stoneware pan and often the rolls in the center end up dough-y in the middle.

Turn out onto cooling rack.  Eat while they're warm!  Or, cool then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Or, wrap and freeze--for loaves, I wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum.  For rolls, I usually just stick them in freezer bags, a dozen in each bag.

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