Traditional Italian Cornbread: Pane di Granoturco

by Alex Cogen
Italian Cornbread | Pane di Granoturco | Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

When we hear cornbread, we typically picture the southern comfort food. You know the one - more often than not served as a side with chili or BBQ. But if you're looking for a recipe for southern cornbread - you've come to the wrong place.

Although we love a good southern cornbread as much as the next person, we cannot stop raving about this traditional Italian cornbread dish, commonly known as Pane di Granoturco.

This cornbread is wholly unlike the kind you may be used to. It looks more like a loaf of traditional bread, due in large part to the addition of yeast and different measurement ratios. It's also less crumbly and more sturdy than your typical southern cornbreads.

Our recipe is a mix of one of our regular customer's recipes, as well as the recipe by Chef John! This recipe is a sweeter version of Chef John's, that uses a bit more sugar as well as our Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

We hope you try making this delicious bread at home, and make sure to add our Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the mix. Also this process does take around 5 hours total, so make sure to give yourself enough time to make it!

Traditional Italian Cornbread Recipe: Pane di Granoturco

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of flour (split into 1/2 cup and 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup of corn meal
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar (white also ok)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tablespoons of yeast (small packet)
  • 3.5 tablespoons of Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup warm water

How to Make: A Step by Step Guide

Italian Cornbread Pane di Granoturco | Olive Oil Recipe | Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

Step 1: Mix First Ingredients

First take your yeast, brown sugar, and 1/2 a cup of flour, and add 1 cup of warm water to mix. Make sure the water is not too hot, because too hot water will kill your yeast.

Step 2: Let Sit

You will let this mixture sit for 40 minutes.

Step 3: Mix in Rest of Ingredients

Next, mix in the salt, olive oil, and cornmeal. Then, slowly, you will want to mix in the remaining 2 cups of flour.

Step 4: Knead Dough

Begin kneading your dough on a surface with flour. It should take around 10-15 minutes to get to the elastic texture that you want.

Step 5: Oil and Let Rise

The next step is incredibly essential. You'll want to lightly oil a bowl, and roll your dough around so it becomes moist. Then, you'll want to store your bowl in a warm place, covered with a moist towel, for 2 hours to let rise. During this time, the dough should double in size.

Step 6: Stretch and Roll Dough

Now you're going to take your dough, and roll it out onto a floured surface until there are no air bubbles, and it's a rectangular shape. You will then roll the dough into a loaf, putting the seam side down.

Step 7: Let Loaf Rise and Preheat Oven

Now you're going to place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with cornmeal, cover with a dry towel, and let rise for 1 hour (should double in size in that time). While the dough is rising, you can preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. You'll want to add a shallow pan of water to the lower rack of the oven.

Step 8: Cut Seam in Loaf and Place in Oven

Once the loaf has risen for an hour, you will cut a seam in the center of the loaf. Then, you will place it on the top rack of the oven for around 40 minutes, or whenever the loaf feels hollow when you tap it.

Step 9: Remove and Let Cool

Remove from the oven and let the bread cool on a wire rack.

Time to Serve!

Italian Cornbread | Pane di Granoturco Recipe | Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

Wow, do we love this bread. And, due in large part to our Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a helping of brown sugar, this recipe packs a sweet yet savory punch, perfect for almost any dish!

Holiday dinner accompaniment? Check. French Toast base? Check. Starter with olive oil and dipping herbs? Triple check! Seriously, this bread checks all our boxes, and we can't emphasize that enough.

Looking for an easier way to tackle making this bread? Click below to download your own copy!


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Products used in this recipe