The Fresh Loaf

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Polenta sourdough

emkay's picture

Polenta sourdough

I've seen a few posts showcasing polenta sourdough breads lately, so here's my take on it.

I cooked more porridge than I needed for the dough because it's hard to cook less using my smallest pot. I added 30 g Bob's Red Mill polenta (corn grits) to 120 g boiling water and cooked it over low heat until the water was just absorbed. I let the porridge cool overnight in the refrigerator.


My polenta sourdough formula is loosely based on Hamelman's Vermont sourdough. Overall hydration was 70%. I included the levain in the calculation, but didn't include the cooked polenta.

Polenta Sourdough

Grams (Baker's Pct)

AP Flour 410g (88.17%)

Whole rye flour 55g (11.83%)

Water 305g (65.59%)

Salt 10g (2.15%)

Cooked polenta 80g (17.2%)

Levain 168g (36.13%)

Total 1018g

I made one batard and one boule. Final proof on the batard was 2.5 hrs at room temperature. Here's the batard's crumb:


The shaped boule was retarded in the refrigerator for 19 hours. Here's the boule's crumb:


The batard's crumb was definitely better than the boule's crumb. The boule was most likely overproofed, but it still tasted great. Live and learn!



BobS's picture

It's really a great bread, isn't it?

I like the scoring on the boule.

emkay's picture

I really like the flavor that the polenta gives the bread. And it keeps it moist too!

PetraR's picture

It looks so good!

I love the Scoring on the boule, so even and beautiful.

emkay's picture

I never know what pattern to score on boules. So I've been playing around with different ones. 

lepainSamidien's picture

I've been obsessing over polenta lately, and I think it gives a great little nutty sweetness to sourdoughs.

Yours look no less than absolutely fantastic. I have found that some of my polenta breads yield a more gummy crumb when proofed for two long . . . I usually like to proof my breads for a really long time in the fridge, but with polenta bread, it never seems to do the trick.

In any case, looks like you've got some eating to do!

emkay's picture

My crumb seems to be fine when I retard the Vermont sourdough for up to 24 hours. But with the polenta added to the same basic formula, the crumb is a tiny bit gummy with the long retard in the fridge when compared to one that has not been retarded.  I wonder if this is the case with all porridge breads or just corn polenta.

dabrownman's picture

Wonderful inside and out.  We love corn in bread.  It adds a depth of flavor you can't get any other way.  Well done and

Happy baking.

emkay's picture

The flavor was lovely. I think I will increase the amount of polenta porridge next time to get a more "corny" bread. Maybe 20-25% instead of 17%. And I had no idea that I could just add some porridge to any basic SD formula and it would work. Yippee!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I suspect the age of the cooked starch might be making the difference in the crumb.  I can't explain it yet. just something about sugars and starches.