The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Polenta Potato Sourdough Yeast Water Miche

isand66's picture

Polenta Potato Sourdough Yeast Water Miche

Last weekend I baked some of the best rolls I've made to date using instant yeast instead of my usual sourdough or yeast water.  I didn't have time to refresh my starter which is why I had used the instant yeast.  I wanted to try a similar formula using a combo of sourdough starter and yeast water levain.  I decided to leave out the cream and the eggs for this version since I didn't want the bread to be quite as soft as the rolls even though with the oil, potatoes and polenta the final bread ended up pretty soft anyway.

The final bread tasted great with a nice sour tang but not too overpowering with a slight hint of sweetness from the honey.  The crumb was nice and open and moist and the crust per above was soft.  The dough did spread out more than I would have liked but overall this ended up being a nice tasty loaf.  If I were to make it again, I might reduce the moisture content slightly but other than that this one is a keeper.


I used a combination of my white sourdough starter which I keep at 66% hydration and did a 3 stage build with my fruit flavored yeast water starter.

Yeast Water Starter Build 1

50 grams Bread Flour (KAF)

50 grams Yeast Water Starter

Mix the flour and Yeast Water in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 4 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed to build 2.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

100 grams Bread Flour

100 grams Yeast Water

Build 3

Add flour to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours or until bubbly and either use immediately or put in the refrigerator for the next day.

75 grams Bread Flour

Main Dough Ingredients

170 grams Refreshed AP Starter (65% hydration)

255 grams  Yeast Water Starter (you may have some extra from above)

400 grams Bread Flour (KAF)

100 grams Spelt Flour

160 grams Mashed Potatoes (I like to mash them with the skins on and used red potatoes)

50 grams Olive Oil

180 grams Cooked Polenta (I used some butter and parmesan cheese in mine)

16 grams Salt (Sea Salt or Table Salt)

40 grams Honey

397 grams Water (80 to 90 degrees F.)


Mix the starters with the water and stir to break it up and make sure to hold back about 50 grams of water.  Next mix in the flours into the starter mixture and mix for 2 minutes with your mixer or by hand.    Let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes to an hour in your bowl covered with a cloth or plastic wrap.  Next add in the salt, mashed potatoes, polenta and oil and mix on speed #1 for 3 minutes and #2 for 2 minutes or by hand.  This dough is very wet but it should start to come together after mixing but will still be very wet.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl after the rest and do another stretch and fold and cover the dough in the bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours.  (If the dough is still too lose, you can do several more stretch and folds until you are ready to put in the refrigerator). After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.  After 2 hours form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours.

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees. (I made a large Miche so I ended up lowering the temperature half way through to 435 degrees).  It should take around 20 - 30 minutes to bake  until both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 210 degrees F.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an hour or so before eating as desired.

Crumb Close-up
Boris the Guardian of the Sandman Residence. Natasha keeps watch in the back of our house.



Mebake's picture

Nice, Ian! Watch out for the potato ,though, it releases a good deal of moisture into the dough. 

Another Great and very exotic Bread, Ian! And thanks for sharing.

isand66's picture

Thanks Kahlid, I appreciate your feedback as always.

I thing the polenta combined with the potatoe did release a lot of moisture.  If I make this one again I might cut back on the water a little and also bake it as 2 boules instead of 1 miche.

All in all, it tastes great which is the most important in my book!

Thanks again.


dabrownman's picture

The bread sure came out nice and airy with some decent holes.   You can blame the hydration for that too I think along with the speading.

Soft and  brown crust  - just right for a few lunch sandwiches.  The idea of polenta with cheese and butter with potato is a nice combo.  I think this recipe  would have made a nice roll too! 

Nice baking Ian.

isand66's picture

Thanks guardians were spinning their webs right across my front door which was a bit scary.  They have sine relocated to the side of my house where there are still plenty of bugs to eat.

I was very happy with taste on this one and it was plenty "holy" and moist like I like it.

Thanks as always for your feedback.

Look forward to seeing your next bake.

I'm thinking of trying the 36 hour baguettes again but I have to see if I can make the schedule work.


dabrownman's picture

has gone from NY to AZ in a flash.  The YW SD 100% kamut and 100% hydration dough was doing well in the 36 hr way until we got in to the last 12 hour retard in the fridge and after 5 hrs it was ready for the oven.  So we cranked it up only to have the dough stick to the basket angain, completely deflated as it flopped into the hot DO Tartine style with no more rise:-)  Then it spead out rather than up going from oval to round.  It's either a really thick round flat bread or a thick frizbee.  Won't know till we cut it open this morning.  It sure looks good on the outside due to the DO crust as only it can do.

isand66's picture

Sorry to hear about your case of the flats.  I hope it ends up tasting better than it looks.  Sometimes a good flat bread isn't a bad thing anyway :)

mwilson's picture

Ian, you certainly do make some interesting breads. I'm salivating thinking about all those different flavours you've shared with us. Are you a chef?

I like the way you built up the yeast water in stages and the methodical approach overall.

Did the parmesan come through at all?


isand66's picture

Thanks Michael for your comments.  I'm not quite ready to quit my day job yet so my professional culinary career will have to wait a while :).  I do appreciate your sentiment though.

The parmesan was only used in making the actual polenta and it wasn't a big amount so you don't really taste it in the bread.  This bread does have a complex flavor though and the polenta with the parmesan along with the potatoes and spelt flour really combine with the 2 levains to create a flavorful bread.

Thanks again for your comments.