Monday, May 26, 2014

Polenta Bread

                 Bread baking is such a part of me now that I can't imagine not doing it. It's a rare moment around here when I don't have some sort of bread rising..and when I don't it's usually because I need to hunt down some kind of new ingredient to go into the next bread I want to bake. If you are new to bread baking, all I can say is,go for it! Bake a loaf,then bake another. Bake and bake and bake. If you find yourself with to much bread then pass it on. I know there are plenty of people out there who would love a freshly baked loaf of bread. It might be the only thing they eat that day. 

This is a perfect loaf to share and so very easy to make. You can shape it any which way you like..into a round or a twist like I did. I added cheese on top with various spices but you can leave it plain if you want.

Polenta Bread

3 cups Bread Flour
1/2 cup Polenta
2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Salt
1-1/3 cups Warm Water
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Egg Beaten with 1 TBS Water

In a large bowl or in a stand mixer of a kitchen aid,combine the flour,polenta,yeast, and salt. Add the warm water and olive oil and mix until combined. 

Either mix with a kitchen aid or knead by hand until dough is soft and elastic and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes by hand and 5 in a mixer on speed 4. Add additional flour in small amounts as needed to reduce stickiness. 

Transfer dough ball to a greased bowl,turning once to coat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hours.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a pizza stone in stead. Sprinkle polenta onto prepared pan and set aside.

Deflate dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a tight ball..or shape into whatever you like. Place onto prepared pan,cover with tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk,45 mins to 1 hour.

Prheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. With a sharp knife or razor make slashes onto bread. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 15 mins. Reduce heat to 375 or 190 celcius and bake until golden and crusty,about 30-35 minutes.

*** If using a pizza stone,allow the bread to rise on the counter top on top of parchment paper while you preheat the stone for at least 30 minutes. Slide the parchment paper with the bread onto the stone and bake**

Yield: One large loaf
Source: The Food Channel