Mixed-leavens, Polenta and Pumpkin Seeds
I don’t usually get much time to bake during the holidays, but when I was asked to bake some bread to go with Christmas dinner how could I possibly refuse? This was the perfect opportunity to try Andy’s mixed leaven formula. It’s the sort of bread that will go with just about anything and the overnight bulk ferment suited my schedule perfectly. The only major change I made was to bulk ferment in a 60°F part of the house rather than in the refrigerator to accommodate my seasonally sluggish starter.
I scaled the formula to make four kilos of dough for four loaves. That is definitely the limit for my largest mixing bowl. Though twice the size of my usual batch of dough it was a really nice amount to knead by hand.
In search of that beautiful, even crumb Andy’s loaves have I gave the dough a long, gentle knead. I may have overdone it a bit as the crumb came out tighter than I was expecting, but the texture was wonderfully soft and springy. No complaints there! The flavor was excellent. The bread kept very well. I’ll be baking this one again!
Just to keep things interesting I added polenta and toasted pumpkin seeds to two of the loaves at the end of kneading. I have come to love this combination – highly recommended.