Black Sea corn bread

Black Sea corn bread

By
From
Turquoise
Makes
1
Photographer
Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

The Black Sea region is famous around Turkey for producing maize, as the wet, mountainous terrain is unsuited to growing wheat. Locals use maize to make cookies, sweet wafers, flat breads and leavened corn breads. But we also found versions of these pale-golden rustic loaves of ‘Black Sea corn bread’ as far south as Gaziantep, near the Syrian border. It is a fairly dense and chewy bread with a mild corn flavour, and is excellent toasted.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
100ml warm water
200g polenta
425g strong bread flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
350ml cold water
olive oil

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Sift the polenta, flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and cold water. Use your fingers to work in enough of the flour mixture to make a sloppy paste. Sprinkle lightly with a little more flour mixture, then cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 20–30 minutes to form a ‘sponge’.
  3. Mix the remaining flour mixture into the sponge with your hands and work to a smooth ball. Add a little more cold water if necessary. Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead on a low speed for 10–15 minutes, until very smooth and shiny. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back the dough, then tip it onto a floured work surface. Shape gently into a round and put onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave for a further 30 minutes or so, until the dough has doubled in size again.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Bake the corn bread for 35–40 minutes, until golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Tags:
Turquoise
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Turkish
Turkey
Mediterranean
European
Middle Eastern
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