Tuesday, January 16, 2018

BBBabes tackle a difficult one

This month buckle up and find your courage and make this bread as our Bread Baking Buddy. If you dare!! You'll need a sourdough starter for this, so get going.

Our lovely Elizabeth ("Blog from OUR kitchen") gave us a challenge to work on this month a recipe based on one of Tartine's breads. I made Tartine recipes before with a grain porridge (this one calls for a polenta, but you can also use other grains), so I know from experience that I have to hold back (a lot) on the water added, if you don't want to let the dough drip through your banneton. And this one sure is one to hold back on water. I reduced the water even more and hope the amounts are about right in the recipe below, as my first reduction still made it necessary to add more flour. In short, I'd call this a bread for the advanced baker, or the very brave beginners.

So be a Brave Bread Baking Buddy, we dare you! Go to Elizabeth's for all the explanations on the bread and were the difficulties are and bake anyway. Post, tell us about your experiences and send it to Elizabeths email. Give it a try. Happy baking!

Tartine Polenta Bread
(makes one round loaf)
(PRINT recipe)
Leavener:
dessert spoonful of bubbling wheat starter from the fridge
75 g whole wheat flour
75 g water at body temperature
Polenta mixture:
70 g raw dried pumpkin seeds
61 g grains for polenta (medium grind)
150 g boiling water
pinch salt
21 g sunflower oil
1 TBsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Dough:
100 g floating leavener (stir the rest into the jar in the fridge)
375 g bread flour
125 g whole wheat flour, sifted (reserve the bran - approximately 4 g) (Oops forgot to sift it)
4 g wheat germ
150-200 g water, at body temperature (add more if needed)
(optional: ½ tsp instant yeast, if you’re uncertain about your leavener)
Adding the salt :
all of the dough mixture
10 g salt
25 g water at body temperature
Pre-baking : rice flour, brot-form (or bowl), reserved bran from sifting whole wheat flour
Baking: parchment paper, cast iron frying pan, large stainless steel mixing bowl
Procedure:
Leavener and refreshing the starter: On the evening before baking the bread, put the leavener ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Using your dough whisk or wooden spoon, mix the leavener ingredients until all the flour is incorporated. Leave 100 g in the bowl. Mix the extra into the jar in the fridge. Cover the bowl containing the 100 g with a plate and leave in the oven with only the light turned on overnight - until it becomes bubbly and frothy like mousse.
polenta mixture:
Spread pumpkin seeds evenly in one layer into a dry cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon, until the seeds begin to pop, this takes about 5-10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Pour boiling water into a bowl and stir in cornmeal. Set aside for about 10 minutes. Put the raw grains into a pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until they are turning gold and smell toasty (not more than 5 minutes). Add the water and a pinch of salt. Turn up the heat, stir and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Turn the heat down to very low, cover the pot and allow the grains to simmer for about 15 minutes. Avoid the temptation to lift the lid. When the water has absorbed, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Add oil, rosemary and pumpkin seeds.
dough: When a small spoonful of the leavener floats in a small bowl of room temperature water, you can go ahead and mix the dough. (If the leavener does not float, stir in a little more whole wheat flour and water - even amounts by weight - cover with a plate and leave for about 30 minutes more. Chances are that it will now float.) Put all the dough ingredients into a large mixing bowl along with the now bubbling leavener. Mix as well as you can with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave on the counter to rest for about 40 minutes. Do not skip the resting period. Working with the nature of the dough, the resting period allows the protein and starch in the flour to absorb the water, swell, and then relax into a cohesive mass.
adding the salt: Pour the 25 g water over-top of the mass of dough. Sprinkle on the salt, making sure that it goes onto the water. (Alternatively, you could stir the salt into the water in a little bowl and pour in the salty water.)
kneading: Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt and water into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl - this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy. But persevere. Knead with a dough hook in a stand mixer, until relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
stretching and folding (part 1): About 30 minutes after adding the salt, run your dough-working hand under water. Reach down along the side of the bowl and lift and stretch the dough straight up and almost out of the bowl. Fold it over itself to the other side of the bowl. Turn the bowl and repeat until it's a little difficult to stretch the dough up any more. You'll notice that the dough feels significantly smoother. Cover with a plate and leave on the counter for about 30 minutes.
Repeat the above step twice.
adding the polenta mixture: Add the polenta mixture to the dough. Run your dough-working hand under water and use it to squoosh the polenta, pepitas and rosemary into the dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. If the dough is too wet, add flour and knead it in. It should end up being a slightly wet dough, but one you can just shape. The streching and folding after this step will give more body to the dough.
stretching and folding (part 2): Repeat the stretching and folding step 1 or 2 more times (even 4 times when the dough needs more). A well-developed dough is more cohesive and releases from the sides of the bowl when you do the turns. The ridges left by the turn will hold their shape for a few minutes. You will see a 20 to 30 percent increase in volume. More air bubbles will form along the sides of the container. These are all signs that the dough is ready to be shaped.
prepare the brot-form: Put rice flour into a brotform and distribute it as evenly as possible. (If you don't have a brot-form, you can line a bowl, basket or sieve with parchment paper. You can also use a liberally rice floured tea. If you do not have rice flour, you can use wheat flour. However, it makes it significantly more difficult for the bread to be released from the basket....
shaping: Scatter a dusting of wheat flour on the board and gently place the dough on the flour. Using wet hands, stretch the dough into a longish rectangle, then fold it like a letter, gently patting off any extra flour that might be there. Continue folding until the dough is shaped in a ball. Place it seam side up in the well floured brot-form. Evenly spread the reserved bran on and around the seam. Loosely wrap the basket and bread with a clean tea towel and enclose the whole thing inside a plastic bag and leave it in a warm spot for 2 or 3 hours (until it has about doubled).
baking: To know when it's time to bake, run your index finger under water and gently but firmly press it on the side of the bread. If the dough springs back immediately, recover the bread with the plastic bag and leave it in the oven with only the light turned on. If the dough gradually returns back after being pressed, put the cast-iron frying pan and its lid into the oven and preheat all to 220ºC.
About fifteen minutes later, put a square of parchment paper on the counter (the paper should be large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the frying pan). Overturn the shaped bread onto the parchment paper. Using a lame (or scissors, or serrated knife), score the bread. Take the pan and bowl out of the oven (wear oven mitts!!) and place the frying pan on the stove. Transfer the bread to the middle of the frying pan and immediately put the lid on. Put everything into the oven and immediately turn it down to 200ºC. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 30 minutes or so, until the crust is a nice dark brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
cooling: When the bread is done, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool on a footed rack before slicing and eating; the bread is still baking internally when first removed from the oven! If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat it after it has cooled completely: To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 200ºC for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.

*leavener The leavener is a 100% hydration, liquid levain. It takes about 5 days to create. (Please see our take on Jane Mason's Natural Starter made with Wheat Flour.)
If you're too afraid (or don't have time) to take five days to make a natural starter and still want to bake this by using commercial yeast, I think what I'd do is create a poolish - say 50gm water, 50gm flour and a few grains (not more than 1/8 tsp) yeast stirred together, covered, and left overnight. And then proceed as written. I confess I haven't tried it but don't see why it won't work. If you're really worried, you could probably add few more grains of yeast into the dough itself as well)

(based on the recipe for 'Polenta Bread' in "Tartine Bread" by Chad Robertson)

9 comments:

Claire said...

Phew ..... that sounds very complicated ..... I’ve got a starter in the fridge, so no excuses really ...... It looks very good!!

Elizabeth said...

Lovely, Lien!! The crumb looks fantastic and I'm so impressed with the ear from your scoring.

Claire, don't let Lien's cautions scare you off. If you prepare the polenta so that it absorbs the water and ends up being like couscous, the dough doesn't turn into soup. When I did that, I didn't even have to reduce the amount of water.

Having said that, I don't know that I'd call it bread for an advanced baker or a brave beginner, more like not a bread for the faint of heart. (But the toasted pepitas make it all worthwhile!)

Elle said...

A beautiful bread Lien! Your crumb is tighter and looks like you may have used a bit more whole wheat flour than not? Love the great mix of pepitas and herbs that you see, too. Not an easy bread for sure, but a delicious one.

Karen said...

I definitely think this one is best for making after having some experience with high hydration dough! Yours turned out beautifully!

hobby baker said...

Now that is just beautiful! Lovely crumb and distribution of the goodies.

Katie Zeller said...

A beautiful loaf, as usual, Lien
And aren't we supposed to start the New Year with a challenge?

Lien said...

Claire, please check out Elizabeth's post, she explains how not to get the dough too wet when adding the polenta.

Aparna said...

This challenge was tough but your bread looks very good. :)
I had issues but it was one excellent tasting bread.

Cathy W. said...

Lovely crumb Lien! This was a challenge, but definitely worth it.