March 18

Rosemary & Cornmeal Pull-Apart Bread

I haven’t made bread in a long time. The last time I made something vaguely bread-like was the beginning of February, and they were just Bisquick drop biscuits. The last time before that was for Christmas dinner. I’ve been aching to try my hand at another bread product, but lately, our meals seem to lack a need for bread. When I chose to make the Hungarian stew, I thought bread sounded like the perfect match instead of the stew’s usual partner in crime, mashed potatoes.

I flipped through the pages of my Taste of Home Baking and Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook that I keep on my desk, always within an arm’s length, to see what they had to offer me. Everything either sounded too heavy or too ingredient intensive. Namely, things I didn’t have on hand and didn’t really want to have to go get. I came upon a recipe for some pull apart bread made with corn meal. It looked delicious in the photo and sounded even better. Something soft, with texture, to dip into the stew’s leavings was what I wanted.

Since the breads I’ve made thus far haven’t included corn meal in the bread, this was something new altogether. Most bread recipes I’ve looked over have just been dry ingredients + room temperature wet ingredients, mixed in the KitchenAid and formed as needed. This one was a combination of warming, melting, and slicing to get the desired result.

I’ll admit (and probably have in the past) that crackers and bread will be the death of me. These… these little beauties kept calling my name all afternoon long, into the evening, night, and first thing in the morning. I couldn’t escape the softness of their insides combined with the not-quite-crisp-but-not-quite-soft exterior. The inclusion of a little sweet cream butter on top made our mouths drool.

Rosemary & Cornmeal Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, cut up
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 3/4 – 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1-2 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 Tablespoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1) In a small pot, heat and stir milk, sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup cornmeal, rosemary, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt just until warm. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add egg and warm milk mixture. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

2) Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface of the dough ball. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until double in size.

3) Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a large baking sheet.

4) Roll or pat dough into a 10″x8″ rectangle. Cut into 4″x1″ strips. Arrange strips on the greased sheet, leaving about 1/4″ between each strip. Cover, and let rise in warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).

5) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush rolls with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1-2 Tablespoons cornmeal. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

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