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.
She wanted to try and make a loaf to resurrect this family heirloom, but she wasn't sure of the recipe. She had tried one she found online, but while the cornmeal to flour ratio was good, the texture was off, and it was cooked in a bread machine, which we were both fairly certain Great Grandma C hadn’t used.
I love to play food detective, so I took her description and went to work. Since she had done the hard part and had a basic cornmeal ratio, the rest was just applying it to a recipe for rustic, Italian bread. I believe this is pretty close to what she remembers, and even if it's a bit off, it was still delicious.
By the way, the name, Pane di Granoturco, is what popped up when I did an online translation for "Italian cornbread." I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as "Pane di Granoturco" in Italy, so save those "this is NOT an Italian bread" comments. Enjoy!
1 pkg yeast
1/8 tsp sugar
1/2 cup bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 to 2 cups bread flour, as needed