This is our family's favorite daily bread.  It has a nice chewy texture and makes absolutely wonderful toast.  I triple this recipe (for which, it turns out, the amount of flour required is almost precisely one 5 lb. bag) and make six loaves, freezing a mess for future use.  A tip about frozen bread: always thaw it out of the bag or whatever it has been frozen in; otherwise water tends to condense on the crust which leaves it soggy.  Bon apetite.






1/2 C. cornmeal

1 C. water

1 t. salt

2 packages yeast

1/2 C. warm water

1 T. granulated sugar

1 C. cold milk

2 t. salt

1/4 C. dark or light brown sugar (or molasses may be substituted)

4-5 C. unbleached all purpose flour




Stir cornmeal, 1 C. water, and 1t. salt together in a saucepan and heat, stirring, until it cooks up thick.  Proof the yeast in the 1/2 C. warm water along with the granulated sugar.  Put cornmeal mixture into a bowl with the milk, brown sugar, and 2 t. salt and stir well; the mixture will be warm but should not be hot enough to harm the yeast.  Add the yeast mixture and then stir in, one cup at a time, the flour until you have a kneadable mixture.  Continue kneading until "smooth and elastic".  Put into a buttered bowl, turn to coat dough ball with butter, cover with a dish towel, and let rise until doubled.  Punch down, put into two pans which have been well greased and dusted with cornmeal, cover with a dish towel, and let rise until doubled again.  Put into a preheated 425 oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and continue baking for about 20 more minutes; bake the loaves for another 5 minutes or so without the pan to crisp up the crust.  Bread is done when nicely browned and hollow sounding when tapped with your knuckles.  Cool on racks.  This, like virtually all breads, should not be cut when hot!  Lots of people like to do this but the bread develops its best texture by cooling.