Portuguese CornBread Recipe
Learn to make Portuguese Cornbread
Immerse yourself in the essence of a country and its people through the tantalizing world of its cuisine. Our exceptional food tour is designed to transcend the typical tourist experience, allowing you to truly discover the heart and soul of Portugal. Prepare to engage all your senses as you embark on a journey of tasting, smelling, and exploring the hidden gems of this remarkable nation, accompanied by its rich culinary traditions and local treasures.
Despite its modest size, Portugal boasts an immense array of offerings that will captivate your senses. Traverse the captivating landscapes of Western Portugal and follow the scenic coastal route, taking you through vibrant cities like Lisbon, Porto, Braga, as well as historical gems like Obidos and Arcos de Valdevez. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to savor the diverse cuisine through indulgent pastry tastings, engaging cooking workshops, delightful picnics, and, of course, a hands-on cornbread cooking class using a traditional wood oven.
Prepare to be enchanted as you join us on this unforgettable culinary journey. With our expert guidance, you will not only taste the best Portuguese food but also become a skilled cook yourself. Let the flavors of Portugal ignite your passion for cooking as you learn and create alongside our knowledgeable instructors. This immersive experience promises to leave a lasting impression and forge a deeper connection with the country and its culinary heritage.
How To Make Portuguese Cornbread
A few years ago, CNN posted an article about 50 of the world’s best bread. One bread is Portuguese!
Nowadays, some people avoid bread because of gluten or calories. However, that isn’t easy to think about Portuguese Cuisine without bread or wine. That is mentioned in one famous song. “Uma Casa Portuguesa” (A Portuguese House) is the song. That describes the simplicity, humility, and love felt within a Portuguese home.
Uma Casa Portuguesa
Numa casa portuguesa fica bem
Pão e vinho sobre a mesa
E se à porta humildemente bate alguém
Senta-se à mesa com a gente
A Portuguese Home
In a Portuguese home, it is so good.
To have bread and wine on the table.
And if someone humbly knocks at the door,
we invite them to sit at the table with us.
This typical Portuguese bread was only introduced in our diet after the Discoveries. The first ears of corn arrived in Europe with Christopher Columbus in 1493. But they were presented in Portugal only around 1515, thanks to Diego Columbus, son of Christopher Columbus, and Filipa Moniz.
Contrary to the Spanish, the Portuguese used maize in their food. Contrary to the Spanish, the Portuguese used maize in their food. The Portuguese disseminated this habit over all the lands of the Pacific, India, and Portuguese America.
Corn was adopted in the northern Portuguese regions. From May to September, you can see the plant on the land.
In September, we have the husking of the maize (desfolhada). In Portugal, the husking of the maize is a party!
Corn represented a valid alternative to buckwheat. The corn is still used – as it once was – to make broa de milho, a traditional cornbread.
Making Portuguese Cornbread The Traditional Way
To prepare the broa de milho, four parts of corn and one of wheat must be stone milled, sifted, and heaped into the wooden masseira (kneading trough). Water and salt are added slowly. The cornflour is kneaded with the hands.
When the dough has a solid structure. It is marked with your finger the cross’s sign and wait to rise for a couple of hours (see the photo). The masseria is closed or covered with the dough with a cloth. The dough is left for 30 minutes to rest.
To bake the bread, a stone oven is fired up with broom wood and pine. When it reaches the right temperature, the loaves are turned onto the oven floor and baked (see the photo). The oven iron door is closed with two long strands of bread dough, and when they turn brown, the loaves are done. In the old days, ox excrements were used to seal the door!
The crust is brown and open. The bread smells of toasted corn.
The dough is easy to work with and does not require any of the specialized techniques that you need to make sourdough bread. The crust is crispy, and the yellow crumb is very tight with tiny air bubbles.
The cornbread is made in a region-specific and a recipe worth preservation. Our travelers cook with us. So you can be part of preserving this fantastic bread and baking it in Portugal!
Not everyone has the chance to own a wood oven at home! Read our tips for homemade cornbread.
Portuguese Cornbread Recipe
11g of yeast
One tablespoon sugar
One teaspoon salt
50ml of warm water
100g Wheat flour
1 liter of boiled water
Add the yeast, sugar, a tablespoon of wheat flour, and 50ml of warm water. Mix slightly and let stand for 15 minutes to activate the yeast.
Bring 1 liter of water on the stove to boil.
Place 500g of fine cornflour in a container. Add a teaspoon of salt.
Then, add the boiling water gradually to scald the cornflour.
Stir with a spoon because it is hot. When you reach this consistency, don’t add more hot water.
Then, add 250g of fine wheat flour. Knead well (use your hands). Take your activated yeast (it is making air bubbles).
Add more than 250g of fine wheat flour. Now the mixture should only be warm (you won’t kill the yeast). Add the yeast.
Knead for 10 to 15 minutes.
You can add a little more wheat flour if the dough is too soft.
Form a ball and let it rise in a warm environment. When doubled in size, remove the air inside with your fingertips from a large ball or two smaller ones. Then place on a tray with parchment paper.
If you want to decorate, you can, for example, make strokes with a sharp knife.
Let rise another 10 minutes in the pan. Heat the oven to 260 ° C / 500 ° F, bake the first 20. Next, turn it down to 230 ° C / 445 ° F. Keep baking until the crust is opening.
Then, turn it down to 99 ° C / 210 ° F inside. It took about 25 minutes. Take the bread out of the oven, and wait to cool entirely on a wire rack.
It tastes like absolute perfection with good butter, olives, cheeses, or ham. The sweetness from the corn also makes it a perfect pairing with a fabulous sausage or chili. It’s also great with an excellent Portuguese soup like a green broth.
The green broth is the most traditional Portuguese soup as simple as it gets: onions, potatoes, and kale (collard greens), cooked with garlic and olive oil. Known in English as Kale Soup (in Portuguese Caldo Verde), kale is the main ingredient. This soup would usually be served with a slice of chorizo and cornbread.
Bom apetite 😉
Read our popular recipes:
- Bifana – Portuguese Pork Sandwich
- Portuguese Steak Recipes
- Portuguese Custard Tarts
- Piri Piri Chicken
- Seafood Rice
What are the advantages of consuming corn for health?
Corn is a remarkable natural supplement that offers numerous health benefits. It is rich in vitamins, particularly Vitamin B, and contains a variety of essential minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. Additionally, it provides selenium, calcium, copper, and zinc. Due to its potassium salts, corn acts as an excellent diuretic, aiding in the elimination of uric acid and phosphates.
Moreover, a significant advantage of corn is that it is completely gluten-free. However, it’s important to note that some recipes may include cornflour along with other types of flour, which means the product is not entirely made from corn and may contain gluten.
Small-Group Tours in Portugal
Indulge in the ultimate culinary adventure with our remarkable 8-day Food Tours in Portugal designed specifically for epicureans like yourself. This all-inclusive package guarantees an immersive experience with luxurious accommodations, convenient transportation, captivating Port wine-tasting sessions, hands-on cooking classes, the expertise of a local guide, and much more!
Throughout the journey, you will have the opportunity to explore charming pastries, visit picturesque farms, and delve into the vibrant local food stores, all aimed at enlightening your taste buds and immersing you in the world of authentic Portuguese Slow Food.
But the highlight of this gastronomic expedition is the chance to prepare a special bread recipe. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of a traditional kitchen, where you’ll learn the secrets and techniques behind crafting this delectable cornbread.
If your curiosity is piqued, and you yearn to embark on this remarkable culinary escapade, we invite you to delve deeper into the enticing details of this extraordinary package. Discover the wonders that await you as you uncover the art of cooking cornbread and unlock a world of flavors and cultural exploration.