The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Polenta Loaf

CrustyJohn's picture

Polenta Loaf

Basically a second go-round with my loaf earlier this year except that I was lazy with the polenta- instead of doing the whole saccharification process, I just microwaved it.  

King Arthur bread flour- 360g (80%)

Bob's Red Mill whole wheat flour- 90g (20%)

water- 340g (75%)

starter- 50g (11%)


salt- ~3 tsp


45g Cateto Orange polenta from Redtail Grains

150g water

tbsp Rag & Frass Farm cane syrup


Mix starter & water, add flours, mix until incorporated, "autolyse" 1 hr. (~65 deg.)

Stretch and fold + "lamination" folds over next 3 hours

incorporate cooked polenta about midway through stretch and fold process

bulk ferment ~8.5-9 hours @ ~65-67 deg.

pre-shap, shape, retard for ~11 hrs. @ ~40s? deg. 

Bake (use pre-heated pizza stone and overturned dutch oven) 22 min @ "500" (I think the oven runs about 25 degrees low, so the real temp might be more like 475), uncover, bake another 10 min. drop temperature to 450 for 20 min., turn off oven and let bread cool on rack in hot oven.


I really like this one.  I'm really enjoying using the pizza stone to bake on as it allows the loaf to spread a bit more organically than when I bake in a small dutch oven.  It's also avoids handling the dough after turning it out of the proofing basket.  I think this is up there with some of my favorite loaves I've baked.  I really like the deeply browned crust contrasting with the really soft, sweet polenta-enriched crumb.  The polenta was a little blob-y rather than smooth and creamy, but cooking it in the microwave was really quick and easy.  


Any though on why the left side of the loaf seems to be a bit more consistently open than the right?  Shaping?


CalBeachBaker's picture

CrustyJohn - this looks nice. The flavors sound delicious. I'll have to put this on my list to bake.


CrustyJohn's picture

Thanks, Tony!  It's a good one- sweet and creamy.  I think a loaf that is much more substantially hard red whole wheat would pair nicely with the polenta, but I forgot about that thought when I mixed this one up.

Benito's picture

That looks wonderful John.  The left side of the crumb in the photo had less resistance to opening up because it was where the bloom and oven spring occurred.  The right side of the crumb was where the skin of the dough was which would have developed during final proof.  That would have given the crumb a bit more resistance to opening up.  On the other hand, it could have just been a section of the dough that was randomly looking that way.


CrustyJohn's picture

Ah, that makes sense.  Thanks for the insight, Benny.

Isand66's picture

I like the polenta poking through the crumb.  I have made many different polenta breads myself and love the addition as well.