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Polenta and Roasted Garlic Sourdough

I baked this polenta and roasted garlic sourdough loaf for my friend, she shared it with her family, then her son reached out to me asking for more. He said it was the best bread he has ever tasted.

So if you like garlic and polenta, this bread is definitely for you. And definitely double the ingredients, because my loaves are very tiny, usually we eat them in 1 day.


Sourdough starter 

Soaked polenta

  • 50g polenta
  • 60g hot boiling water


  • 250g bread flour
  • 175g water
  • 50g soaked polenta( for autolyse)+ 50g soaked polenta for lamination.
  • 60g levain (20%)
  • 6g salt (2%)
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic roasted 
  • Cornmeal flour for coating the loaf



  • 10 pm add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let sit at room temp 74-78F until in about 8-10 hours starter reaches its peak (triples or more in volume).
  • Learn how to make starter from scratch here.


  • 10 pm cover polenta with boiling water and boil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, let it soak overnight, covered.


  • 7 am mix water, flour and 50g polenta soaker, cover, let it rest 1 hour for autolyse.
  • During the autolyse the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This activates gluten development.
  • Meanwhile cover garlic in foil and roast for 30-50 minutes at 400F until soft. Let it cool down. 
  • 8 am add sourdough starter.
  • Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes until well incorporated. 
  • Also if for some reason you don’t have a mixing machine, you can incorporate starter into the dough by hands. Using Rubaud method or slap and fold method (about 5-7 min).
  • Cover, let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • 8:30 am add salt . Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 minutes, or with KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 minutes until well incorporated. The dough should come up together, but still be sticky on the bottom. 

Note:  if you perform mixing by hands, using Rubaud method or slap and fold method, that takes about 10-20 minutes. Do a couple of stops in between kneading, it helps tightening up gluten.

  • Continue gluten development and structure building by performing stretches and folds during the warm fermentation period.
  • Leave to rest for 30 minutes at 74-78F / 23-26C.
  • 9 am spray water on your work surface, wet your hands and perform lamination, then spread second 50g of polenta (second part) all over the dough and sprinkle roasted garlic. Fold the dough snd let rest.
  • 9:30 am 1st stretch and fold.
  • 10 am 2nd stretch and fold.
  • 10:30 am 3rd stretch and fold.

Note: Performing stretches and folds helps with gluten development. Keep monitoring the dough, if you feel it proofing slowly, you can extend time in between stretches up to 45 minutes.

  • After the final stretch let the dough proof for 30 minutes at 76-80F / 23-26C. You should see some bubbles on the surface, the dough has to become lighter. We are looking for 40%-50% rise. 

Preshaping sourdough 

  • 11 am Transfer the dough on to a work surface and dust its top with flour. Flip the dough over so the floured side faces down. 
  • Fold the dough onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf. This will become the crust. 
  • Place the dough round on a work surface and let it rest for 30 minutes uncovered.

Shaping sourdough 

  • 11.30 am Dust the dough with whole wheat flour. Use a dough scraper to flip it over on to a work surface so the floured side faces down. 
  • Starting at the side closest to you, pull the right 2 corners of the dough to the left, then fold them up into half of the dough. Repeat this action on the left side too.
  • Finally, roll the dough. Shape it into a smooth, taut roll.
  • Spray it generously with water and roll it in the cornmeal.
  • Transfer the roll, seam side up, into a prepared proofing basket (loaf pan with kitchen towel).
  • Cover it with plastic and return the dough to the 78F / 26C environment for 15 minutes. 
  • Then transfer the dough to rise for 14-24 hours in refrigerator at 40F / 4C.


Next morning

  • Preheat your oven to 500 F, place a cast iron pan with the lid inside for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. 
  • Flip it over on a parchment paper, score it with a sharp knife or a scoring lame
  • Transfer it on to the hot cast iron pan, cover with lid (to create steam for a beautiful and crusty crumb).
  • Bake at 500F for 15 minutes with lid on.
  • Remove the lid, lower the temperature to 450F. 
  • Bake for 20 more minutes until golden brown.
  • Let it cool for 2 hours and enjoy your polenta roasted garlic sourdough bread.

6 thoughts on “Polenta and Roasted Garlic Sourdough

  1. You always surprise me 👏

    1. Thank you 🙏

  2. Can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing your recipes. Any opportunity to cook with more garlic, I’m in!! I haven’t made an olive bread yet and I might just have to add in olives to this recipe when I make it 🫒

    1. Thank you ☺️

  3. what state should the starter be in when you start this recipe? at its most active and peak, or should we wait until it falls
    and is ripe? i have never done a recipe with this format of two overnight steps before so just want to make sure i get it right!

  4. Hi Natasha,
    Just confirming the amount of polenta to water? If I use the amounts below, it immediately becomes a very thick paste and cannot be boiled. Should there be more water added?
    “Soaked polenta – 50g polenta and 60g hot boiling water”
    Thank you!

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