The Hybrid Portuguese Broa

The Hybrid Portuguese Broa

Now, about that loaf…


What began as a way to get a better English Muffin, evolved into something even more fantastic than I really could imagine. As you read earlier, I was out to make a modified starter – which we did, and succeeded in that task. What came next was to modify the dough to impart more flavor.

To do that, I borrowed a lot from a standard  sourdough recipe utilizing a long slow refrigerated proof and by adding a certain amount of corn flour (superfine milled corn meal) to the mix as well.

Tasting the dough, I knew I was on to something. So, I decided to check around through my books and see if there was an actual existing loaf like what I was creating.

There is…. kinda… sorta.

This is basically a Portuguese Broa loaf. Although mine has the addition of the starter.. and  less corn flour, and there is less sugar than in a traditional loaf…. then there’s the whole 24 to 36 hour cooler rise going on…

So…yeah… kinda, but not really.


The Portuguese Broa is a hearty, tough-crusted, yeast risen bread; usually made with equal (or near about) parts of corn flour and wheat. The resulting loaf is a finely textured, light & airy bread with a much denser chew – similar to artisan and sourdough. It can be right at home slathered with butter at breakfast, or gracing the table alongside a hearty soup or stew.

  Plate Fodder Hybrid Broa

Makes 12 Muffins  + 1 Medium Loaf / or 2 Medium Loaves / or 1 big honkin’ Loaf


1/2 Cup Starter

3 Cups Bread Flour

1/2 Cup Corn Flour

1 Cup (+ 1 Tablespoon) Water

1/2 Cup Warm Milk

1 Tablespoon Sugar

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Yeast

1 Ounce Lard

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder (wicked odd, right? We’ll get to the how and why of this later on*)

Tools of the Trade:

Stand Mixer With Hook

Sheet Pan

Corn Meal

Cooking Spray

Melted Butter

Pastry Brush


Plastic Wrap

Spray Bottle of Water

 Step 1

Make your Starter

Step 2

Place all the ingredients, except the baking powder, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the liquids on top. Mix on low until it roughly pulls together. Set the speed to 4 and the timer to 6 minutes. Let the dough knead. It will pull away from the sides quickly and look a tad dry early (for dough)


Step 3

Add the 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder and continue kneading for another 6 minutes.

* Here’s the thing about the baking powder. While it is a leavening, in conjunction with yeast and other wild yeast leavening baking powder can act as a rise retardant keeping any CO2 formation from being massive. And, while wild irregular air pockets and bubbles in some breads are wonderful, in this instance I wanted a bread texture that would be smooth and consistent.

Step 4


Leaving the dough in the mixing bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. (The longer the chilled proof – the more sourdough-y the bread will taste). As a note, this loaf proofed for 26 hours.

Step 5

Set the bowl on the kitchen counter and rest for 1 hour

Step 6

Divide the dough into half , and either roll out and cut 3″ muffins


Or, form into 2 round balls. for the loaves, Place the dough into 10″ cake pans that have been lightly sprayed with Oil.

Cover with plastic wrap and proof in a warm location for 1 hour

Step 7

For Muffins – go back to The Modern English Muffin for that procedure

For Loaves:

Preheat the oven to 425

Make 3 long slashes across the top of the loaf


Place a small pan with 1/4 Cup of water in the oven.

Place the bread pans in the heat and immediately give the interior of the oven a good spritzing of water and close the door.

Step 8


Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and turn over directly onto the rack. Bake another 10 minutes.

Step 9


For Crusty bread – you’re done. Cool completely on a rack until cool before attempting to slice.

Me? I’m not such a fan of hard bread, So immediately pulling from the oven, I give it a good brushing with melted butter. This will make the crust slightly more tender and crisp – as opposed to hard. Again, cool completely on racks before slicing.

Oh…. and how did those muffins turn out?

… you tell me.

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