Oat Porridge Sourdough Bread a lovely moist 'batard', or vienna shape, which is also soft and light. This recipe is another Porridge Bread recipe, only to prepare the oats, you'll need to follow the Blanched Method over here. Or, if you have leftover porridge, simply put it in a zip bag with the air removed, refrigerate for as long as is convenient (you'll get a week out of this packaging easily), remove from the fridge and break it up while still in the bag with your fingers. It's now ready for use.
1kg of organic Unbleached flour (regular white flour will do if you are unable to access organic flour, or are a cheapskate, like me, at times, BUT water levels will be reduced and you may find the conventional product to be less flavoursome)
300g of chilled oat porridge
300 - 500 mls ml of warm water (always a flexible figure, and this recipe may well need less.Use your common sense, but add about 300 mls first and add more as required, a little at a time).
24 grams of cooking salt
You'll also need:
Two Bread Trays. This recipe makes two Batards (cylinders) of about a kilo each. A good tray size is one that fits inside your plastic box, as well as one which allows a one kilo loaf fill it.This bread rises well, but it takes a while to rise.
One Water Measuring Jug.
Mixing bowl or large plastic box. These also become dough resting boxes, intermediate and final proofers, and often sourdough starter containers (when you start to get a bit of volume going on the breadmaking front. This one is the 10 litre version.
The 15 litre version is good for flour storage or large dough storage.
Digital Scales. You'll want a reasonably bulletproof design - not too many textures or angles for cleaning. These things get dirty!
Water Jug. I tend to use the same square style 2.25 litre containers I use to store small volumes of starter in. You'll be able to get these bits and pieces at the SourdoughBaker Shop very soon,(currently under construction)
Dough Cutter. The handiest little implement a baker ever had. A thousand and one uses, from cleaning the bench, to cutting dough, to scraping out dried dough from your boxes. No home baker should be without at least one. I have several, all different sizes and substances.
Mix almost all the very warm water in your Water Jug (warm to the touch) with the cooled porridge, stirring them together till it's softened all the porridge. Now add the starter to the mix, and stir it through also. You can leave this to stand for half an hour and stir it all together again to form a lumpy paste with a large spoon.
Pour the paste into the mixing bowl and combine the flour. You may need a splash more water to do this, but be sparing - at this stage the dough looks dry, but it will soften soon. I stir the flour around on top of the paste until it comes together, then proceed to the next stage. You may need to dribble a bit more water in as you do this. Just add a little at a time, because each time you add water the dough comes apart. Try to avoid this happening - add less next time.
Turn with both hands roughly till you form a big chunk of dough, no matter how rough. Rough is good. It's a fairly soft dough, so don't try to work it. Just tuck in the bottoms in until you form a ball in the bowl. You can do this a number of times before the salt is added, remembering to allow the unsalted dough to rest for at least 15 minutes between turns. Cover, and leave in a warm place. When it's beginning to become a smooth dough, allow to rest for half an hour, and move to the next stage.
This is called a 'shaggy dough'. You will see this term used to describe a dough that has come together, but has not yet been kneaded a great deal.
Now a firm dough ready for autolyse (delayed salt technique)
Add salt by wetting the dough with either a spray gun or wet hands, sprinkling the salt over the top of the wet dough. You will notice a dramatic transformation from the rough chunk you left an hour ago to this smooth thing in your hands now. .
Knead it in until combined, which will be when the salt can't be felt as you knead. Round the dough, and leave with the seam on the bottom.
Let the finished dough rest and rise for about three to six hours, depending on the season. It's ready when you poke it and there is little, if any, resistance. It feels like it has given up. Your finger marks will stay there for a while. If it resists, it isn't ready. If you run out of time, the dough in its covered container can be simply placed in the fridge. It will comfortably store for up to 24 hours there, and you can take it out and continue from where you left off, allowing for some thawing time.
Now cut the dough into two chunks of roughly one kilogram each. Round them, with the seam at the bottom. Rest for an hour or so. Again, if you poke the dough and it resists, it isn't ready yet. If it feels like it is giving in, it's ready.
Form into two cylinders, just by squeezing the bottom in with the outside of each of both hands, as if you are holding an open book in both palms. Spray or wipe with water, and dust with semolina or wholemeal flour or oat flour. Place dusted cylinders onto pre oiled bread trays.
Slash with one lengthways cut deeply into the centre of the batard. Allow to rise, covered, for about an hour - this bread rises quite a bit, but quite slowly. Keep it in its box, in a warm place.
When the tin is broached by about a quarter of the dough inside, in other words when the dough has risen to completely fill the tin, it's ready for baking. If you've made good dough, you can achieve a good height in this loaf. It's all in the turns!
Bake at 160 degrees in a prepared oven (see 'how to use an oven properly') for 55 to 75 minutes.
If you like a really thick crust, wind the oven down to 140 and bake for another half hour.This bread is derived from my very first sourdough bakery's product range. We used to walk around Paddington markets and sell lots of these to all the stallholders. Then we'd have to leave as the security guards would chase us away! Hmm.. keep an eye on the stories section for that one!
Happy Sourdough Baking!