Deli Style Corn Bread
This corn bread is hardly corny at all. It is but sprinkled with corn meal.
It’s actually a dense, lightly colored rye loaf. This recipe calls for a
starter (3 days lead time) and it will yield enough dough for two good
loaves. This is the perfect deli sandwich bread or wonderful for toasting.
3 to 4 cups lukewarm water
3 cups dark rye flour or pumpernickel flour
1/2 cup white bread flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
all of starter
2 cups warm water
4 cups dark rye flour
4 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup stoneground cornmeal
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (or to taste)
2 to 3 tablespoons cornmeal
To make the starter, mix everything together to make a thick pudding-like
mass. Cover it and let sit in a relatively cool place for three days. If it does not look frothy and bubbly after several hours, add a touch of water and bread flour (1/2 cup each). If it bubbles a lot, stir it down a bit.
On day three, in a large bowl, mix the starter and the remaining ingredients
to make a mass. Let it stand for 20 minutes. Begin kneading and add more
bread flour (if necessary) to make a manageable dough. If the dough mass is
too large to handle, knead half the mass at a time (12 to 15 minutes).
Transfer dough to a large, lightly-greased bowl, place the entire bowl in a
large plastic bag and lightly seal. Allow to rise for 2 to 4 hours. Gentle deflate the dough and let rise for another 1 or 2 hours.
Shape dough into two large round loaves and place them on a parchment-lined
baking sheet. Place the sheet on top of another (to insulate the bottom).
Allow to rise again to two thirds (not doubled).
Preheat oven to 425 F. Make slits on top of loaves. Spray with water then
sprinkle on some flour on top.
Bake until done (35 to 45 minutes).