This is a bread that came from having too many different flours in the house at once. I went to the freezer intending to make another bread altogether but saw these flours and thought, "beans and corn, classic!" Beans and corn and chiles? Even more classic! This was to be my sourdough salute to the American southwest, except... the bread never really worked like I wanted it to. It's not a bad loaf, it just isn't making me as happy as I thought it would. Hmmm... maybe therapy is what I need. I could analyze this bread all day, but here are the highlights:
What I like about it - The color contrast between the yellow tinted crumb and the reddish paprika tinted crust gives it a nice look. The flavor works for me - a nice "something different" - particularly good when very fresh with butter and honey. It looks better in photos than it actually is... maybe that's not such a good thing.
What I don't like - Stales very quickly, though the up-side to this is it makes very tasty melba toast-style crisp bread. The corn flour seems to wreck the structure of the dough, which leads to this problem: as you reduce the corn flour and the structure improves, the flavor goes bland; when there's enough corn flour for a nice balance of flavors the crumb starts to go flat, weak and crumbly - and stale even faster. The dough is slack, sticky and feels like it is broken down almost immediately after mixing. Worst of all? I keep thinking, "Maybe it's me...?" But, no other dough I make behaves this way so I don't think it's just me.
The Final Attempt
The formula - This is the final formula I used to try to improve the structure. It is not the one that produced the best flavor. For better flavor the corn flour should be about 15-17% and the garbanzo (potent stuff, by the way) should be about 8-9%. The WW comes from my starter and would not otherwise be necessary. I tried this with a little more WW but it just got in the way of the other flavors.
A promising start
Even when they looked good there was just something missing.
The tendency to go flat.
Where to go from here - In a word: Polenta. I have a good feeling about polenta. Forget the fine corn flour. Otherwise, this dough as it is could make a good roll, or flatbread, or even a full loaf if it will be eaten very fresh.