The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine Polenta Bread Hydration

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ecelis813's picture

Tartine Polenta Bread Hydration

I have been making several of the Tartine country breads using the recepies from the "Tartine Bread" book. Most have been wonderful but I just tried making the Polenta/pumpkin seed bread and had a very difficult time handling the dough because it was too wet. In addition the free loaf came pretty flat. I baked the second loaf in a bread pan. The recipe calls for 1 cup polenta (dry) that is cooked with 2 cups of water which is added to the Basic Country Bread recipe. So in total there are 1300 grams of water, 1100 grams of flour and 160 g polenta. The basic recipe states that the bread is 75% hydration (I don't know how he calculates this). My calculations are:  850g water/1100g flour= 77%; With the polenta: 1300g water/1260g flour and polenta = 103% hydration. Is there any chance of making free loafs with this amount of water? Should I decrease the water next time?

emkay's picture

The hydration of the Tartine basic country bread is 77%.  He doesn't include the levain in his calculation.

I haven't made the polenta bread as written in the book with 610g polenta porridge, but other bloggers have done it as a boule/batard so I assume it can be done. For my polenta bread, I decreased the amount of polenta porridge (from 610g to 250g), but I think I could have used a lot more porridge.

I'm sure you can decrease the amount of water if the dough is too wet to make a free formed loaf next time. Good luck and happy baking.

:) Mary

rizzo47's picture

I made this loaf going strictly by the recipe in the book.  The "dough" is way to hydrated after adding the polenta.  I tweaked the recipe (cut the recipe in 1/2 to make one loaf) by recipe by lowering the water to 275g and adding the polenta at the autolyse phase.  This still was about 100% hydration if you count the water in the polenta.  The dough was workable and the bread came out nice.  I didn't have pepitas on hand so I used sunflower seed.  



rizzo47's picture

Final product