Polenta Bread

Another new bread I’m awful fond of! This bread has the texture of healthy, blah, multigrain type bread, in that there are little bits in it, but a great firm  crust and a nice lightly corn flavor. It’s really super delicious!

Not where the supermarket clerk thought they’d be.

Ingredients:

Starter:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • scant cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Dough:

  • 1 cup cold tap water
  • 2/3 cup polenta
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups water, for steam

For toasting the wheat germ, I just put it on some foil on a pan and put it in the toaster oven. I don’t think it took more than 4 minutes, and keep an eye on it because it burns fast. (I had to chuck my first batch, because I thought that the toaster’s “light” setting would be light enough!)

To make the starter, sprinkle the yeast over the water in your stand mixer bowl. After the yeast has started to dissolve and become active, about 5 minutes, add the flour and stir in. Cover and let sit at room temperature until the surface is covered in bubbles, about 3 hours.

When the starter is ready, add the remaining ingredients (not including the 2 cups of water) and stir to combine.

Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. If that isn’t happening by the end of the 10 minutes, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it does.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

(pre-rise)

Line a medium sized bowl or basket with a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with flour. Knead the risen dough briefly to knock down, then shape the dough into a ball. The best way to do this is to hold the big lump in one hand, and with the other hand gently grasp the top and pull it down to the bottom. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat 3 times, until you’ve pulled down the dough on all four sides, giving a smooth firm outer surface. Put your dough ball in the lined basket with the rough side, where the dough you’ve pulled down comes together, on the top.

The seams smooth out a good deal while it rises.

Gently fold the ends of the towel over the dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour and a half this time.

While the dough does its final rise, put an empty baking pan on the bottom rack of your oven. It’s good to have one pan set aside for this, because it does eventually damage the bottom of the pan. Put a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Boil two cups of water on the stove.

Flour a baker’s peel (or a plate with low sides, if you don’t have one), and turn the risen dough onto it, flipping (gently) out of the basket so the seam-side is down. Score the top of the dough (in an X or any other simple pattern you desire) with a razor or sharp knife. Slide the dough quickly from the peel onto the preheated pizza stone. Pour the boiling water onto the pan on the bottom rack, being careful not to get burned by steam. Bake until well browned, and hollow sounding when tapped, 45-50 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Quickly all that was left!

This one is definitely worth checking out! I’ll be making it again, and submitting it to yeastspotting.

Polenta Bread

From Bread and Chocolate by Fran Gage.

Starter:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • scant cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Dough:

  • 1 cup cold tap water
  • 2/3 cup polenta
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups water, for steam

To make the starter, sprinkle the yeast over the water in your stand mixer bowl. After the yeast has started to dissolve and become active, about 5 minutes, add the flour and stir in. Cover and let sit at room temperature until the surface is covered in bubbles, about 3 hours.

When the starter is ready, add the remaining ingredients (not including the 2 cups of water) and stir to combine. Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add additional flour a tablespoon at a time if necessary. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Line a medium sized bowl or basket with a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle with flour. Knead the risen dough briefly to knock down, then shape the dough into a ball.  Put your dough ball in the lined basket seam-side up. Gently fold the towel over the dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour and a half.

While the dough does its final rise, put an empty baking pan on the bottom rack of your oven. Put a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Boil two cups of water on the stove.

Flour a baker’s peel and turn the risen dough onto it, flipping (gently) out of the basket so the seam-side is down. Score the top of the dough with a razor or sharp knife. Slide the dough quickly from the peel onto the preheated pizza stone. Pour the boiling water onto the pan on the bottom rack, being careful not to get burned by steam. Bake until well browned, and hollow sounding when tapped, 45-50 minutes. Cool on a rack.

About these ads

About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. (Over the summer, my bike glove tans will probably become pretty glaring in some of these photos.) I'll be sharing my adventures in the kitchen. Expect lots of recipes to have chocolate swapped in to replace other inferior ingredients.
This entry was posted in Bread and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Polenta Bread

  1. Jenni says:

    This is a lovely loaf! I love polenta, but my family has turned against me and won’t eat it anymore. I might have to sneak some into bread from now on! :)

  2. Pingback: Baked Polenta with Tomato and Basil | sparecake

  3. Pingback: Shrimp and Cheesy Grits | sparecake

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s