Broa (Portuguese maize bread)

    2 hours 40 min

    A hearty peasant bread made with polenta, broa goes well with soup, eggs and fish.

    29 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 7g (1/4 oz) dried active baking yeast
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 4 tablespoons warm water (45 C)
    • 175g (6 oz) polenta
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 225ml (8 fl oz) boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 250g (9 oz) plain flour

    Prep:2hr  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:2hr40min 

    1. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the warm water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Set the bowl in a warm, draught-free place for 8 to 10 minutes, or until yeast doubles in volume.
    2. Process the polenta in a blender or food processor until very fine.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, combine polenta, salt and boiling water. Stir vigorously until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
    4. Stir proofed yeast into the polenta mixture. Gradually add flour. Gather the dough into a ball, and place it in a greased bowl. Cover. Set it aside in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
    5. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a 23cm (9 in) pie dish with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Turn the dough out into pie dish, and cover. Let it rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes, or until it doubles in bulk again.
    6. Bake in the middle of a preheated 180 C / Gas mark 4 oven for 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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    Reviews in English (20)


    Something else. I wasn't expecting this to be so heavy! I guess I should have figured it would be, given the amount of polenta in it. Anyway, once I got used to it, I kind of liked it. You might too, especially if you are a big fan of soup; I think it would be really good with a tomato soup. 7-2-2006: I made this again. This time I kneaded it more; it rose higher and was lighter than the last time I made it.  -  14 Jul 2008


    Something else. this is basically a good recipe but the instructions are a bit off. It's best if you knead the dough for a few minutes before the 1st rise, which should be about 60 to 90 minutes, not 30 as stated. The 2nd rise may take longer than 30 minutes ie 45 or 50. Rather than pulverise the polenta in the blender I used a fine polenta that I bought at the Italian shop near my house.  -  14 Jul 2008


    A good basic recipe to which you can add extras like chopped chilli, peppers, sweetcorn, bacon etc. Bread is more successful if kneaded for 10-15mins prior to first rise.  -  14 Jul 2008