Gotten slightly obsessed with polenta this week for some reason. Maybe its spring and the weather turning around, and polenta is light but comforting. Anyways the perfectloaf, which is a fantastic and beautiful little website, has the most amazing but slightly intimidating bread recipes. I took inspiration from its great rosemary and polenta bread post. They also have a great pizza dough recipe that looks marvellous but bit too complicated for me at the moment.
Anyways had some leftover polenta for dinner and guessed what happens to leftover/ food going off? Bread time!
It’s not bad, quite enjoyed it toasted with a bit of butter and blackberry jam. Decent airy-ness as well as good crumb and texture.
Quick note – this recipe uses cooked polenta. Here is Felicity Cloaks polenta recipe as part of her how to make the perfect…. column. I am not going to lie to you, polenta is a bit of a faff to cook. I have used uncooked polenta in the past to bake bread, but I think the polenta doesn’t quite cook through. The bread ends up a bit gritty from what I remember.
Recipe makes 2 medium boules
550g white bread flour
250g wholemeal flour
180 g cooked polenta
In a small cup add 10g of hot water and dissolve the salt. Leave to cool.
In a large bowl add water + milk+ the starter and mix to dissolve.
+ add all the flour + polenta+ rosemary+ the now tepid 10g salt water
Mix until combined
Cover with a plastic freezer bag and leave in the fridge for 20 hours.
Scoop out your dough on a clean floured surface and shape your dough. With the seams bottom down, push and rotate your shaped dough to really close the seams.
And leave the dough at room temperature for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven at 260C˚with the Dutch Oven inside. Leave the dutch oven for a least 30 min at 260C˚.
Slash the top and Bake at 260C˚ for about 35mins with the lid on. Take off the lid and lower the temperature to 230C˚ for another 15min.
So I finally broke down and thought at this point I am invested in making bread and decided to splash some money. I ordered two bread proofing baskets ages ago but because of some kerfuffle I only received them this week.
I tried two breads to celebrate the two bread proofing baskets. The first is a recipe from the ever wonderful bewitching kitchen blog. Although for the first time ever was not especially pleased with the rye cumin and orange sourdough. I could really taste the sweetness from the orange juice. The cumin also did not really mesh well. I did learn that to check whether the bread is proofing by poking it and it should bounce back. I never could tell when the bread “doubled” in size.
I also made another bread, which I made up the recipe for. It was basically a way to get rid of the rosemary and thyme that had seen better days a week ago. I also added some oats to give it a bit of oumpf. It turned out surprisingly well. This is my most bubbliest of bubbly bread. I slashed it right down the middle and it sort of exploded and expended upwards which gave it a really cool shape.
300g bread white flour
100g wholmeal bread flour
50g rye flour
50g sourdough starter
sprigs of thyme and rosemary
Mix flour+rye+water+starter+ Oats+salt+thyme +rosemary and let it rest for 40 min.
Stretch and fold the dough every 15 min X5.
Shape, let it proof for 20 hours in an proofing basket in the fridge.
Pre heat the oven to 245ºC with the baking stone in and take the dough out of the fridge.
Flour and score the loaves.
Bake for 45 min.
Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.
This was an amazing bread! I really loved it. Having the bread basket made such a difference. Literally just popped on the baking stone, it’s amazing. Another reason why it might have been so bubbly is it was continuously at room temperature being feed for the last couple of days. I have had my starter for ages and I don’t make bread every week, so I usually keep it in the fridge so I don’t have to feed it. This might affect its activity, something to test at some point.
Another day another bread. For today I tried a new basic sourdough, which I modified by adding Rosemary and olive oil from the sourdough school basic sourdough.
100g sourdough starter
100g of stoneground whole wheat flour
400g organic strong white flour
10g (1 Tbsp) salt
2 sprigs of Rosemary
2tbsp of nigella seeds
30grams (3 Tbsp) of olive oil
Mix water + starter + flours in a bowl. Let it autolyse for 30 min.
Add the salt + rosemary + nigella seeds and fold so that is just incorporated
Fold 3 times every 30 min.
Shape the dough and either leave it a bowl that has been well oiled or you can use a clean tea towel dusted with flour. Dust the top and cover with another tea towel that has been moisten.
Prove in the fridge for 8-12 hours
Bake at 220C for 1 hour, 180C for 10-15 min
I have to say this is my absolutely favourite basic sourdough work loaf recipes. Comes out airy with loads of bubbles as well as moist and springy. The crust was a bit too soft for my liking I usually quite a decent crush to it.
Rosemary can be replace with thyme or sage. I made a past for the sage and thyme with olive oil simply by using a pestle and mortar so that incorporates better.
it was really wonderful as a cheesy toasty with Dukkah. You can find my Dukkah recipe here. The celeriac and apple soup which was actually easy and quite good despite it being from Jamie Oliver.