This cornmeal/white bread came out fine and if you are looking for something a little better than a homemade pure white bread for sandwiches, this is a good option. The bread is 26 percent cornmeal and 70 percent hydration (76 percent if you count the water plus the oil in the recipe).
This bread is essentially a redo of the cornmeal bread by Hamelman in Bread that I made in bread #59, which were blue cornmeal rolls. Lovely as the blue was, somehow I wanted to experience the bread with non-primary-colored cornmeal and I bought a whole grain white cornmeal this time.
A bread for picky eaters, perhaps
I have to say I was not wowed by this one, but it might be a good fit for families with picky eaters who need school lunch sandwiches. I actually started making sandwich bread in my bread machine days to replace the supermarket, disgusting, potato sandwich bread that my children liked. Turned out they liked homemade bread more. Check one for parental success.
50g starter (at 60 to 70 percent hydration)
114g bread flour
Cover and leave out. Good for an all-day or overnight rest period.
Mix and leave for 15 minutes.
176g bread flour
Sponge likes a warm kitchen
Mix, cover, and let rest for 12 to 16 hours, except for unusually warm kitchens. I was prepared for a 16-hour rest for the sponge due to a cold, winter kitchen that would essentially be almost like a fridge overnight, but this was yet another night when one of us (we are all bad on this) forgot to turn down the heat in the kitchen. The sponge did not mind and was discovered in a bubbly, exuberant state after nine hours. Smiling and ready, it demanded immediate progress toward full dough development.
One minute to mix the soaker and 15 minutes to rest in the bowl. The dough took a good bit of mixing. I added a little less flour than in the Hamelman recipe because of the low hydration percentage of my starter. Translation: My starter is on the thick side and not viscous at all.
Just two stretch and folds
I did just one stretch and fold at 45 minutes for a 90-minute rise. Then one more at the end of the rise.
Let rest and cover for 15 minutes. I shaped the dough and put it into a loaf pan. Then cover. Why a loaf pan? The dough did not seem to be holding its own, structure-wise, so the support of a loaf pan was in order to save this one.
Preheat and don't do the dent test
Preheat the oven for one hour to 500 degrees. I also preheat the top of the oblong la cloche, which will fit - though not well - over the loaf pan, and allow for a nice oven spring.
There is no dent test, though I tried. The dough was simply too sticky. No matter; this has happened before and a respectable bread resulted.
Upon putting the dough into the oven, reduce the temperature immediately to 460 degrees. The bread took 36 minutes with the loaf pan.
Nice, nice oven spring. A good taste if you like white bread. Not overly impressed, but a decent bread.