I have been making quite a bit of soup lately which has left me longing for good, crusty bread. French bread makes really good soup dunking bread, my initial thought was to bake some.
After Chris heard that chili with French bread was on the menu for this week, he scolded me. “Brit, French bread does not go with chili. Cornbread does.”
But I longed for dunking. One of the best parts about eating bread is soaking up the sauces and juices, or in this case chili, from your meal. Traditional cornbread doesn’t have the same sponge-like quality of crusty French bread.
Simply put: Cornbread is not for dunking.
Until now. The cornbread rules have changed.
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.
- 4 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (~105 degrees)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups corn ( if frozen defrost to room temperature)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Slowly stir in about 2/3 of the flour/cornmeal mixture.
- Next, add the olive oil, honey, eggs, and corn and begin to mix with the dough hook attachment at low-speed.
- As the dough starts to come together, continue to add more of the flour/cornmeal mixture a bit at a time.
- Keep adding until you achieve a dough that is tacky, clears the sides of the bowl, but continues to stick to the bottom of the bowl.
- If the dough is too wet and doesn’t come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, add a teaspoon or two of water. Do not feel pressured to use all of the flour/cornmeal mixture.
- Turn the mixer speed up to medium and keep mixing for an additional seven minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop, knead it a few times, then gather it into a ball.
- Place the dough ball in a large, bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil.
- Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until the size of the dough has doubled (~ one hour).
- When the dough has doubled, divide it into two equal pieces, knead each briefly, before shaping two free-form loaves. Place the shaped loaves on parchment, cover, and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
- Place a baking stone in the oven and pre-heat it to 375 degrees.
- Bake the loaves on a baking stone for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- When it is done, the bread should have a hollow sound when you tap on it.
- Place the loaves on cooling racks.
- After cooling, bread can be frozen for future use.
Servings ~ 2 loaves, approximately 16 slices each
Calories (per 1/16 loaf) ~ 104, Fat ~ 2 g, Carbohydrates ~ 20 g, Protein ~ 3 g