Broa is a Portuguese corn bread, made with a mixture of cornmeal and wheat flour, traditionally cooked in a stone oven that is filled with steam.
Broa has a soft, but dense texture and is known for having a cracked exterior. The cornmeal in the dough gives the bread a slightly sweet taste.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Broa translates quite simply to “bread” in Portuguese. Originally, this was a peasant food due to the fact that cornmeal was so much cheaper than wheat flour in the past.
This Portuguese cornbread is often enjoyed with just butter, but is also perfect as a side for stews or soups, such as caldo verde.
Broa has a similar texture to sourdough due to the denseness from the cornmeal. There are a few variations of the recipe found across Portugal and Brazil; for instance, some people prefer to use wholemeal or rye flour which alters the texture of the dough.
- Cornmeal - 2 cups
- Strong flour - 1 cup
- Yeast - 1 tsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Warm Water - 1-2 cups
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, strong flour, salt and yeast.
- Gradually, pour the warm water into the bowl and combine to form a sticky dough. You may not need to use all of the water.
- Spread some spare flour on your hands to prevent the dough sticking and roll the dough into a ball.
- Place this round ball of dough in a clean bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for around 1 hour, or until the dough ball has doubled in size.
- Sprinkle flour on your hands and on your worktop. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on the counter and punch it to deflate.
- Roll it again to form another ball shape.
- Place the dough on an oiled baking tray and sprinkle with flour.
- Cover with a new cloth and leave in a warm place for a second proof, for 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Place the tray in a preheated oven at 500 F for 40 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1190mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 6gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g