1/2 c. (2 1/2 oz.) cornmeal, plus extra for dusting the pan
2 3/4 c. (13 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 t. salt
1 c. warm water (about 110 degrees f.)
1/4 c. molasses
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and dust with cornmeal, set aside. In the work bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 1/2 c. cornmeal, flour, yeast and salt. In a separate measuring cup or bowl, whisk together water, molasses, and butter.
Using the dough hook attachment and running the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the water/molasses mixture, after about 2 minutes, when it starts to form a cohesive mass, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. (The dough should clear the sides but still stick to the bottom of the work bowl.) Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about a minute. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until about doubled in size, 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough out into a 17 x 8-inch rectangle. Roll up into an 8-inch loaf, pinch the seam closed and place, seam-side down in the prepared loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again until the dough is about doubled in size (it should rise about 1-inch above the rim of the pan).
When the loaf has nearly finished rising, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees f. Place the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temp to 375 degrees f. Bake until the crust is golden-brown and the internal temp registers 200 degrees f., 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving, about 2 hours.