Cajun Three Pepper Bread
- 8 cups high-gluten flour, bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup uncooked polenta
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic or 3 tablespoons crushed fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast proofed in 4 tablespoons lukewarm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 4 teaspoons salt, preferably sea salt
- 1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Louisiana hot pepper sauce or Tabasco sauce
- Approximately 2 1/2 cups water
- Mixing: In a bowl, combine everything except the hot sauce and water. Then add the hot sauce and water, reserving a little water for final adjustments during kneading.
- Kneading: When the mixture can be formed into a ball in the bowl, turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead for 10-12 minutes, adding water if need, until a smooth elastic dough emerges. The dough should be tacky but not stick, a beautiful salmon color with a bright garlic and pepper aroma.
- Proofing: Clean the bowl and return the dough to it, covering with a damp towel or plastic wrap, or put the bowl inside a plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for approximately 1 1/2 hours. It should double
in size. Form into loaves (see below) and put them in greased bread pans.
- Forming loaves: Divide the dough into two pieces. Flatten each piece of dough with the heels of both hands, then fold it over, back on itself, so that you are rolling the piece into a cylindrical shape. The seam that forms when the two edges meet when the dough is folded should be kept in one place, at the bottom. Squeeze the dough to release air bubbles and pinch the seam closed. Roll the loaf back and forth under your hands to smooth the surface. Place the dough, seam-side down, in a greased bread pan that measures 10 x 4 1/2 inches (you may use any pan close to these dimensions).
- Repeat the process of forming a loaf from the second piece of dough and cover the pans with either a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Allow the loaves approximately 1 hour to rise at room temperature, or after a 5-minute rise, put them in the refrigerator to rise overnight.
- Baking: Bake the bread at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Internal temperature of the bread with an instant-read thermometer should be 185-195 degrees F.
- Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: 2 loaves
Per slice (based on 12 per loaf): 190 calories, 7 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates,
1 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 400 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, Calories from fat: 5 percent