I love the color, crunch and flavor that adding blue cornmeal gives to bread. The longer fermentation and proofing that comes along with sourdough also helps to soften the blue corn a little more than a quick bakers yeast loaf does.
Schedule: I based this loaf off of my sourdough schedule.
Since this is a 100% naturally leavened bread, I created a levain with my sourdough starter that was last fed 12 hours prior. This levain provides enough for 2 loaves of bread.
30 minutes before mixing the salt into the dough, I performed an autolyse by mixing the water, levain and flour together.
Started at 8:10am with the following ingredients. Mix everything together and loosely cover and let it ferment for about 8 hours.
- 22g unfed sourdough starter (last feeding was 12 hours prior)
- 108g filtered water @ 85-90’F
- 108g bread flour
- 400g bread flour
- 45g blue cornmeal
- 340g filtered water @ 90-95’F
- 108g levain
- 11g sea salt
After mixing the dough, I performed 3 stretch and folds within the first 3 hours. The dough was extremely slack and the gluten didn’t form very well. I’m not sure if it was due to the blue corn being pretty tough and breaking the strands or what. I’ll have to experiment with maybe sifting the blue cornmeal first to get smaller pieces.
The dough fermented at room temperature (around 68’F) overnight. After the overnight fermentation I shaped the loaf before proofing in a banneton for about 2 hours. Even when I shaped the loaf at proofing it was still pretty slack and was hard to handle.
I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 38 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 16 minutes.
Even though the dough was a mess to fold and proof, it rose better than I expected in the oven. It definitely didn’t have as full of an oven spring as my other loaves usually do, but it didn’t end up like a pancake which was my fear.
The blue corn gave the bread some really nice pink and purple colors. You get a nice crunch from the blue corn in each bite and the flavor it lends plays well with the sourdough.
My Baking Notes
- Ambient Temperature @ levain start: 69’F
- Levain start: 8:10am
- Ambient Temperature @ autolyse: 70’F
- Started autolyse @ 6:00pm
- Water temp: 92’F
- Dough was 83’F at autolyse
- Mixed @ 6:30pm
- Dough was 76’F after mixing
- 3 stretch and folds in first 3 hours
- Started proof @ 6:30am
- Preheated oven @ 7:30am
- Into oven @ 8:45am