Digging deep into the regional cuisine of Pescadero with my Edible After School class, we have begun to unravel the origins of dishes that often grace the three restaurants in town. Portuguese fishermen once threw their nets into the cold waters here and their legacy lives on today – many families in town can trace their roots back for generations and some are still in the fish industry.
Caldo verde, the traditional Portuguese potato & shredded kale soup is popular around these parts. But the everyday Portuguese bread, Broa, is strangely M.I.A. so my students and I decided to recreate it for fun to go with our soup. We always use ingredients sourced from the surrounding farms and in this case we used the cornmeal from Pie Ranch which made the bread flavorful and added a little texture.
This is by far one of the most satisfying breads I’ve ever had. I can’t even begin to tell you how elated my students were to see their beautiful crusty loaves come out of the oven. And the inside was so soft and delicious. Truly a great addition to your homemade bread repetoire and a fantastic rustic pairing with hearty soups & stews or Caldo Verde.
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal fine ground
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal stone ground
- 3/4 cup warm water, 100˚F
- 1/3 cup milk, warm
- 1 packet active dry yeast, 2 1/2 teaspoons
- 2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for rolling out
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
Pour the yeast over the warm water and allow it get frothy. Then mix the yeast mixture and milk to the cornmeal. Stir and allow to stand for a few minutes so the cormeal can soften. Add the remaining ingredients, mix, and knead by hand or by machine. The end result will be a smooth, slightly tacky dough. It should have a little sheen to it.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and lightly oil the top too so it doesn't form a skin. Cover and let rise for 2 hours, or until it's tripled in size.
Turn the dough out and knead lightly. Dust with a little extra flour if it's too sticky and form it into a ball. Put it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let it rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour until it's double in size (or you can form your dough ball and refrigerate it at this point and bake it off the next day after allowing it rise.
Make slashes on the top of the loaf (in Sourdough fashion) and bake at 425˚F for 12 minutes. Then turn heat down to 375˚F and bake for another 15 to 20 or until it's golden brown and crusty.