In a small bowl, whisk the flour and yeast together.
In a medium bowl, place cornmeal into a bowl and carefully pour in boiling water, stirring to make sure mixture is smooth. Stir in the molasses, butter, and salt. Let the mixture cool down until it's between 100 to 110°F. This shouldn't take long.
Add the flour mixture to the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed.
Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with canola oil spray, cover, and place in a warm place to rise, about 60 to 90 minutes.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and lightly knead for a few minutes.
To shape into a loaf, pat the dough into a rough oval slightly less than the length of the loaf pan. Fold the top third over (like a letter), and use the heel of your hand to seal the seam. Turn the dough around and repeat with the other side. Fold the dough in half, and press the seam again, pressing it down onto the work surface.
Spray a standard loaf pan with canola oil spray, then transfer the dough to the pan. With a flattened hand, press down on top of the dough. This will evenly distribute the dough in the pan so when it rises it will have a nice, smooth shape.
Cover the pan, and place back in warm place until it rises again, about 30 to 45 minutes. You’ll know if it’s been proofed enough if the dough has mounded.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Adjust the rack so the bread will bake in the center of the oven.
Uncover the dough and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until it’s brown. The bread will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, and should read at least 190ºF at its center when checked with a digital thermometer.
Turn the bread out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
If the bread has risen too much in the pan, it will deflate while baking. To combat this over-proofing, take the bread out, reshape, and allow to rise again keeping watch this time. Don’t wait to pre-heat the oven after the dough has risen because waiting for the oven to warm can cause the dough to over-proof.A 350ºF oven will give this bread a softer crust. If you want a firmer crust, bake at 375ºF and check after 35 minutes to see if it’s done.