I'm on this bread-baking kick now that I understand what to do with a starter. It's all kind of exciting. That is so dorky of me, I know. I actually got up early this past Sunday morning all excited to start baking bread. I'm out of control.
I made olive bread the weekend before and it was quite delicious. I especially like the way it smelled. Adding the lemon zest was definitely a good move. Adding lemon zest to most things that you'd want to add it to kicks it up a notch, though. I think it also makes things seem fancier or something.
The Tartine Bread book has so many great variations on a simple loaf of bread. I want to explore some of the ones in the book before I start getting experimental. That's partially because I want to really get a handle on this kind of bread before I start tweaking it. Each time I notice little things I could have done differently to make the bread just a bit better.
Every time I open Tartine Bread, the book falls open to the Polenta Bread page. I would have never considered making bread with polenta in it. I figured the universe or Cthulu or whatever was trying to tell me something so that's the kind I made this time. Holy hell was that a good move. Polenta adds such a great texture and so many more nuances of flavor to the bread. I highly recommend trying it. You add some boiling water to your polenta in a 2:1 ratio and let it sit there and soak up the water before you add it to your dough. Just be a bit more patient than I am. I was so excited for bread that when the polenta hadn't quite soaked up all of the water, I didn't wait a bit longer like I should have and just dumped the whole pot into the dough figuring it would all work out in the end.
It did work out, but not as well as it could have. Now my dough is a bit too wet. That made my end loaf a bit heavy and denser than I would have liked. Granted, this was also probably because I used an older starter this time, too. I wanted to see if I used a starter that had been fed a few days before instead of the night before or morning of, if the bread would taste a bit more sour. It didn't. I think using a newer starter would have given the bread a bit more lift and resulted in a lighter loaf. It was still delicious, though. James and I have been really enjoying having a slice of bread with our meals or having some toasted for breakfast. I am most definitely going to be making polenta bread again. The flavor is so unique; I love it.