Portuguese Corn Bread

1 Tablespoon dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (between 90 and 112 degrees Fahrenheit)
1/2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 pound finely ground corn flour (2 cups)
3 to 3 1/4 cups boiling water, divided
scant 1 Tablespoon salt
1 pound all purpose flour (2 cups)

1. Prepare the sponge: dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside for 10 minutes. Mix in the 1/2 Tablespoon flour, cover and set aside for 1 hour.

2. Place the corn flour in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt in 2 1/2 cups of the boiling water. Pour the salted water over the corn flour and, stirring quickly, mix them

thoroughly, make sure all flour is moistened. It should look like lumpy mashed potatoes. Set aside until it is cool enough to handle, about 15 or 20 minutes.

3. When the corn flour has cooled, gradually mix in the all-purpose flour, the yeast sponge, and an additional 1/4 cup of the remaining water, which should be just tepid at

this point. Mix until the dough comes together. If the dough seems a little dry, mix in more of the remaining water to make the dough more pliable. Use as little of the water

as you can. Knead the dough in the bowl for about 10 minutes. It will feel sticky. Dust the dough with flour and cover it with a clean dishtowel. Set it aside in a warm,

draft-free spot to rise until double, about 2 1/2 hours.

 4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

5. -When the dough has doubled, do not punch down. Divide it into 2 pieces carefully, without deflating the dough.

6. Swirl some water in another bowl, pour it out and sprinkle some flour in bowl to stick to the sides. Place one piece of the dough in the bowl and roll it around to shape it

into a rough ball. Invert the bowl over a round cake pan or metal pie plate. Repeat with the other piece.

7. Place the pans in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The bottom should sound hollow when tapped and the outside of the loaf a golden brown color.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting.