The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Polenta Pepita Redux

BobS's picture

Polenta Pepita Redux

The recent posts from wassisname and limmitedbaking got me hankering to try this bread.

I used the formula here, but, as happens in the Hippie Kitchen, modified the method:

  1. Mix flours, polenta and water, autolyse 30 min. I used KA Bread and WW flours.
  2. Add levain, salt and pepitas; slap-and-fold until there is some gluten development.
  3. Bulk ferment 3 hours, folding 3 times.
  4. Scale, rest, shape.
  5. Retard in fridge about 18 hours.

Then baked at 460F for 15 minutes with steam, then another 20 minutes at 460 F without steam, then 10 minutes at 410F convection.

It's really good. You wouldn't think such a little bit of polenta would make such a difference, but it does.

Pepita Polenta Sourdough


isand66's picture

Looks perfect.

golgi70's picture

Really just beautiful.  


Mebake's picture

Everything about it looks gorgeous! 

Well done,



BobS's picture

I think this one is a keeper.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Looks beautiful, and is inspiring.

BobS's picture

The dough was 1960g for two loaves, so nearly a kilo each. I actually intended to scale the formula down, but I wasn't paying attention and already had the polenta soaking, so I just soldiered on. Looks like I can squeeze more in my bannetons than I thought.

dabrownman's picture

Just the way it is supposed to be,  Well done and

Happy baking

wassisname's picture

Love that crust! Nicely done all around.


emkay's picture

Wow!  That is one gorgeous loaf. I wish I could get an ear and grigne like yours. How do you steam your oven?

BobS's picture

I use a modified version of the method originally described by SylviaH here:

While the oven is pre-heating, I place two rolled towels in metal loaf pans in the sink. I also heat about 1 quart of water to a low boil in a pan on top of the stove.

When the oven is 25 degrees (F) below my target pre-heating temperature (500F), I pour the boiling water on the towels and place the two loaf pans on the bottom rack and close the door.

When the oven hits 500, I slash the loaves and quickly slip them onto a stone that is on the middle shelf. Then I reduce the oven temperature to the baking temperature -- in this case 460. I can usually get the loaves in before the oven drops below 460. If not, I would make the preheat temperature higher.

(I swiped the idea of putting the pans in at 25 degrees before the preheat temperature from dabrownman's MegaSteam method. Thanks.)

This seems to work pretty well for me. I do have to avoid having my head directly over the oven when I open it to load the loaves; some steam does escape, but there is still plenty in the oven.