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Submitted by John J. Griffin, CEC, CEPC
Credit: James Beard on Bread
From the Chef
“This bread is a very simple bread to make great, and has a long and interesting history. It is a recipe hundreds of years old, and has never been out of style. This recipe is from the James Beard book, Beard On Bread, one of the best home baking books you can find. Anna dropped a loaf, that’s how he says the bread got its name.”
1 oz Dry Yeast
4 oz Sugar
5 cups Warm Water
4 oz Cabot Vermont Butter
8 oz Groeb Molasses
2 oz Salt
1 pound Yellow Cornmeal
4.5 pounds Sir Lancelot Bread Flour
Dissolve the dry yeast on ¼ cup of warm, not hot, water, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, and the rest of the water, and mix well. Heat the molasses, the butter, and the salt together, in a small saucepan, to lukewarm, and add to the yeast mixture. Add the cornmeal, and mix well. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with a spoon until it gets too thick for a spoon. When the flour is incorporated, turn onto a lightly floured board. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it becomes strong.
Cover the dough, and allow to sit for about an hour, depending on the temperature of the room. It will get about double in size. When this happens, punch the dough down, stretch it out a little, and roll it into a large ball. Let it rest a few minutes, and then cut into loaf sized pieces, or roll sized pieces.
Lightly grease either a 10” loaf pan, or 2 x 8”x4”x2” loaf pans. Place the dough pieces in the pans, and cover with a dry cloth. Allow to rise to where it is almost to the top of the pan.
This dough can also be made free form, without a bread pan.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the top of the breads for decoration, and brush with little bit of water.
Place the breads in the oven, and in 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350°. The breads will be done about 35 minutes after that. Test by picking up the pan with a cloth, and turning the bread out onto your hand. Tap it on the bottom and it’ll sound hollow, or go back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Allow to cool for at least an hour before you cut it. This bread will improve if you allow it to sit for a day or more after baking.
6 loaves or 60 rolls
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