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You are currently viewing Whole Wheat Oat Porridge Sourdough Bread

Oat porridge sourdough bread has a custardy soft crumb and smidge of oat sweetness. Recipes for this bread abound throughout the baking world—there’s even one in the sourdough book Eric and I wrote—but they tend to use all or mostly all refined flour. You don’t see very many recipes that use only whole grain flour. The thought process behind this was, at least in our recipe, to compensate for the weight and gluten disruption of the oat porridge and keep the bread from being too dense.

Well, it turns out that an all whole grain flour oat porridge bread doesn’t have to be dense at all. In fact I even used butter and milk in the porridge, ingredients also known for slowing down gluten formation, and the dough was still fairly strong and the crumb open.

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Deep crust color on this whole grain oat porridge sourdough bread

Tender, tasty, and fiber rich; delicious dipped in soup, for sandwiches, and toast

To achieve this relatively airy bread, I used a strong wheat variety, yecora rojo, and I let the gluten develop in the dough for a little over an hour before laminating in the porridge. The porridge was cooked with the milk and butter, rather than these ingredients being added to the dough. I followed up with a couple of rounds of stretching and folding, and this seemed to allow the dough and porridge to combine “just enough” so there were no big lumps of porridge, but the porridge wasn’t completely incorporated into the dough either, which would have disrupted the gluten structure.

Oat porridge is rolled into the dough, and further distributed during two rounds of stretching and folding

Small lumps of porridge visible during shaping

I used a mix of flaked oats and flaked wheat berries for the porridge because I have the new Mockbake Flakelovers Flaker and can flake almost any seed or grain. You can use only rolled oats for your porridge if you prefer. Moreover, you may want to make your porridge with water only and no butter and milk, which is also fine. Simply aim for the porridge consistency you see in the photo gallery after the recipe.

Fresh flaked oats

Additional Notes

This bread isn’t particularly sweet apart from the slight nutty sweetness in the oats. I think adding a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the dough would be delicious. If you do this, then subtract 15 grams of the water in compensation. You can also reduce the light sourness of the bread’s flavor if you shorten the final proof by doing it all at room temperature, rather than doing an overnight refrigeration.

I baked this bread in Breadtopia’s Hearth Baker, which allows a dough to splay open as it bakes, but you can choose a different shape for your dough or a different baking vessel if you want one with side support (e.g. the Round Cloche or Oblong Baker). Making the dough a little dryer and proofing less will also result in a taller loaf but with a tighter crumb—a trade-off I didn’t want to make.

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