Friday, February 19, 2010

Rustic Corn Bread

Presidio Winery

I spied this bread recipe at Pause Gourmande and I knew it would be perfect to take on our trip to Presidio Winery. It's grape vine pruning time and we invited ourselves along on the family trip to prune the vines. I grew up with wine maker Doug Braun's family, so it was easy to worm my way in to the pruning event.

The morning fog still hangs over the hills

 This is not a slash and dash pruning operation- Presidio uses a French method of “Guyot Simple" to train their vines. It involves removing old growth and careful pruning to select the proper (one or two) canes that will keep the vines healthy and produce the next crop of grapes. Once the cane(s) are selected they are twisted and tied to the fruiting wire. Time consuming work. Over the course of two days our crew of 6 only managed to prune about 400 of the 60,000 plants in the vineyard.

Cover crops are selected for the nutrients that they will add to the soil.

Presidio Winery and Vineyard is an organic and biodynamic winery located on the central coast California, just north of Santa Barbara. The tasting room is located in Solvang, a charming Scandinavian village, and the vineyard is across the highway near Lompoc. Doug and Angela Braun are the driving force behind Presidio Winery. Doug, the wine maker has been making wine in California for at least the past twenty five years, maybe longer. His wife Angela is not only the manager of the tasting room operation but she also handles the business end at the winery. Doug and Angela are warm and welcoming, so if you are in the area stop by the tasting room and sample some of the excellent wines they make.

Barrel Aging

 At the vineyard

After a long day pruning grape vines, a thick slice of this bread along with a glass of wine was the perfect way to relax. You can find the original recipe (in French) at Pause Gourmande. Aurelie has an absolutely beautiful blog. Drop by for a visit; you will be glad you did! Simply put, she has great recipes and stunning photography.

Cornmeal Bread
Adapted from Aurelie at Pause Gourmande

2 Tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/3 cup corn flour (corn meal)
4 cups of flour
2/3 cups warm milk
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Polenta – a course corn meal (or you can use regular corn meal)

Pour the yeast into a large bowl and gradually mix in warm water until yeast is dissolved. Add half the flour and about ½ cups corn flour. Mix until dough is soft.

Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and let stand in warm area about 30 minutes, remove the cling wrap.
Stir in milk, and olive oil, and then gradually mix remaining flours and salt until dough is smooth.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes so that it becomes smooth and elastic.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn over so oiled side is up, cover with cling wrap, and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with corn flour. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and compacting with his fist. Form a ball, flatten slightly and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle polenta, cover with an upside down bowl and let rise 1 hour in a warm spot.

 Place baking stone, if using, in oven, preheat the oven to 450 ° F
When dough has doubled in size,slit the top with a razor blade, and slide the loaf onto baking stone or place baking sheet in oven and bake 10 minutes spraying water inside the oven 2 to 3 times during cooking. Reduce temperature to 350 ° F and cook another 20 to 25 minutes and let cool on rack.
printable recipe

 I would like to thank Susan of Baking with Susan for the Creative Writer award and TAQ award for photography. Susan is a great baker and one of the friendliest blogger around. Stop by and enjoy her wit, recipes and photos.
Next I would like to Thank Juliana of Simple Recipes  for the Happy 101 Award.

Juliana has a beautiful blog where she shares not only fantastic recipes and photos but fun information about her ingredients.
Thank You Juliana and Susan.

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