I got the idea of making this loaf from Leon at Bread Bar None. Earlier this month Leon posted his recipe for Porridge Sourdough. I really like the sound of it so, on My Perfect Day, I decided to make it. Alas, it was not the perfect loaf of bread. Firstly, I just used the ingredients as listed by Leon without holding back any water and I found I had much, much too much water. I had to add 400g of extra flour! Then I decided to bake my bread in the wood oven and the oven was way too cold. We ended up with two very tasty flying saucers. I was determined to try again but this time in my cast iron pot, in my electric oven and watching the water very carefully.
I was so amazed by the amount of water in my first loaf I actually asked Leon whether his recipe was wrong. Nope. The difference, it appears, is Leon cooked his oats for 8 minutes, whereas I followed Uncle Toby’s instruction. The amount of water you need will depend on how moist your porridge is. Check out Leon’s post to see what he did, this is what I did…
The night before you want to make your bread feed your starter and leave it on the bench overnight. I used:
- 160g starter from the fridge
- 160g rain water
- 160g bread flour
Soak 80g rolled oats in 450g water.
The next morning
Measure out 400g starter.
Take 60g of the remaining starter, feed with 60g of bread flour and 60g rainwater or filtered water and put back in the fridge – or do whatever you do to replenish your starter.
Put the soaked oats in the microwave and zap them for 2½ minutes, stir and then zap for another 2 minutes, set aside to cool.
When your porridge is cool, proceed.
- The cooked porridge, and any moisture in the bowl
- 400g wheat starter (100% hydration)
- 700g bread flour
- 120g water
- 20g salt
- a small handful of oats whizzed through a food processor for sprinkling on the dough.
- Mix all the ingredients in your mixer bowl (except the salt and the whizzed oats) until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 20 minutes.
- Add the salt and knead the dough in an electric mixer for 5 minutes or by hand until it is smooth (about 10 minutes).
The dough should clear the sides of the bowl of the mixer and, near the end of the 5 minutes, begin to clear the bottom of the bowl. If it clears the sides and the bottom early in the kneading process, add a bit more water.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and leave for 50 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench and do a stretch and fold. Return the dough to the oiled bowl.
- After 50 more minutes, do another stretch and fold. Return the dough to the oiled bowl.
- After 50 more minutes, divide the dough in half, do a stretch and fold with each half and shape each into a boule.
- Line two bowls with a cloth (or use banettons) and generously sprinkle them with some flour and some of the whizzed oats.
- Place the boules upside down in the bowls.
- Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with water and oil.
- Leave the dough at room temperature and allow it to nearly double in size. How long it takes will depend on the weather and the strength of your starter. Mine took about three hours but sometimes it takes much, much longer. It was nearly 12 hours once. Just go with the flow.
- An hour before you are ready to bake, put an oven proof pot (any will do, but cast iron is best) in the oven. Preheat your oven to the highest it will go. For more details on baking bread in a pot, check out this earlier post.
- When you are ready to bake the first loaf generously sprinkle the loaf with more flour and more of the whizzed oats.
- Put some baking paper (make sure you use enough to lift the dough with the paper) on your peel (or cutting board or tray) and then gently place them over the bread. Flip it. The dough is now upright.
- Generously sprinkle the whizzed oats.
- Slash your boule with a razor blade. Make a big cut across the boule and another at ninety degrees (or any other pattern you fancy). Spray the loaf with water and sprinkle some rolled oats on the top.
- Take the pot out of the oven, remove the lid, lift up your dough by the baking paper and put it in the pot. Spray your loaf with some water.
- Put the lid back on the pot and return it to the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Take the lid off the pot. Put the lid on the bottom shelf of your oven to keep hot for the second loaf. Return the pot to the oven. Turn the oven down to 220˚C and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the bread from oven and set aside to cool.
- Repeats steps 12-20 for the second loaf.
Nothing beats fresh home made sourdough bread and pea and ham soup.
Remember, if you live in Perth, the South West or thereabouts, you are more than welcome to my sourdough starters. I have a wheat starter and a rye starter.