Portuguese-Style Corn Bread (Broa)

Broa is a yeasted country-style cornmeal bread from Portugal. Broa has a distinctive round shape and decorative crisscross pattern of slashes.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 4 hoursDifficulty: Medium


Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. fennel or anise seeds
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1⅓ cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 1⅔ cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  • Place the milk, water, sugar, and fennel seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Once the mixture has cooled until just warm to the touch, sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Place the cornmeal, bread flour, salt, and olive oil in a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer). Add the yeast mixture and knead until you have a smooth, stretchy dough, adding more flour as needed if dough is too sticky.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl and loosely cover with a dishcloth. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Punch down the dough and turn it out on a floured surface. Press or roll the dough into an 8" disk. Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. Dust the loaf with flour and use a sharp knife to make a few slashes on top of the loaf.
  • Bake loaf until it is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped, about 30–40 minutes. Let cool before slicing.