- 2 packages active dry yeast (1/2 ounce)
- 2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
- Three-fourths cup cornmeal
- One-half cup molasses
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Five and one-half cups bread flour
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until foamy. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the cornmeal, molasses, butter and salt. Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a moderately stiff dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to prevent sticking. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl or a bowl coated with vegetable cooking spray and turn dough to coat all surfaces. Cover with a slightly damp towel. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in size, for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Punch down the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet; sprinkle with cornmeal. Shape each half of the dough into a ball. Place the balls, smooth sides up, on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each ball into a 6-inch round loaf. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Bake until almost doubled in size, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.