Rye-Cornmeal Boule: An homage to my Indiana home

Rye-Cornmeal Boule

It doesn’t happen often, for me to get excited about seeing family. But I have baby showers to plan now. Christmases that aren’t spent with beer and my headphones in. Family is a term that gets lost on me. Somewhere between my sternum and my vocal chords, I’ve forgotten how to properly say the words right. I think they’re still there; in fact, I know they are. I couldn’t be pining for flat farmland and the broad shoulders and hairy knuckles of my family if I didn’t want it all back.

Somewhere between the sternum and the vocal chords, where I’ve forgotten how to breathe. To say I’m sorry. Where I sigh a little relief when my sister answers the phone and doesn’t ignore my call. Where it tightened a bit when my grandfather called me the wrong name after five years of not calling at all.

I see them all again soon, my Indiana family. The ones with the big laughs and pasts that still remain a mystery to me. Stories that are illuminated like zoetropes, anecdotes that don’t paint the full picture but flash in odd shapes, repeated until they’re true.  I’ll never know why my cousin with diabetes ran away to Florida, or my grandfather married six women. How many men my uncle killed in the war. Where the only grandmother I can remember is buried or why no one visits her grave. These are family matters and I’ve never mattered enough to get a straight answer.

But I’m not looking for one this time. This reunion is for moving forward. Bringing new life in. Baby showers, days at the beach. Relaxing. Card games. My mother wants to learn beer pong. They bought a second home in North Carolina and we might as well use it, damnit. I’ll see my family again soon, and I made this bread in anticipation. Rye for Germany, cornmeal for Indiana. It blends who we are and I’ll make it for them in a week or two. Offer it to them. I’m excited to—and that excitement sits just north of my sternum; just south of my vocal chords. 

Rye-Cornmeal Boule

Rye-Cornmeal Boule

An easy bread that will fill your house with a sweet earthiness from the rye and cornmeal. Makes one large boule or can be adapted to fit two loaf pans. Must be done in portions, as directed below, for the marbling.

For the Rye portion

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water, warm to the touch
  • 1 cup whole milk, warm to the touch
  • 5teaspoon active dry yeast (of course, I use my trusted Red Star Yeast)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cup dark rye flour
  • 3 cups AP flour + more for kneadin

 

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine water, milk, yeast, salt, molasses, and sugar. Mix with a fork and allow to set for 5 minutes or until the surface is covered with bubbles
  2. While yeast is setting, sift together rye and AP flour in a medium bowl
  3. Turn mixer on medium speed, begin adding flour mixture, one cup at a time, allowing for each cup to be incorporated before adding the next
  4. When last of flour is mixed in, switch to the hook attachment and knead in the mixer on medium for 5 minutes
  5. (During this time, start your cornmeal bread portion—see below)
  6. When dough is elastic and not sticking to the bowl of the stand mixer, turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for a minute or two
  7. Place in a well-oiled bowl, turning over once
  8. Allow to rest, covered, for one hour or until double in size

For the Cornmeal portion

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water, warm to the touch
  • 1 cup whole milk, warm to the touch
  • 5 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup cornmeal
  • 3 ½ cup AP flour +more for kneadin

Directions:

  1. While rye dough is resting, work on the cornmeal dough
  2. You should have already started the yeast bloom for the cornmeal dough. This would include mixing together the water, milk, yeast, sugar, syrup, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and allowing for bubbles to form (after approx. 5 minutes)
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the cornmeal and AP flour
  4. With the mixer on and the paddle attachment fitted, begin adding the flour to the yeast mixture, one cup at a time allowing for each cup to be incorporated before adding the next
  5. When last of flour is mixed in, switch to the hook attachment and knead in the mixer on medium for 5 minutes
  6. When dough is elastic and not sticking to the bowl of the stand mixer, turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for a minute or two
  7. Place in a well-oiled bowl, turning over once
  8. Allow to rest, covered, for one hour or until double in siz

Rye-Cornmeal Boule

Directions for rye-cornmeal bread:

  1. When both doughs have risen to double their size, lay them both out onto a floured work surface
  2. Gently pat and roll out each out into a rectangle that is approximately 16 inches long by four inches wide (don’t be afraid of the flour here)
  3. Place one dough directly on top of the other dough, making sure the edges approximately line up
  4. Now, take one end of the stacked doughs and roll into itself, making a tight curl
  5. When you have exhausted all dough for this curl, tuck the end under the round and pat into a circular loaf
  6. Dust a little with flour and place a tea towel over the loaf to continue to rise for 20 minutes
  7. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 450*F and prepare either a cast iron skillet or dutch oven for baking
  8. When dough is ready, it will be puffed and stretchy
  9. Again, tuck edges of the dough towards the center dough to shape into a round
  10. Place into your prepared baking vessel
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes, checking at the 35-minute mark for the edges to be golden
  12. Allow to cool slightly on a rack before serving with butter and sea salt
Rye-Cornmeal Boule

Thank you so much to Lodge Cast Iron for sponsoring this post with your amazing products. We have used cast iron in our family for generations and I am proud to work alongside Lodge in creating this post. All opinions, recipes, and photos are my own.  For this post, I used their 11” rust resistant cast iron skillet. For more information about Lodge, please visit their websiteFacebookTwitter, or Instagram