2 cups warm water ¼ cup olive oil
2 pkg. dry yeast ½ cup stone ground cornmeal
1 tsp. salt 5 to 5 ½ cups bread flour
1 cup ricotta cheese ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
½ cup fresh parsley leaves ½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup snipped chives salt and pepper
NOTE: All herbs should be loosely packed when measured.
Put water into a large bowl. Add yeast, stir to dissolve. Add salt, oil and cornmeal and beat well. Add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly each time until flour is thoroughly incorporated and beat well. Work in enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes. Place in large bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place free from drafts for about one hour, or until doubled in volume.
Coarsely chop parsley, oregano and basil leaves and toss together with the chives until mixed. Punch dough down and knead briefly. Divide in half, and roll each half into a rectangle 12’ wide and 14” high. Spread ½ cup of ricotta evenly over each half of dough and sprinkle on chopped herbs. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roll up jellyroll style and place seam side down on parchment on an 11” x 15” baking sheet. Cover with a dry towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Make 5 diagonal slashes with a sharp knife or razor blade on the top of each loaf. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes. Bread is done when lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on racks.