There has been a major resurgence of whole grains in the last few years. Not just baking but I have been reading a lot about using the grains in things such as porridge for a warm breakfast. I haven’t tried that yet but very curious to try it.

With all that going I have been trying different varieties of flour and ingredients being added to the dough to achieve various flavors. That being said, I began scavenging my pantry and refrigerator to see what I could throw in this dough. Polenta! Why not?

What I did not do was soak the polenta in water before adding it to the dough. I was curious if if would rip the dough but it held up quite well. Also, because it the polenta was not soaked it had a bit of a crunch but that turned out to be rather enjoyable as something different than I was used to.

The process follows the same as most of my latest breads using sourdough starter to make a younger levain. It also uses more water to hydrate because of using whole wheat in this.

I mixed all by hand, which does require closer attention, at 30-minute intervals over a 4 hour period. Then shaping and final proofing lasted for about two hours because of the cooler temperatures in my kitchen.

This resulted in a nice bread with a slight crunch in it but still a soft crumb. OK, on to the recipe.


Polenta Sourdough
  • Levain
  • 1.5 ounces sourdough starter
  • 6 water
  • 5 flour
  • Dough
  • 9.4 ounces bread flour, or an unbleached flour
  • 3 ounces whole wheat flour
  • 1.25 ounces polenta
  • 9 ounces water
  • all of the levain
  • .32 ounces salt
  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the levain about 7 hours ahead of making the dough. Cover and let sit at room temperature.
  2. After letting it sit for 7 hours disperse all of the levain in the water. Then add flours and polenta. Cover with plastic and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes add salt being sure to incorporate the salt throughout the dough. Re-cover and let sit for another 30 minutes. Perform a stretch and fold at 30-minute intervals for another 3 hours.
  3. Shape and proof for about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 465 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes then let cool on a cooling rack for at least an hour before slicing.


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