I think this might be my first savory donut pan idea in the series. We've been making a LOT of broa lately. An incredibly easy and tasty and crusty Portuguese corn meal-based bread. I've been baking it in my Dutch oven with a little steam tray to help the crust along, and it is so hearty it has been dinner several nights. I adapted these bread rings from the broa recipe featured in the gem of a book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which I've mentioned here recently. I'm sure you can find a version of this recipe online, but I encourage you to get the book. I've made four or five of the breads in the book, and they were all fantastic. I actually honestly haven't bought bread in two weeks because we're on this kick!
Broa is nothing like North American cornbread, but it has corn meal inside and out.
So, it's pretty easy to go from rustic loaf to donut pan. Any simple peasant bread recipe will probably work. I particularly enjoy the broa recipe more if I toast the slices in the broiler after the bread is baked. It lightens it just a bit. Obviously, these are not bagels, but they function like bagels in that you can split and toast them, and top them with all sorts of things. DINNER!
I started with a leftover half-batch of bread dough. This was enough for two one-pound loaves of broa, and would've made a dozen bread rings had I not overfilled my donut pans.
This bread dough can hang out in your fridge all week until you feel like baking it, by the way!
Sprinkle corn meal into donut pan cavities.
Break off palm sized (or slightly smaller) pieces of dough.
Roll each piece between your palms while stretching a bit, to get a log.
The stretching and the eventual steam in the oven help make a great crust.
Lower each piece of dough into the pans. These are a little fuller than they should've been. Try to get the top of the dough level with the top of the donut pan. They will rise quite a bit when they sit for a while, and you want to retain the hole in the middle, and the donut shape. Pinch the ends together for continuous ring.
Those two on the bottom of the photo alone in that pan came out the best, because
initially I kept the top of the dough level with the top of the pan.
Let them rest for forty minutes or so. You could rest, too.
The broa recipe I use calls for the oven to be preheated to 450º 20 minutes before baking. It also calls for pouring a hot cup of water into a preheated broiler tray sitting in the oven immediately after placing the bread in the oven, to help develop a better crust. When your bread rings are sufficiently risen, bake according to the recipe you are using, adjusting the time. These rings only needed to bake for 22-23 minutes before they were deep brown and crusty. Pluck out of the pans when slightly cool and let them cool the rest of the way on a tea towel.
Split them and toast them, like a bagel. But, they are not bagels.
These are bagel fixings, yes, but we've also had them as bruschetta made from all
the great stuff from our CSA box, and with peanut butter. Winning.