The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Potato & Polenta Porridge Hard Cider Bread

isand66's picture

Potato & Polenta Porridge Hard Cider Bread

      This was an interesting experimental bread.  I decided to use a potato cut up into little pieces along with the polenta in the actual porridge.  I wanted to have actual pieces of potato in the bread and it worked like a charm.  It was especially interesting on the crust of the bread where the potatoes that were sticking out got nice and crisp like potato sticks.

I used a bottle of hard apple cider in the main dough hoping it would give a nice tart apple flavor but you don't really taste it very much so water will work just as well.

The final addition of shaved Parmesan cheese to the porridge tasted great.  I was very happy with the usual moist and semi open crumb and have to say this was one tasty bread perfect for sandwiches, grilled bread or eating all by itself with a smear of butter.




Potato & Polenta Porridge Hard Cider Bread (%)

Potato & Polenta Porridge Hard Cider Bread (weights)

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.



Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.  You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Porridge Directions

Add about 3/4's of the hard cider called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the cider is absorbed.  Add the remainder of the cider and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge.  You want to make sure the potatoes are nice and soft.When you think it is almost done, add in the cheese and stir until incorporated.   Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough.  I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, cooled porridge, and salt and mix on low for 6 minutes.    You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but  manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.






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trailrunner's picture

oh...uhm...this is a bread forum....LOOK AT THOSE FLOWERS :) OK...the bread looks great too. But those flowers. We are in a drought once again in AL. I know the radar shows rain but it never hits the scorched earth. 

That looks like a very very yummy bread. I am not sure what part is water and what part is the cider and where they are added. I am sorry to ask for clearer directives. I have your rye/durum bread retarding. We decided it is one of our very fave ryes so I am making it again . I used 200 grams AYW in the mix and it has risen like a champ. will look forward to sharing pics tomorrow.  

Oh those flowers ...sigh. c

isand66's picture

Thanks so much for your kind words.  Can't wait to see how your bread turns out.

The 362 grams is the water in the porridge and the 445 grams is the cider.

I'm very excited about the gardens this year.  Our weather has been great this year and the gardens have reflected that.

Glad you enjoyed the garden photos.



trailrunner's picture

but since you say the taste doesn't come through will likely just use the water. Haven't got any BBQ potatoes...just noted those in the mix. You are getting SO adventurous :)   Rye will get in the oven in a bit. pics to follow . c

isand66's picture

baked or boiled will do just fine.

good luck

nmygarden's picture

Gorgeous loaf, Ian. So the potato chunks seen in the crumb are the smoked BBQ potatoes and the potatoes in the porridge cooked down and blended in? Cider seems like a likely addition, but you're right, its flavor doesn't always come through to the finished bread. Love to see the polenta bits - this one must be flavorful and moist. Thanks for sharing it, and your happy garden!


isand66's picture

Thanks Cathy.

Actually the potato you are seeing are the one from the porridge.  The potato pieces I added got soft but did not break down very much.

Glad you like the garden as well.

Look forward to your next post as well.


PalwithnoovenP's picture

I think this is one of your crazier breads and crazy ideas more often than not bring wonderful results. The dark crust and the crumb with potato bits is marvelous.

Is hard cider fermented apple juice? I'm not that familiar with it. Maybe dried apples in the porridge or using all cider will kick the apple flavor up a bit,

You got me again with your beautiful garden photos. All I can do now is gaze at your beautiful flowers because nothing is blooming here because it's rainy season now and even La Niña this year.

isand66's picture

Glad you like it Jobe.

Hard cider is you guessed it...fermented apple juice.  You may be right that adding dried apples and more cider may add even more apple flavor.

Happy you can enjoy my gardens while you are wading through the rainy season.

Look forward to your next post.


dabrownman's picture

going on there.  You cans see then work out in it over the years to get it to this point.  Hopefully the veggie garden will do just as well.

The bread looks grand with the potato and Parmesan in the porridge adding to the tasty. Love that scoring and bold bake too   I've pretty much given up on ciders and and dark beers for liquids in breads.  The flavor just doesn't come though.  Better to  drink them while making the bread!  Porters and stouts do add good flavor bread though and the color does come though at the very least.

Lucy sends her best to long legged and short legged furry ones on that East coast island.  Happy baking Ian




isand66's picture

It's a lot of hard work but we do enjoy it and it's always changing.

You would like this bread if you try it.  You may be right about the cider but I do have to say dark beer has worked well for me especially in rye breads.

Look forward to your next post and give Lucy a nice head rub from her East Coast brothers and sisters from another Mother :)

Ru007's picture

I love my carbs so this is a big win in my books :)

Looks great Ian! Very interesting idea. 

The crust must have been very tasty with little bit of potato chips on there. 

Well done.

isand66's picture

There's a lot to like especially if you are a potato lover :)

The taste and smell of this one was intoxicating and worth trying.  I hope you give it a go at some point.

Happy Baking.


Yippee's picture

Still recuperating from the weekend BBQ :-)

Beautiful, beautiful flowers! I love all of them, especially the one that looks like butterflies!  What's its name? Do you need help picking the flowers?  I'm very good at that! :-)

Another creative bread! And I've wondered how you can come up with endless new ideas? First you had the onions (I love the aroma the onions lend to the loaf), now the potatoes.  I bet this loaf is equally delicious!

I see that you use cheese in bread quite often.  Can you taste the cheese?

Thank you for sharing your gorgeous bread/creative ideas with us!

Happy Baking, Ian.


isand66's picture

Appreciate your kind words and glad you like the butterflies! Those were a variety of Echinacia which are my favorite flowers.  They are always coming up with new varieties every year it seems and they bloom end of June through the end of the summer usually.

Unlike you, who can sing, and do numerous other artistic endeavors, I try to be creative in my baking and photography when possible.  I do have to say this one was one of my favorites.  The smell alone of the combination of flours, potato, polenta and cheese was hard to beat.

Depending on the type of cheese, some are more flavorful than others.  I find it's important to put enough in or you do lose the flavor.  I love cheese so it's hard to resist adding it in.  When I want just the flavor as an undertone I use shredded cheese and if I want the cheese to have a staring role I use cubes of a sharper cheese which usually oozes out of the score marks.....okay, now I'm making myself drool :).

Glad you liked the post and look forward to seeing your next bake.