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DOLLYR_MG_5981Eat­ing is a cent­ral part of daily life. For gen­er­a­tions fam­il­ies have gathered around the table, their daily lives busy with the pre­par­a­tion of food and the joy of cel­eb­rat­ing togeth­er. At Arobake we also place the emphas­is on the cent­ral­ity of food — good bak­ing, fam­ily and feasts, embra­cing tra­di­tions from over the ages as well as our own. Wheth­er it’s break­ing bread amongst friends or set­tling down with some­thing sticky and sweet, I believe it is import­ant to take time to appre­ci­ate and cel­eb­rate fam­ily, friends and good food. If you bake up our polenta and Parmes­an loaf, your gath­er­ing will truly trans­form into a feast.


Polenta and Parmesan loaf





  • 60g polenta (I like coarse polenta, or corn grits)
  • 240ml water



  • 12g fresh yeast (or 4g dried yeast)
  • 290ml water
  • 545g high-grade flour
  • 18g salt
  • 50g Parmes­an, cubed



  1. The day before, bring the water to the boil and add the polenta — if using instant polenta, cook for 3 minutes from boil­ing, or if using tra­di­tion­al polenta, cook for about 35 minutes or 18 minutes in the microwave. Store in a sealed con­tain­er after cook­ing, to pre­vent a dry skin from form­ing, and keep at room tem­per­at­ure so you don’t chill the dough when you add it the next day.
  2. The next day, make the dough. Pour the water into a bowl and break in the fresh yeast, or sprinkle in the dried yeast if using.
  3. Add the flour and salt, then whisk with a coarse whisk or beat with a spoon until smooth-look­ing (this will be a workout if you are doing it by hand). Altern­at­ively, toss it in a mix­er with a hook and run on a medi­um speed. The res­ult­ing dough will be quite sticky.
  4. Break the polenta into the dough and mix until stretchy. Allow it to sit covered for 45 minutes in an oiled flat dish.
  5. Spread the Parmes­an cubes over the dough and fold in. Rest the dough for anoth­er 20 minutes, then shape it gently into two round loaves (if you mould the dough too firmly, the Parmes­an will pop out the sides).
  6. Place the loaves seam down on a well-floured board, cov­er with a tea tow­el and sit on top of the oven for 15–20 minutes.
  7. While the loaves are rising, pre­heat the oven to 220˚C. Use a bread stone if you have one, oth­er­wise leave a steel baking/drip catch­er in the oven.
  8. Once the loaves are ready to bake, turn them so the seam is facing up and slide them onto the tray in the oven.
  9. Reduce the heat to 190˚C after 10 minutes and bake for anoth­er 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


If you are keen

Make one-quarter of the dough the day before without the polenta. Let it rise for an hour, then store it in the fridge overnight. The next day, make the oth­er three-quar­ters of the dough with all the ingredi­ents and pro­ceed as above. Enjoy!

Makes two loaves

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