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PORTUGUESE (quick rise) BREAD 

Servings: Makes 2 (8-inch) round loaves.

Submitted by Chris Haley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees



1 envelope rapid rise yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups warm water (105F115F)

1/2 stick  (1/4 cup)  unsalted butter,  melted and cooled (I use regular butter)

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup white cornmeal plus additional for sprinkling

5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons milk


Preparation Stir together yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.


Add remaining 1 -3/4 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter, salt, cornmeal, and 5 1/2 cups flour, then stir until mixture forms a dough.


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.


Brush 2 (9-inch)   pie plates with remaining butter and sprinkle with cornmeal.


Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead briefly, 3 or 4 times, to remove air. Halve dough and form each half into a 5-inch ball, then put in pie plates brush tops with some of the melted butter (do not flatten). Cover with kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.


 Brush loaves with milk and cut a 1/4-inch-deep X in top of each with a sharp knife. Bake in middle of oven until loaves are golden brown and bottoms sound hollow when tapped, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer loaves to a rack and cool. Great with Soup, Sandwiches and Toasted.

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