A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Broa is a Portuguese yeast cornbread. I've eaten it in the Azores and made it a few times from Jean Anderson's The Food of Portugal. This loaf turned out especially well. I served it for the first course of a dinner with the neighbors, accompanied by Iberico cheese and Black Olive Pate.


Make a sponge by mixing 1 package dried yeast, 1/3 cup stone-ground cornmeal, and 1/4 cup warm water. Let work for about 40 minutes. I do this first step in the bread maker, and then add these remaining ingredients:

2/3 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk, or reconstituted evaporated milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
Scant teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour (more or less depending on humidity)

Mix and knead in bread maker, and let rise until puffy. Form a round loaf and let rise in a greased pie pan for 20 or 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 475 degrees--get it really hot!-- turn down to about 425 when you put the loaf in and then bake for 30 or 35 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on rack.

For the Olive Pate: Wrap a whole head of garlic in a a double layer of aluminum foil and bake for an hour at 300 degrees. Let cool, and then squeeze out the softened garlic into food processor bowl. Add 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives and some fresh black pepper and puree. Serve with bread.

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