Three days off in a row... a luxury after months of none or one at a time, you can imagine how much I was looking forward to them. We are just two at home, so bread gets baked, cooled, sliced and frozen, then used as needed. I looked in the freezer a week ago only to find it was nearly empty of bread. Good news for these hands!
So, after some consideration, a review of ingredients on-hand, and a bit of planning, I began the process to restock, first a few basics that are preferred and consumed by my now retired husband, burger buns (with some WW snuck into the mix - he won't notice) and a Cinnamon Swirl loaf. Then it was my time to play. The artisan-type breads are my faves, so I'm free to experiment. This time, I went with a SD Multigrain Polenta Black Pepper Pine Nut bread. Loosely inspired by a polenta porridge bread posted on TFL by Emkay last May, I started with dry ingredients - too lazy to make the porridge, though I know it makes great bread. Ingredients included:
Mix and Autolyse for an hour:
30 g Coarse Polenta (dry)
50 g Wheat Germ
100 g Whole Rye flour
400 g AP flour
380 g Water
120 g SD starter (unfed from the refrigerator)
12 g Salt
Stretch and folds every 30 minutes for 2 hours, adding these with the first S&F:
1/2 c Pine Nuts, toasted
2 tsp Black Pepper, coarsely ground
Our kitchen is cool this time of year, mid-60's, so bulk fermented for 4 hours on the counter, then shaped and into a basket, bagged and overnighted in the refrigerator.
Brought it out to the counter for a couple of hours to proof and while the oven, stone and cloche heated to 500 F. Turned the loaf onto parchment, slashed it T-Rex style, spritzed it with water and loaded it into the oven for 20 minutes to steam. Uncovered it, removed the parchment and turned the temp down to 425 F, and baked for another 25 minutes, then shut off the oven and cracked open the door to crisp the crust for another 5 minutes.
I was happy to see the oven spring, a bit of blistering and toasty ears, too! Pine nuts litter the surface and the crumb, and if you look closely, you'll see pepper grinds, too. It's definitely savory, the pine nuts and black pepper come through and compliment each other and the polenta lends a homey, warm quality in the background. And I'm finding, as others have, that using AP, rather than BF, makes the crumb a bit softer. We had some last evening with a light supper of turkey meatball vegetable soup. Mmm, yum.
It will be back to the grind tomorrow, but having enjoyed a relaxing weekend. Happy New Year to each of you and here's to sharing lots more baking stories in 2016!