Chef John's Rustic Italian Corn Bread Recipe -
Chef John's Rustic Italian Corn Bread  Recipe
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Chef John's Rustic Italian Corn Bread
See how to make a rustic Italian cornbread. See more
  • READY IN 4+ hrs

Chef John's Rustic Italian Corn Bread

Recipe by  

"I was speaking with my mother, Pauline, last week, and she told me about a bread she used to eat at her grandmother's house. She said it was basic Italian bread, but had some cornmeal in it, and was one of her favorites. I love to play food detective, so I took her description and went to work. I believe this is pretty close to what she remembers, and even if it's a bit off, it was still delicious."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 loaf Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    4 hrs 30 mins


  1. Stir warm water, 1/2 cup bread flour, yeast, and sugar together in a bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and forms a creamy mixture, about 40 minutes.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal, olive oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Gradually add bread flour to yeast mixture until a dough pulls together.
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. Place dough in a large, lightly-oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 14-inch wide rectangle. Roll dough, starting from the long-end, into a loaf, finishing seam-side down.
  5. Dust a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Place loaf on baking sheet, cover with a dry towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place a shallow pan of water on the lower rack of the oven.
  7. Cut a 1/2-inch deep slash down the center of the loaf.
  8. Bake in preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
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Reviews More Reviews

Sep 08, 2014

An easy bread to make. I kneaded the bread by hand and was surprised how easy it was to do. The bread was crusty on the outside and tender on the inside. My husband loved the bread with butter.

Oct 13, 2014

I tried making this in my bread maker and it was an epic failure. I'm not going to blame the recipe. Apparently, what makes it work isn't compatible with my bread maker.


4 Ratings

Dec 06, 2014

Delicious! I loved! For me a bit salty, even with this small amount of salt recomended!


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  • Calories
  • 226 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 38.2 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 5.3 g
  • 8%
  • Fiber
  • 1.8 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 6.2 g
  • 12%
  • Sodium
  • 441 mg
  • 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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